Trust yourself first and foremost
"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Trust is at the core of all meaningful relationships. Without trust there can be no giving, no bonding, and no risk-taking. Yet, if you've experienced betrayal, trust may become a challenge.
Me, I was an overly trusting child until a series of events systematically eroded both my self-confidence and trust in others. Eventually it led to mistrusting myself in certain areas of my life, too. My 30s were spent consciously learning how to trust myself, and art was the vehicle for that.
Every cement fresco I make is a lesson in trust:
Trust in myself, my path, and my abilities.
Trust in the people around me.
Trust in life, itself.
"You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don't trust enough." ― Frank Crane
If you don't trust yourself, life can be a scary experience. You'll fear being vulnerable and taking risks. It also means you'll lose out on wonderful experiences. Worse, if you don't trust yourself and your intuition you might wrongly give your trust to those who don't deserve it.
Is it easier for you to trust others than yourself? Just think about how easily you give your trust to a doctor prescribing drugs, the babysitter who cares for your child, or even your local bus driver.
Experience plays a large role in whom you trust and how much you trust them. Once trust has been betrayed, most people will be less trusting the next time around. The good news is that over a period of time your trust can be rebuilt with repeated positive experiences.
The way back is to trust yourself, first and foremost. I wish I had figured that out sooner because I learned to trust in life first and then in the people who had earned my trust through positive experience. The last thing I learned was to trust in myself.
What I've learned is that, ultimately, the issue was whether I could trust myself to make wise decisions. Can I let go of fear and let my guard down? Do I dare to open myself up and risk being vulnerable? Will I be honest with myself about my feelings? Have I surrounded myself with people who will treat me right? Can I allow myself to be vulnerable, despite what has happened in the past?
Like I said, every fresco is a lesson in trust. Each artwork begins as a clean slate, and that's what scares me ― because even though I'm an artist, I'm afraid to create. (What if it's an abomination? What if I don't like it? What if it turns out to be a waste of time and money?)
Face your fears head-on.
Getting myself to start an artwork is the equivalent of getting a singer with stage fright onto a stage. Sometimes I stall for days or weeks. Once I get going though, the tightness and nervousness diminish, and eventually I ease into my creation process, which is 100% spontaneous. Then I really start to enjoy myself and don't want my time creating to end.
Every time I finish a piece I feel proud of myself and wonder why it was so hard for me to begin!