Intent Blog

Why Trust will Help you Be More Successful

Trust is something which is often mentioned as a virtue. People have often said to me in the past “you should be more trusting”. Unfortunately, the benefits of trust are often overlooked. We tend to not fully realize how trust can help you be more successful.

But what precisely is meant by trust? Well, when you trust a person you are convinced that they are not going to let you down, they will look after you. In most cases what we have in mind when talking of trust is the trust we give to a person. Trust, however, is an attitude we can have towards the universe and our entire lives, not just a single person. People that trust the universe have a sense that things will be okay.  This is a deep-seated, though often very subtle, sense of security, a sense of being looked after without having to control everything.

It is this kind of trust, the trust towards the universe, that is the most profound and valuable trust we can cultivate. The ability to trust that things will work out is an indispensably useful quality to have. But how does this trust help us become more successful?

Trust helps people take risks

To be successful, it is necessary that you put yourself out there. But, putting yourself out there is about taking risks. To be successful you have to explore new horizons and go where you haven’t gone before. You have to push your own boundaries and do things you thought you would never be able to do.

Doing this is hard. Not everyone is able to take the risk they need to take when they need to take it. But, having a deep sense of trust, having faith that everything will be alright, helps a great deal when it comes to taking a risk.  Trust is related to courage. When you trust, you are more likely to be courageous. Trust makes risks seem less risky.

Trust makes people be more positive

People who are very trusting are far more likely to see the brighter side of things. These people are infused with a general sense that things will be ok. Very often it is infectious. We love to be around this sort of person because they make us feel that everything will be ok. They give off an air of dependability and make us feel secure.

This positivity affects the way in which people make decisions. Such a person will be much more prone to decided on the basis of the pursuit of something positive than the avoidance of something negative. This is conducive to decisions that tend to result in more progressive outcomes.

Trust allows people to let go of control

The natural response when you do not trust is to try and control everything to make sure that this work out in a particular way. Highly distrustful people tend to be very controlling. Whilst it may be good in a sense to be in control, the unbalanced drive to control everything tends to be detrimental for sound decision making.

The strong desire to control everything will often result in a hasty decision or a decision that fails to take everything into consideration. To make a sound decision we have to only maintain a soft hand on the outcome. We must have a sense of where we want to go but we must have enough trust to follow the most natural path there, even if it doesn’t always look like it is heading in the right direction. The road to Cape Town does not go in a straight line. If you want to drive as the crow flies the consequences will be bad.

Assad holds a Masters in Philosophy from the University of the Witwatersrand and is currently a PhD candidate. He is the editor of the Schuitema blog and is a regular facilitator of the company's Care and Growth and Mentoring for Mastery programs. He also has 5 years experience lecturing and tutoring Philosophy at Wits.