This was first published on KSL.com
Last year was the worst year ever for me and 2017 has started out pretty bad too. So many things have gone wrong, including my family being ripped apart and my career taking a big hit. I am a good person, I treat others right, and am a giver not a taker. I live my religion and keep the commandments, but I am not seeing the promised blessings at all. I feel God has left me on my own and out to dry. Why do these things keep happening to me? What can I do different to change the course of my life?
Because I don’t know the details that created the situation you are in, I’m not sure what changes you personally need to make to change the results you are getting. I highly recommend you get a good life coach to help you work that part out, but I can tell from your question that some of your fundamental beliefs about life and the nature of the journey aren’t accurate.
This is a common problem because most of us picked up our beliefs about life (that define how we see everything that happens to us) before we were even 7 years old. Most of these are subconscious beliefs so we aren’t (obviously) consciously aware of them and the havoc they create in our thinking. And, if we did look at them and question their accuracy, we would immediately see how flawed they are and disregard them, but because we don’t even realize we have them, we never do.
Here are a few subconscious beliefs about the nature of life many of us have (unfortunately) accepted, which create negative attitudes and feelings and lots of discouragement.
It is very common for us to misinterpret the real reason, point and purpose of our being here and our higher power’s involvement in our lives. The real purpose of this journey is simply to learn and grow to become better, more loving people, and growth requires struggle, challenges and hard times. So, would it make any sense for God to promise you that obedience would get you out of rough experiences? The very rough experiences that are required for you to grow? Would it make more sense to believe that hard times are required so we can learn and become smarter, stronger and more loving?
In my book, "Choosing Clarity," I give readers the opportunity to change many of their faulty subconscious beliefs and replace them with beliefs or perspectives that create less fear and more peace. In the book, I encourage you to choose to view the higher power in the universe as love, not someone to fear. This alone can be a life changing shift. I also encourage readers to choose to see life as a classroom, not a test, where your value is on the line. I also encourage a belief that there is order, purpose and meaning in the universe and it is working with every choice you make, to create the perfect classroom journey for you, every day.
This means your journey cannot be ruined by anyone else, because you will always get the experiences that will facilitate the lessons you need most. So, if someone injures you or breaks your heart, that has to be the perfect next lesson for you or it wouldn’t happen. I encourage my clients to trust the universe that it knows what it’s doing. At least you have the option of playing with this perspective and seeing life this way if you want to. Try this perspective on for a week or two and trust you are right where you are supposed to be, learning your perfect lessons, safe in God’s hands, no matter what happens. Just see how this perspective feels.
I know some of you will be thinking that I cannot prove this idea is truth and it might be delusional or wishful thinking, and you might be right.
But you cannot prove I'm wrong either. You can’t prove the universe is random, chaotic and without order. So, where does this leave us?
This leaves us that we each get to choose our perspective. We can see the universe as conspiring to serve us and bless us at every turn, or we can see it as chaos or ambivalent to our needs. How do you want to see it? You get to choose.
If you don’t consciously choose a perspective that feels best for you though, your subconscious mind will choose for you, and it will probably choose chaos. Chances are this has already happened and it is why you aren’t feeling peace about your life.
So here it is, the big secret to a better attitude when things go wrong in your life (and this secret comes from one of my best coaches, Sean Barnett) lies in changing one little word from the question you asked me above.
Change your question from “Why do these things keep happening to me?” to “Why do these things keep happening for me?”
You could choose to see the universe as a wise teacher constantly conspiring to serve and educate you. You could choose to look for lessons, growth and knowledge in every rough experience that comes your way. You could choose to see every mistake as a lesson you signed up for, because you apparently needed the lesson that mistake would create.
This mindset would mean you always make the right wrong choices you need to learn something from. If you married someone, but it ends in divorce, you married the perfect teacher and the divorce must have served your growth in some way. At least you have the option of seeing it this way if you want to. You might try this perspective and see how it feels.
Here are four new belief options you might use to replace the inaccurate ones above:
Hard times are not a punishment or a sign God has forgotten about you or doesn’t care, but a sign that you have the capacity to grow a lot from this challenge. Take the rough times one day, one hour or one minute at a time, and stay in trust that you will grow past this and better days are coming.
