Trust is what allows us to believe in ourselves, in others, and in situations. When put into action, it looks like our being confident and knowing that all will be okay no matter what. Liberator of the constraints of our fears and anxiety, from a trusting place, we feel spacious, light, and more open to not knowing the answer, or okay with not being sure of what the exact outcome is going to be.

As a potent antidote to the stress and overwhelm so many of us feel today, there is no greater practice than to practice trust. By practice I mean our continuing to do a specific activity again and again in order to deepen our understanding and strengthen our skills and fluency of that very action.

The most opportune time to begin practicing trust is in the very moment you feel your confidence wane, and your anxiety rise diminishing your belief in yourself, or in another, or in the likelihood of an outcome you were hoping and wishing for.

We all know when we start heading down this rabbit hole of hopelessness and defeat to that dark place where pessimism trumps optimism. In this familiar scenario, we become our own worst enemies by convincing ourselves that nothing good could possibly happen. Most notably, we do this even after spending significant periods of time being so confident, hopeful, and positive. Crazy making right!

The most wonderful and powerful quality of trust is that we can keep growing and strengthening it within ourselves even after it feels like we have lost it completely. This growth-strengthening quality is what makes practicing trust so positive and rewarding. So before you go completely down that rabbit hole, use the following steps to start practicing trust again, and again, and again!

Step 1)
NOTICE: (as best you can) when you are feeling despair and disbelief in yourself, or in another, or in a desired outcome of a situation.

STAND BACK: get some distance be it physical, or mental. Physical distance looks like literally moving away from the situation. Take a break, a walk, call a friend (but don’t talk about your despair!) Mental distance means ceasing all thoughts of what’s going on. Change your thoughts but first mark your transitioning into having new ones with breath. Take deep inhalations followed by big exhalations. Do this at least 3 times! Then with a clearer mind allow yourself to experience other thoughts apart from any negative doubting ones. Not always easy but you can do it!

RETURN:Here is where you re-engage yourself to your original despair but in an empowering way. You do this by telling yourself: “I can’t believe I am allowing myself to go down the rabbit hole of despair. As hard as things seem right now, I do not want to choose despair even though I honestly am afraid things are not going to work, or that I can’t do what I said I wanted, or I won’t receive what I asked for….”

CHOOSE- Here is the final part in which you tell yourself: “I am not choosing despair. I am not choosing to be cynical. I am choosing instead to practice trust in this moment by trusting that what I want, what I need, what I hope for, will and can unfold. I am choosing to accept that anything right now is possible and to be in the possibility that what I want, need, and wish for will prevail in the ways that I can imagine, and also in ways that I could never have imagined. I am willing to trust and be open here and right now.” Then, take a big inhalation followed by a strong exhalation 3 times to complete this final step.

After doing these 4 steps you will most probably notice a positive shift. And while this change might be small, and not have brought you back completely to a more comfortable zone of optimism and confidence, keep building upon the positive here.Keep going-Practice again and again: Notice, Stand Back, Return, and Choose. Make this your mantra.

And remember, TRUST is always available for us to grow into in bigger and more profound ways.

Author's Bio: 

Susanna Kearney is a clinical psychotherapist, life coach, and ordained Interfaith Minister with decades of experience helping women to find self-fulfillment. She coaches women both professionally and personally through her company, Creating Space For Women. She's currently working on her first to-be-published book and living in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her husband and two teenaged sons.