"When Your World Makes No Sense" – Why Is It Difficult To Trust? Part 2
In part 1 we explored the definition of trust. In part 2 we are going to look at the first of three reasons why trusting is so difficult for many.
1. WHY IS IT DIFFICULT TO TRUST?
Think of a situation where you are deeply trusting for a result (a job, a book or record deal, financial need, health or condition of a loved one, a move to another state, a marriage situation, ministry need, etc.) that leaves you feeling out of control because you cannot make the results happen by yourself. How do you feel?
We feel different things when we are trusting deeply and desperately desiring for a result to come into fruition. Those feelings can add to our difficulty in the process of trusting. We can feel anxiety about the timing and how the result will take place. We can feel anger for allowing ourselves to be in a situation of need or reliance on others. We can feel confused about who we are trusting in and the things we are trusting for.
An overwhelming feeling we often experience when trusting is the emotion of fear. Although fear can be a indicator of impending harm or danger, in the case of trusting, it can be a deterrent in sustaining trust. Trusting is difficult because it challenges our deepest fears and the other emotions we feel.
- Challenges our fear (WHAT WE FEEL)
What is fear? “Fear is the anxiety or unpleasant concern we have in anticipation of something we perceive as danger or discomfort. It is anything we perceive as an assault to our comfort, safety, or control.”1 Fear-motivated thoughts are all about “I can’t,” “I’m not able,” and “I’m not good enough.” While we certainly have fears and phobias of the things, people, or situations in our path, more often we fear the negative feeling we will experience because of that thing, person, or situation in our path.
Our fears stem from our anticipation of something happening. We anticipate negative and terrible things that might happen or things we have heard about, seen through the media, or read. Fear makes us think that something bad or negative will take place,when the truth is we don’t know what is going to happen. Most of us have not been insulted or booed in front of a stage audience, but that does not stop us from going into a panic if we are called to give a lecture in front of thousands.
Fear is always designed to offer a false sense of safety and comfort. It gives the impression that if we stay away from whatever that perceived fear is, then we will be all right, safe and pain-free. The catch is that in that false safety there is also limitation, discontentment, and limited growth. Fear has no wisdom and fear has no truth.
Often we fear not because of the reality of a situation but because of our anticipation of what could happen in that situation. In short, our fears cry aloud that we are not in control of something, and that is not pleasant at all.
a. Struggle w/ consequences of result not happening
The fear we often experience with trusting deals with the consequences if the result does not happen. For example, “Lord, I’m afraid to trust in you to provide for me financially when my mortgage is due this week because You might not come through in the way I want you to or I might lose my home”, “Lord, I’m afraid to let go of my plans for my life and trust You because your plans might be painful or not be what I want”, “Mary, I’m afraid to trust you by sharing my past or real feelings because you might abandon me, reject me, or say “I’m a loser!”, etc.
Those feelings of fearing a negative result can immobilize us and convince us that we can’t trust or it is foolish for us to trust for something that will not happen. We can focus so much attention on a negative result that we fail to consider the object or source in which we place our trust. We can also hold onto the desire for the result to happen in the way we expect it and believe it is so impossible that we anticipate the result we never happen.
We will deal with expectations and the focus of our trust in a later posting. For now, understand that trusting is often difficult because of our fear of a result not happening.
b. The less we really trust, the more fear we have
The greater the level of trust we have in the source we are trusting in, the less fear we have in trusting. The opposite is also true in having greater fear when our trust is less in the source we are looking to. If I am trusting in a person who has abandoned or hurt me previously when I shared a personal feeling, I will have greater fear that they will do the same if I trust them again with my feelings. I will more than likely fear trusting others with my feelings as well. However, if I share an intimate issue about my past or something personal about myself with an audience or another person and experience acceptance, comfort, safety or confirmation, I will be more likely to share again with less or little fear. I will also have less fear trusting others with that issue as well.
- Layton, Julia. “How Fear Works,” September 13, 2005. HowStuffWorks.com.
Next time we will begin to look at the second of three reasons why trusting is so difficult and why it affects what we think, do and who we are.
As always, if you have questions, comments, suggestions on topic areas or would like to share some of your story, please email me. I would love to hear from you.
Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely tm
Copyright © 2012 by Charlotte D. Hunt All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, or otherwise without written permission from the author except for brief quotations in printed reviews.