I know this, because it’s the nature of the universe that nothing lasts forever. Rainy days always end and eventually the sun comes back out. If you are really struggling with the hard times consider getting some life coaching with a certified Claritypoint coach (we have options to fit any budget).
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is the author of the book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a life coach, speaker and people skills expert.
My husband started to have a friendship with a woman, and last week he went out to see her. He promised me I didn’t have anything to worry about, but after knowing someone for so long, I could tell he wasn’t telling me the truth. He looked me in the eyes and promised me nothing happened. He even got mad at me for questioning him. The next day I pressured him a little more, and he tells me he made out with this woman in her car. I read your article, and you said “staying mad doesn’t protect you from further mistreatment.” But how does it not? How am I supposed to be able to trust him again if I am not with him, and he goes out on his own? How can I make myself trust someone that so easily looked into my eyes and lied and, not only that, promised me, and got mad at me for even questioning it? I don’t want to leave this marriage; that doesn’t feel right, but I don’t want to distrust him either. Help!
You are probably going to get comments on this article that say you should leave him, and that might be the right answer here, but remember you are the only one entitled to know what is right for you. For now, it sounds like your gut is saying you should stay though and work on the marriage, so this advice is directed to someone who wants to rekindle the flame and make their marriage work.
If you want to repair your marriage, staying mad and distrustful is not going to give you the security and peace you want. Not trusting him is also not going to create a great marriage that makes you feel loved and wanted either. In my article two weeks ago about getting more of your spouse’s attention, I urged you to figure out what outcome you really want.
If you don’t take the time to figure out what you want, in any situation, you might accidentally behave in a way that creates the opposite of what you want. Once you know what you want, you can choose behavior most likely to create that.
You probably want, more than anything, to feel secure about your spouse’s love and loyalty toward you. The question is, what behavior is most likely to create that? (There is a Clarity Questions worksheet on my website that could help you figure this out.)
Let’s look first at what won’t create love and loyalty: Suspicion, checking his phone and social media accounts, asking incessant questions about where he is and what he does, and being withdrawn, angry or bitter. No fear-based response is going to create love.
Did you get that?
No fear-based response, born of protecting oneself, is going to create more love in a relationship.
Fear-based behavior is always going to damage connections and put a larger wedge between you. The more you second-guess him and check up on him, the more he is going to pull away. If you want him to draw closer to you, you must encourage him to want to do so by being positive and loving. If you want to create more love in your marriage, you must put more love into it. You must be validating, reassuring, admiring, appreciating and giving toward your spouse.
This is not easy to do, though, when you feel hurt and betrayed, but you must try because it’s a universal law — you get what you give. If you give resentment and fear, you will get the same back. If you give distrust, you create a relationship where no one feels safe. But if you were to focus all your energy on making your spouse feel loved, you are more likely to get that back. If you focus every day on appreciating, validating and reassuring your spouse, you will feel more appreciated and safe. (If this doesn't work, then your spouse isn't really in it and commited — and this will become clear pretty fast.)
Of course, this doesn’t mean you put up with infidelity and look the other way, either. You should let him know if it happens, again, you will leave the relationship because you deserve to be treated better.
Let him know you are going to make the choice to forgive him this time, though, and pour positive love into the relationship because you want to heal it. If he is willing to recommit and get professional help, you are willing to stay. This must be a firm boundary, and you must be ready to walk if it happens again. He must know you are serious. If he thinks you won’t leave, he will not be as motivated to change. We teach people how to treat us by the behavior we allow. Let him know you love yourself too much to allow that kind of behavior, again.
Here are some things you can do to create more love and security in your marriage:
1) Work on your self-esteem. You are responsible for how YOU feel about YOU. Do not make your spouse responsible for your self-worth and expect that person to keep your bucket full. Get professional help, if necessary, to know your value, and don’t let anyone diminish it. Your spouse will feel this confidence in you and will see you as valuable, too. If you know you’re a catch, your spouse will see you as one.
2) Figure out your spouse’s love language, and love that way. Make sure your spouse feels appreciated, admired, respected and wanted daily. What does your spouse value and care about? If it's a clean house, help with that. If it's physical touch or quality time, make sure you give that. If you are not willing to invest at this level in the relationship, you aren’t really in it.
