For many people, broken trust is a dead end. It’s the end of a relationship, the end of an opportunity — sometimes even the end of self-confidence and the ability to ever trust again.
But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, I contend that broken trust can actually become a significant beginning.
If you’ve broken trust with someone else, it’s an opportunity to get your own act together, to improve your character and competence, to behave in ways that inspire trust. Hopefully this will influence the offended party to restore trust in you. But even if it doesn’t, your effort may well affect others in positive ways, and it will definitely enable you to create more high-trust relationships in the future.
If someone has broken trust with you, it’s an opportunity for you to grow in your ability to forgive, to learn how to extend Smart Trust, and to maximize whatever dividends are possible in the relationship.
In either situation, broken trust presents an opportunity for you to make huge leaps in building up your own self trust and personal credibility. As you go through the process of trying to restore trust you have lost with others, or forgiving and extending smart Trust to those who have broken trust with you, you will grow in character and competence. You will gain confidence in your own discernment and ability to establish, grow, restore, and extend trust on every level of your life.
In my own life, I’ve been on both sides of the equation. I’ve been in situations where I was micromanaged, where trust was not extended. I know the powerful negative effect that had on my own feelings of engagement, commitment, excitement, and creativity, and on the release of my energy and talent. But I’ve also been in situations where trust was extended abundantly, and I know how that trust dramatically inspired and powerfully released the best in me.
Occasionally I’ve been burned. I’ve trust people who didn’t come through. But for the most, I’ve seen the incredible results when people have come through. I’ve seen them rise up to meet the expectation. I’ve seen them energized, excited, and engaged. I’ve seen them willingly give their hearts and minds as well as their hands and backs in doing their work. I’ve seen them overcome differences, transcend difficulties, and accomplish great things — fast — because someone had the wisdom to extend trust.