Kelly: What are your thoughts on self-trust and eliminating self-doubt? With every single client, those things are at the center of the conversation. “I just want to trust myself,” “I just want to feel more at ease,” “I don’t want to doubt everything I think and feel.”
Jeff: So, here is one of those foundational changes; I don’t use the word trust. And I don’t really use the word doubt. Trust is your range of safety between your fear triggers. It isn’t about finding people and situations that we can trust, it is about letting go of our internal fear because then you don’t need trust. If I don’t place any value on what someone else is going to do, I don’t need to trust them.
Kelly: Okay, so what about self-trust?
Jeff: It is the same thing, if I don’t fear myself, what is there to trust? If I am just being … like one of the things I was telling my friend Shawna about yesterday is how much fun I have playing with the two-year-old from next door. Because everything with a two-year-old is “right now.” There is no yesterday, there is no tomorrow, there isn’t even five minutes from now. There is no should, could, would, none of those things. There is only right now. She doesn’t dwell on yesterday or fear tomorrow. She isn’t looking to trust or confirm our connection. She just shows up. So, it is a fantastic opportunity for me to be “right now.”
I don’t have to trust that she is going to like me tomorrow, or anything. I can just be myself. I can be playful and wacky, loving and affectionate and she does whatever she wants to do with that. And she does the same thing because she is just being herself. Trust never enters the thought/feeling process.
There are places where we do the same things and places where we do things a little bit differently and then we decide what action we are willing to take in the moment to stay in relationship. Like if she wants to climb up the stairs and scoot down on her butt and she wants me to do it with her, I decide in that moment “Yeah, I’ll go up the stairs and scoot down on my butt with you.”
And for me, it becomes, how can I loosen my hips, create some sort of physical benefit for myself at the same time but also really choosing to stay in relationship with her. It becomes a choice to be playful. It doesn’t require any trust. It requires an intention (be in the moment) and a trajectory (increasing playfulness and connection).