3) Instead of checking your spouse's phone or social media for inappropriate texts or websites, fill the phone with love notes, playful flirting and fun from you. Be the one that blows up the phone with validating emails, texts and “I want you” messages. The best way to ensure your spouse doesn’t stray is to be so much fun that the desire to stray isn't there. If you have trouble showing this kind of love, own that, and do some work to learn how. You aren't responsible for your spouse's choice to cheat, but pouring effort into the relationship makes cheating less likely.
4) Have fun together. Plan fun dates, travel, find hobbies to do together and create exciting moments as a couple. Be the one your spouse is making out with in the car. Make it fun and exciting to be married to you, and you will have nothing to fear.
5) Get professional help. Don’t wait until your marriage is on the brink of divorce to work on it. Constantly invest in classes, retreats and counseling or coaching to improve your relationship and keep it healthy. We have a Marriage Mastery Retreat coming up that will provide this kind of relationship "upskilling." You will leave with a guidebook about creating a thriving relationship with your unique personalities and dynamics. We will show you exactly how to fix the underlying problem.
Listen to your heart on whether this relationship can and should be saved. If your gut says your spouse is going to do it, again, or if he refuses to get professional marriage help, you may consider being strong enough to leave. If your gut says the marriage can and should be saved, commit to a love-motivated course, and make him so happy he wouldn’t want to lose you.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the president of claritypointcoaching.com and a speaker and author. Access all of her past article on marriage through her new app Get Clarity on your app store.
(loved this - just wanted to share it.)
A Tandem Ride With God
I used to think of God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there, sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I didn't really know Him.
But later on, when I met Jesus, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Jesus was in the back helping me pedal. I didn't know just when it was He suggested we change, but life has not been the same since I took the back-seat to Jesus, my Lord. He makes life exciting. When I had control, I thought I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points.
But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places and at break-through speeds; it was all I could do to hang on! Even though it often looked like madness, He said, "Pedal!" I was worried and anxious and asked, "Where are you taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into adventure. And when I'd say, "I'm scared", He'd lean back and touch my hand.
He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me their gifts to take on my journey, our journey, my Lord's and mine. And we were off again. He said, "Give the gifts away; they're extra baggage, too much weight." So I did, to the people we met, and I found in giving I received, and still our burden was light.
I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He'd wreck it, but He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, jump to clear high rocks, fly to shorten scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus.
And when I'm sure I just can't do any more, He just smiles and says... "Pedal."
This was first published on KSL.com
Every year I make a recommendation of a resolution you could make that would make the biggest difference in your life. (Look at past suggestions here — forgiveness, better communication skills, seeing all people as the same, etc.)
You have many great options, but this year I would encourage you to make one important daily goal — to trust God, the universe and the process of life more and fear and worry less.
If you trust the universe and life that they are always on your side, even conspiring to serve you and educate you every second of your life, you will see everything as a blessing and you will have more joy.
Right now, you may suffer daily fron a fear of loss, which is the fear of everything that could go wrong in your life. Right now, you may see life and the universe as random and chaotic (at least at the subconscious level). You may believe that because of free agency, we are all running around making choices that affect other people’s journeys and because of that you can lose things or opportunities you should have had. You may believe you can ruin your life or that others could ruin it. All of this leads to stress, worry, anger, distrust and misery, but there is a way out.
You could choose to see life as a perfect, divine, classroom where nothing can go wrong and you can’t lose anything you should have had, because you and the universe are always creating your perfect classroom journey, every second of every day. (When I say “perfect” I don’t mean that you are always going to like it though. I define perfect as: exactly fitting a certain situation or for a certain purpose.)
I believe the universe is a wise teacher and life is a perfect classroom. This means every experience is always the perfectly fitting lesson for each of us at that time. It means we can't lose anything unless it is our perfect classroom to lose it and if we trusted this we would suffer somewhat less.
But each of us must accept this idea as a principle of truth, for it to have power in our life, so let me explain why I believe it is truth.
Everywhere I look in the universe I see perfect order. I believe God is a God of order. I also believe his ultimate objective is the education and growth of us, his children. I believe God created this universe to be our classroom and this universe does nothing except conspire to serve and educate us, because that is its job.
