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A dear friend of mine asked me if I trusted her. We are planning to help each other (she will do some business tasks, and I will coach her).

My first inclination was to say, “Well, yes, of course!” to avoid conflict and hurt feelings and because overall it’s true.

But I am committed to living a more courageous, authentic and vulnerable life. So I wanted to pause and give her the respect of a truly honest answer.

Further, today I want to recap the 9 attributes of a Worthy Self-Advocate (WSA), someone who loves him or herself and others with courage, authenticity and kindness and knows h/she is enough.

Instead of going into all nine attributes of a WSA, I want to share my friend’s and my story about Trust because I believe that it’s this trait of Self-Trust that ties together all 9 attributes.

Here is part of an email, verbatim, that I sent to my friend yesterday:

We are BOTH thin-skinned because of our highly sensitive natures, and we BOTH have a tendency to get defensive.  So let’s keep talking.  

Trust is such a complex thing, and a lot of it depends on how we feel about ourselves and if we trust ourselves.

I’m starting to trust myself much more.  I will commit to you that I will be honest with you about how I feel.  So we don’t have to guess what we’re both feeling and make assumptions that lead to conflict and resentment.  Do you agree with this approach?

I’ve worked with lots of folks, and we all have messed up thinking and feelings (including myself).  

So it’s important to realize that and that I’m not going to judge you harshly (I’m not perfect at this of course, but I think one of my gifts is being impartial and loving people where they’re at).

I’m sure I have made incorrect assumptions about you. I will call things as I see them, not to be mean to you or unfair, but to help you become aware and change your behavior so that you’re happier and get what you want.

Are you okay with this? If not, it just means that you’re not ready for something different.  Let’s face it–everyone wants transformation but very few want to change.  It takes a lot of effort, humility, and openness to change our behaviors.

As long as I show up and respect myself in how I communicate with you, I will retain self-respect. This means that I won’t resent you and disrespect you because I’ve kept my self-respect intact. Does this make sense?

Do I trust you? Not entirely because I don’t entirely trust myself yet… If I 100% trusted myself to be open and honest with you about my thoughts and feelings, then I could say I trust you.

Are you seeing how having self-respect and self-trust is where everything begins, and where we reclaim our power from people and situations outside of ourselves.

Having said this, I’m concerned I might get caught up in my EGO and become afraid of your anger and not tell you the truth of what I see.  That’s my biggest concern.  This would do both of us a disservice.  But if we can agree that we will be honest and respectful of each other no matter how vulnerable it feels,
then we will be just fine!

So to trust ourselves, we have to feel safe enough to be vulnerable. To be vulnerable, we need to feel safe enough to honestly communicate our thoughts and feelings.

When we truly trust ourselves enough to honestly communicate our vulnerable thoughts and feelings, we will know how to discern trusting others.

Because then what THEY do or say will not impact us nearly so much. We will be able to do what we want in life, not be selfish, but even more kind and of service, because we will be taking actions from a space of
loving others, not resenting them.

Could you use a little more self-trust? I teach a monthly workshop called Frontier to Your Freedom. The next one is Thursday, September 13th.

Develop more self-trust and be so much happier and freer!


Angie Monko