Building self trust involves taking care of the little things

Building self trust: How to start doing it today

It's like playing a game of poker: it involves risk, making the most of the hand you have and putting your winnings into your Trust Bank.

Building self trust is a process that will move you forward fast—and keep you there. Here's how to do it.

We're going to use some mental props to get you in the mood: you'll need imaginary poker chips, a private trust bank and a desire to push the envelope in your own best interests.

We all have what Matt Lavars, head trainer at The Coaching Institute, likes to call a Trust Bank. "It works like a normal bank," says Matt.

"If we invest into the Trust Bank with regular deposits, our trust grows. "

Certain actions that we take to invest in our Trust Bank mean we'll have more personal trust, self belief and confidence, but as with real money and banks, other situations in life will take away from it.

And staying in the black instead of dipping into the red is what we want to avoid.

Here's where the chips come into play. Building self trust is like playing a game of poker.  It's all about taking risks, making bets, with the idea that you want to end up with the most chips.

Because the person with the most chips wins the game.

Going into your mental poker game, think about building self esteem as an exercise in 'how much do I trust me to handle a situation and follow through on what I said I'm going to do?'" says Matt.

Okay, deal the cards.

The scenario is one player has 10 chips, and the other 100. Which person will take more risks? Yep, the player with 100 chips.

Why? Simple. They have more to lose. If they lose 10 chips, they still have a stack to play with. But if the other player loses just one chip, they're 10 per cent down. If they lose five, they're down to half what they have in hand.

Meanwhile, the player with 100 chips can afford to lose five. They have a buffer and will keep playing, keep taking risks, keep pushing the envelope and keep seeing opportunity. They won't have fear.

"Now self trust and self esteem is very much like poker chips," says Matt.

"If you have a little amount of self  trust you won't want to take many risks because if you make a mistake it kind of feels you're going ot lose everything.

"If you have a lot of self trust and self esteem and lose, it doesn't matter if you make a mistake. You can handle mistakes. That's what self trust is."

So, how do we do this?

Here's another way to look at building self esteem.

Imagine we've fast forwarded six months and the world is open for business again. The Coaching Institute is having a face to face training in Melbourne and you're coming. You ask the neighbours to look after your cat but when you get home from the weekend, they haven't done what they said they would.

The cat wasn't fed or looked after. They apologise. You accept it—but do you have the same amount of trust in them? Maybe not. But you have enough that next time you go away, you ask them again to look after the cat.

Bu-bow. Second time around, they were busy with family stuff so the cat went hungry. More trust flows out of their Trust Bank.

Then comes the clincher: your next weekend away is child free. You need someone to look after your kids. Do you ask the neighbour?

"I'm sure the answer for most people would be no," says Matt.

"Because if you or I can't take care of the little things, we can't take care of the big things."

That right there is the key to building self esteem. Go through this check list:

—The most important relationship you have is with yourself. Are you keeping the promises you make to yourself?

—If the answer is no, it's okay. Start again. We all have the opportunity to reset.

—If the answer is yes, congratulations. You already know we invest in our Trust Bank when we say we're going to do something, from washing the car to cooking dinner to studying to working out. When we don't, we erode it.

—Aim for about 90 per cent compliance because nobody's perfect. Now and again you're going to make a mistake. Just remember that saying you'll do something for yourself then not doing it is letting yourself down, even if nobody else is involved.

"I want to encourage you to start this today," says Matt.

"One of the decision making processes I make is asking, 'Is this going to move me further away or closer towards knowing myself?' If the answer is yes, I'm going to do it."

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