I don’t believe in predestination though. I believe we have complete free agency and are co-creating our journey with the universe every day. I believe it responds to everything you think, choose, believe and do, and brings you the perfect lessons you need next.
I believe this is truth because I see so much divine order in the universe that it staggers my imagination. There are millions of coincidences operating with infinite precision all around us and they could be signs to us that a higher power is in charge. Let me give you some examples:
Myles Standish, a mathematical astronomer and a former professor at Yale University, said, "if the Earth rotated just a fraction of a percent faster or slower, or if it was just a fraction closer or further away from the sun, or if it rotated at a slightly different speed, or if the Moon were positioned differently or rotated and went around the Earth at a slightly different speed, life on Earth would not be possible."
But there is more.
Amir Aczel, author of the book "Why Science Does Not Disprove God," said, “The odds against a universe [like ours existing] with life and intelligence on it [as we are] are at most 1 to a number that has a 1 followed by 10 raised to the power of 117 zeros.”
I believe that a God, who is powerful enough to create a universe with this much perfect order, would never leave the thing he cares about most — your education — to random chance.
Do you really think he sent you down here to muddle through whatever chaos came your way, just hoping you would learn something of value from the battle?
Or do you think he is capable of creating a universe with the forces necessary to educate each soul in the exact way that soul needs to be educated?
God is the author of this whole thing, the universe, you, and your life. There are no accidents or coincidences, and we are safe in God’s hands the entire time. (At least this is a perspective you can choose to have, which will have an amazing and postiive effect on your life.)
You simply have two choices. You can see God as the author of all things and trust him, letting go of your fears, worries, expectations, attachments and misery. You can trust the universe and the process of life, go with the flow, expect amazing, interesting, educational things to come your way, and see whatever happens as perfect. Or you can keep trying to control things you can’t possibly control, resist what is and suffer a great deal.
It’s up to you.
Make a goal this year to see miracles everywhere, look for the perfect lessons in everything and trust God, the universe and the process of life that everything will work out in the end. This will make you less grouchy and less stressed, and much more happy.
You can do this.
This was first published on ksl.com
I don't know why but I don’t trust my husband. I love him, but this is a recurring battle between us. He swears that he loves me and isn’t cheating on me. He never hides his phone. I have all his passwords to everything, yet I constantly have a gut feeling he's cheating on me. I'm not sure if it's in my mind or real. How can I trust him if this nagging feeling keeps coming up?
I think your real question is, “Is this your intuition telling you something true, or are you projecting your fear and trust issues onto your spouse unfairly?”
Most of the time gut feelings are reliable and worth paying attention to, but your subconscious fears can also get in the way and muddle these messages. I had a client who had quietly known her husband wasn’t faithful for years, but didn’t act on it because she lacked confidence. She recently found out he’d been cheating on her the entire time.
Having said that, I have another client who let her fear of abandonment create a suspicion of cheating in her marriage that was completely off base. After years of being questioned and second-guessed, her poor husband finally asked for a divorce. This woman didn’t believe she was worthy of love and in the end she created that.
You must make sure your subconscious fears aren't clouding your perception of your husband. Ask yourself how often you suffer with insecurity or a fear of not being good enough or fear of loss? If these are big issues for you, or if you have felt unloved, unwanted or unappreciated in the past, there is a good chance you are projecting your subconscious fears onto your spouse.
If this is the case, you must do some work on your self-esteem. Once you can see yourself as amazing, lovable and valued, you will be better able to hear your intuition and know what's true about your husband. I strongly encourage anyone with trust issues to get some professional help. A good coach or counselor can help you get clarity on what's happening fast.
Also, understand the difference between an intuition message and a fear feeling. An intuition message from your gut is usually a peaceful one that prompts action, while fear tends to come with feelings of anxiety and stress that can paralyze you (like a deer in the headlights) and stop you from action.
Intuition is also more unemotional and focused in the moment, while fear feels emotionally charged and is usually tied to experiences from the past. If you were cheated on before or were raised to distrust men, you might bring those experiences with you into the future. If you have some of these experiences in your past it makes fear a more likely suspect.
