When one is recovering from emotional wounds, trusting others again is can be very difficult. I’ve been struggling with this and I’m trying to find a balance between being naive and trusting others to build relationships. Although I haven’t read Brené Brown‘s ‘Rising Strong’, I came across something from the book has given me inspiration to start braving to trust again.
Brené quotes Charles Feltman, author of The Thin Book of Trust, who describes trust as “choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions.” Meanwhile, distrust is deciding that “what is important to me is not safe with this person in this situation (or any situation).”
While the exploration of trust and the cultivation of self-trust may seem elusive, Brené Brown provides clarity by offering a mnemonic. This mnemonic serves as a practical checklist, encapsulating the essential elements that shape our trust levels in relationships—both with others and within ourselves.
BRAVING To Trust
B – Boundaries are like barriers that help us let good things into our lives while keeping the bad things out. These “things” can include people, experiences, information, emotions, and more.
R – Reliability is about doing what we say we’ll do, when we say we’ll do it. It’s also about being aware of our strengths and limitations and acting accordingly.
A – Accountability means taking responsibility for our behavior, including making amends when we make mistakes.
V – Vault – this is like boundaries but has its own importance. It’s about not sharing experiences that aren’t ours to share. This means avoiding gossip, showing empathy for others, and steering clear of drama-driven situations.
I – Integrity is when our actions match our words, and we live by our values instead of just talking about them. Brené Brown adds the idea of “choosing courage over comfort”.
N – Non-Judgment is the ability to express our needs and feelings without fear of being judged, and it goes both ways for others.
G – Generosity involves giving others the benefit of the doubt, assuming the best intentions behind their words and actions.
BRAVING and Self-Trust
As Brené explains, the mnemonic can be applied to self-trust too.
“B – Did I respect my own boundaries? Was I clear about what’s okay and what’s not okay?
R—Was I reliable? Did I do what I said I was going to do?
A—Did I hold myself accountable?
V—Did I respect the vault and share accordingly?
I—Did I act from my integrity?
N—Did I ask for what I needed? Was I nonjudgemental about needing help?
G—Was I generous towards myself?”
I’m finding this particularly useful to review how 2023 went for me.
This is Day 61 of My 66-day Journey of Healing Through Writing and Sharing.