Life has a harsh but brilliant way of giving us the lessons we need. The question is, do we see the truth of those lessons when they arise, or do we use them in a way that only causes us further pain?

Case in point

Let’s say you’ve been let down by someone you put your total trust in. Perhaps they betrayed you in some way, or maybe they simply weren’t there for you when you needed them the most. Either way, there are a number of things your brain can do with this information.

On the one hand, it could piece together the evidence and conclude, “I can’t trust others, people always screw you over”, or “I am innately flawed – there is something wrong with me.” And that would be very understandable. But that lovely people, is how limiting beliefs are created. We go through trauma of some sort, and whilst struggling to make sense of it all, the brain puts two and two together and comes up with some kind of theory that we then roll out into future life to stop us from getting hurt again.

Self-protection gone wrong

But the thing is, what kind of a life can we expect if, in this example, the belief is that other people cannot be trusted? The reality is a life of isolation because you put the barrier up to anyone who even tries to get close to you. And before you know it, you’re living a life devoid of true connection to the world around you. On the flip side, if you choose to believe that there is something wrong with you, you spend a life doubting yourself and most likely on a constant quest for external validation to prove yourself wrong.

2022 has been a funny year, and on reflection, for me personally, it has been a year of broken trust across many relationships – most of which have been relationships in which I showed up as my most vulnerable.

So in the early stages of processing my own personal ‘stuff’, I most certainly went down that road of ‘people can’t be trusted’ and “maybe there’s just something wrong with me.” But then I realised, there are other lessons to come out of this. Lessons that have been ignored time and time again… so it’s no wonder that life comes up to bite you on the arse in this way. Because if you don’t truly listen to life, it will keep confronting you with those cold hard lessons until you do.

Trust isn’t about others, it’s about you

In my case, the true learnings to come out of these times was not that ‘others can’t be trusted’ or that I should change myself in a bid to be someone else, but instead, the importance of trusting myself – not at the exclusion of others, but rather, building such a strong relationship with myself that I could listen to and honour my own gut instinct and intuition when it made itself known. Because across a lifetime, I can honestly say that, every time I have chosen to doubt my own judgements and ignore my gut, it has always shown up as truth in the end.

Moving past betrayal and using trust to find and enhance the ‘right’ relationships

And that’s the thing, we can build a strong relationship with ourselves in a way that does not mean sacrificing relationships with others. It simply means that you make life choices that will enhance your relationships and enable you, and those around you to be the best versions of yourselves.

So for you lovely reader, a New Year is coming, and whilst I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, I do believe in the importance of taking a step back, and taking stock of what has happened in your life over the last year.

Your turn

So, where are the learnings? Where have you been tripped up? What are the shit storms that have come up for you, and how will you choose to use them? Will you choose to create your own limiting beliefs out of them, or instead find the true lessons to take forward?