Most people who get an intuition feeling describe it as a quiet knowing, while people who are experiencing fear are more bothered and grouchy. This is not the case 100 percent of the time, but it's a pretty good tell.
Another strong possibility, in your situation, is that you are just picking up on a detached energy coming from your spouse, because he is not fully invested in the relationship. He may not be cheating, but he may not be fully engaged in the marriage either.
If this is the case you must ask yourself if you are fully engaged. Are you fully invested in making him feel appreciated, admired, respected and wanted daily? Are you loyal to him (meaning do you give him the benefit of the doubt, have his back and create a safe place for him to be accepted as he is)? Very few marriage problems can be blamed all on one partner. Most of the time it takes two to create a broken marriage, so you must take a look at your investment level too.
Also be aware your distrust alone could be making him pull back and feel detached. If you are bringing fear energy into the relationship, you will always get fear energy back. Fear can't create love.
At the end of the day, you are going to have two choices.
He won’t trust you either. Distrust is a selfish place, where your focus is on protecting you. When people feel your distrust they subconsciously sense that you are only worried about yourself, and therefore, are not worried about them and makes them feel unsafe with you.
He will sense your fear and will lose respect for you. Fear in any form is perceived as weakness and weakness is not respected. Real strength (that comes from a place of trust and love) is what earns respect.
You will create antagonism in your relationships. When you are focused on protecting yourself all the time, it triggers the other person to focus on protecting their self. In this state, no one is giving any love and the relationship will fall apart.
You may want to try the following test and see if it brings clarity:
Make the decision that you are going to trust your husband from now on. Assume your distrustful feelings are based in your fears of inadequacy or abandonment. Then, spend the next few days fully committed to trust, work on your self-esteem, read some books on the subject or talk to a counselor or coach about overcoming your fears.
During this time, see how you feel about your decision. If you feel peaceful and calm, you are on the right track and there was nothing to fear. But if the feeling of warning won’t go away and continues to nag at you, you probably need to pay attention to it.
Most of the time (if you are still not sure what is true) it is better to choose love and trust. If you choose to trust your spouse and make him feel appreciated, admired, respected and wanted every day, and he ends up cheating, it will be his bad and his loss. He will carry the responsibility for wrecking the relationship. But if you choose to assume the worst of him and live with distrust, fear and suspicion and he doesn’t cheat, it will be you who wrecks the relationship.
I believe trust and love are the best answer.
Besides, seeing the absolute best in someone can often push him or her in that direction. If your husband thinks you think he is wonderful, kind, honest and loving, he will often try to live up to that. But if you think he is dishonest and sleazy, he might as well be that.
Tell your husband how wonderful he is and make sure he feels loved and wanted every day. People who feel adored, wanted and cherished usually don’t cheat. There are exceptions to this rule, of course. There are some situations where loving people who are fully invested in their relationship are still rejected or cheated on, but they are the exception, not the rule.
Some of us marry people who are incapable of being honest and committed. If you are in one of those relationships, getting out is your best course of action.
I recommend you choose to be fully engaged in giving love, support, appreciation and affection to your spouse; work to improve your self-esteem; and fully commit to seeing the absolute best in your partner instead of the worst. If you try this for a while and something still feels off, listen to your gut and follow it.
You can do this.
This article was first published on KSL.com
The main issue in our relationship is that my husband chooses to believe that I have cheated on him when I haven’t. I have been faithful to him. I hardly ever leave the house. I work from home and have given him no reason at all to think this. People have said to me that usually the accuser is the guilty one, but in my heart I don’t believe he has cheated on me either. I just don’t know what to do anymore. How can I get him to trust me and stop being afraid of this all the time?
You can’t really fix this on your own. Your husband will probably need some professional help to deal with his control, fear and trust issues. I will tell you a few things that may help you to understand where it's coming from though. Most people, who have deep trust issues, have experienced one or more of the following, which have created deep wounds at the subconscious level. See if any of these sound familiar.
Did he have a controlling, fearful, inconsistent, angry parent that didn’t make him feel safe?
Did he experience the loss or betrayal of a parent or loved one?
Did he have a parent who was distant, cold or unloving?
Did he have a loved one with excessive anger or control issues?
Does he have some deep, unresolved self-esteem issues, poor body image, or rejection in childhood that has stayed with him?
Was he controlled by a parent and does he project his fear of being controlled onto you, even though he is the one who is controlling?
People who grow up with a very controlling, manipulative parent or experienced loss as a child are often distrustful of their spouses. This kind of childhood pain can create powerful subconscious anger, rage, distrust or control issues which they may project onto you, even with no evidence to support it.
Some people with these kinds of childhood problems end up with conditions like narcissism or borderline personality disorder. (You may want to read about these conditions and see if the symptoms sound familiar.) If your husband has a problem like this, nothing but professional help is going to change things.
If he refuses to get help and continues to be controlling, distrustful or angry, you will have to decide if you can live with it or want out.
If the situation is not quite that serious — or in the meantime while you are waiting to get help — here are a few things experts say you could do:
Be an open book. Be totally honest about everything you do (and unafraid to be that way). Let him have total access to your cellphone, email and social media. Let him know that you have nothing to hide and no fear about him seeing everything you do. The less scared you are, the more calm you will create in your home.
Stay in trust that your value is infinite and absolute, and doesn’t change based on what he thinks, says or does. You are bulletproof and good enough all the time, no matter what mood he is in or how bad he sees you today. Your value doesn’t change! This will prevent you from being hurt or getting defensive. Let everything bounce off. I know this is hard to do but it is the only way to not get pulled into his drama and anger.
Stay calm and cool. It’s not a fight without two participants. If you are unafraid and calm it will be no fun to fight with you. You must stay bulletproof no matter what he says. When he accuses you, say, "You can choose to believe that but it doesn't make it true. I stand by my love for you." Remember that every mean comment is a projection of his pain. It is not really about you. He is miserable and scared and doesn’t want to own it alone. Seeing this situation accurately will help you not get pulled in.
Remember life is a classroom to teach us love and we always marry our greatest teachers. This is a chance for you to learn to choose love over defensiveness — at a really serious level. You must start seeing past the blame and accusations and see the wounded, scared soul that he is. When you see each comment as today’s lesson to teach you to be calm and loving, you will show up with more love for him. This mature response may calm him down, too.
I have written about this story before, but I think it really applies here. There is an old legend that a man started insulting and verbally abusing Buddha. Buddha let the man go on for a while, then asked, “May I ask you a question?” The man responded, "What?” Buddha said, “If someone offers you a gift and you decline to accept it, who does it belong to?” The man said, “Then it belongs to the person who offered it. He must keep it.” “That is correct," and with that, Buddha walked away. Number five is based on this idea.
Don’t take his distrust personally. It is not really about you. It is about his subconscious insecurity. He has some serious fear and self-worth issues and they aren’t about you. You can try to reassure and validate him, but at the end of the day you cannot be responsible for his issues or fix them. He has to do that. Keep asking him (calmly) to join you in some marriage counseling. Tell him you really want a better, happier marriage and "everyone is doing it these days." This is true, more people than ever are reaching out for professional help. Marriage counseling doesn’t have the stigma it had in the past. Explain to him that asking for help is a sign of his strength, not weakness. (As I said before, if he refuses to get help, you will have to decide if it’s your perfect journey to stick it out or leave.)
Don’t cast him as the bad guy because of these trust issues. You both are souls with infinite absolute value — the same value. He is just scared — he is not a bad person. Make sure you choose to see both of you as the same, struggling scared students in the classroom of life, doing the best you can with what you know. See him as a equal and remember that you have issues and flaws, too. If you always choose to see him as the same as you, you won’t talk down to him, which would make him even angrier.
You may want to consider burying the past together. Get two pieces of paper and each of you write all the things that your spouse has done in the past that you still have pain and hurt about. Put those lists in a shoebox and bury them in the backyard. (Bury them deep.) Make a commitment not to bring those issues up ever again unless you first go dip the box up. Unless you are willing to do that, you can’t bring those issues back. This helps to facilitate mutual forgiveness for many couples.
I know how painful these situations can be and my heart goes out to you. You may want to read my book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" for more tips on eliminating fear from your marriage.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a popular coach and speaker.
My friend thinks that I have trust issues. Apparently I have walls up and don’t let people in. I admit that I’m not quick to be vulnerable and I don’t open up to people, but is this really a problem? I’ve been burned too many times by people who only care about themselves. Is there anything wrong with being cautious?
Yes, I'm afraid there is. Having a fear-based attitude towards people can create problems. You are not alone in wanting to protect yourself though. Most of us have some trust issues when it comes to feeling safe around other people.
The problem is that distrust can create the following consequences:
1 — People won’t trust you either. Let me explain why. Distrust is fear and fear is a selfish place, where your focus is on you. When people feel your distrust they subconsciously sense that you are only worried about yourself, and therefore, are not worried about them. So, they don’t feel safe with you. There are all kinds of consequences when people don't trust you.
2 -- People will sense your fear (even if it shows up as defensiveness it’s still fear) and they will lose respect for you. Fear in any form is perceived as weakness and weakness is not respected. Real strength (that comes from a place of trust and love) is what earns respect.
3 — You will create antagonism in your relationships. When you are focused on protecting yourself all the time, it triggers the other person to focus on protecting their self. In this state, no one is giving any love and the relationship will self-destruct. You can’t build healthy relationships when you’re in fear. Love and respect can’t happen there.
4 — Distrust creates (and is caused by) self-esteem issues. Most of the time, distrust is your way of rejecting others, before they can reject you. You aren’t rejecting them because they are unworthy though, you are rejecting them because you’re afraid of being rejected and found unworthy yourself. Your own fears of not being good enough are the problem. When you understand your value is infinite and absolute, and you are in no danger of being diminished, there is nothing to fear in other people.
The real problem isn’t that you don’t trust other people. The real issue is that you don’t trust your value and you don’t have the confidence you need to protect yourself in love and strength, by speaking up to those who would mistreat you in the moment. Your fear (lack of confidence) is what makes you vulnerable — not the bad in other people.
Here are three ways you can fix your trust issues and gain real strength:
1 — Work on your self-esteem and value yourself accurately. You get to decide how you will value yourself. That’s why it’s called self-esteem. It’s about how you (self) values you.
You can choose to see yourself as bulletproof and good enough because your value is actually infinite and absolute. Your value comes from the fact that you are a divine, amazing, irreplaceable, incomparable soul and nothing can diminish you.
You can also choose to see life as a classroom, not a testing center, where your value isn’t on the line. If you see yourself this way, no situation can diminish you either. You will feel bulletproof all the time, and let most mistreatment bounce off you. It can’t hurt you without your permission.
2— Learn how to speak your truth with strength and love, in the moment. There are times you will need to speak up in your defense, but you don’t have to do it from a place of defensiveness. Because you cannot be diminished, there is nothing to defend or fear. So, you can talk to people about mistreatment with strength and love at the same time. In this place you are not making them the bad guy nor attacking them back (there is no need for that). You can confidently and respectfully ask for better treatment while honoring and respecting where they are, in their unique classroom journey. Read How to say what you mean without being mean on ksl.com, to learn more.
3 -- Be fearless through trust and love. The dictionary defines trust as: instinctive, unquestioning belief and reliance upon something. You obviously cannot unquestioningly trust or rely on other people. They will inevitably disappoint you, but you can unquestioningly trust in your value and your journey. You can trust that every situation is in your life to teach you something and help you grow. You can trust that your value is infinite and absolute. Trusting in yourself, your value, and your journey will take the fear out of most situations.
Then, you can choose love. You can decide to give people the benefit of the doubt and trust the best in them, while being the best you. If you reject people (by not trusting them) because you are afraid they will reject you. You are actually doing the very thing, you were afraid they would do to you. Think about it.
This is the bottom line — What do you want? Do you want relationships of mutual trust and respect, where both parties feel safe? Do you want people to give you the benefit of the doubt and trust your goodness? Then you are going to have to open up and trust them first.
This doesn’t mean you’re going to leave your doors unlocked or put yourself in harms way. It means you’re going to live from a place of wisdom and love, instead of fear.
You usually get what you give in this world, so, when you put out love and respect you usually get it back. Be wise but not scared. Be loving and strong instead of distrustful, and people will respect you and treat you better.
Hope this helps
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in repairing and building self-esteem.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.