How Trust and Fear Play Together in Your Business

When I was a psychotherapist, I used a very simple model of exchanging my time for the clients’ money. A session was arranged, the time went by, and at the end of the hour, the client would hand over money to me, often in the form of cash. The agreement was clear – payment was being made for my time. When it was cash, any trust involved ended at the point of the cash being handed over. When payment was made by cheque, trust began immediately to operate in a far larger way – I trusted that they had the money in their bank account to honour their cheque. I trusted that the bank would do its job properly. Once again, though, when the payment had gone through the bank, the trust involved in that transaction ended.

Trust is inherent in any business, whether it is at this simple level of trading time for money, or at a more complex level of invoicing someone for your services, and waiting for them to pay you. Of course, sometimes this system doesn’t work, but most of the time it does. The people involved at all the different levels of the business simply trust that what someone has said will happen, will.

But what happens when the systems you thought you could trust fall apart? What happens when your trust is eroded by a colleague? What happens when your bank, whom you have trusted to look after your money on your behalf, collapses?

What happens is very often a spiral down into the murky depths of fear. And when fear gets awakened, it spreads it tentacles out into all kinds of other areas. Suddenly, it’s easy to imagine that your clients or customers might also be customers of the bank that collapsed, and that they won’t pay you. And then what will you do? Or perhaps someone you know does go bankrupt and it severely affects your cashflow.  You start worrying, and it’s always the same question. What will I do? Or your credit card goes missing and before you know it, someone else has racked up several thousands in debt on that card. Where does trust disappear to when things like this happen?

It gets buried under the fear. Fear feeds on itself – it is always about the past or the future (as quoted by Miranda Macpherson, on a recent workshop I attended about Cultivating Trust). It loves the past:  ‘I wish I had….’, ‘Why did I do that….?’ ‘It’s happened before, it’ll happen again.’ And it feeds on the future too, in the form of ‘What if….’ (which is nearly always imagined as a negative scenario), or ‘How will I cope? Will I survive?’

Even just in these phrases you can see by the use of the verbs that these instances are all about the past and the future. There is no place for fear in the present. Yes, you can say I am afraid right now – but that is simply acknowledging the feeling in the moment, and the one thing that can be guaranteed about feelings is that they can begin to change as soon as they are acknowledged.  This explains why you can be feeling afraid one minute, and happy the next, even when outer circumstances haven’t changed.

So when your business has ups and downs, when outer circumstances that perhaps you can’t control come to visit you, watch out to see whether fear tries to dominate the visit. It’s OK if it comes knocking at the door, in fact, it is often completely understandable that it does. Acknowledge its presence. Behave towards yourself with compassion, kindness, and allowing of the presence of the feeling. But turn it away at the door.

It does not need to come and stay with you for days on end. Listen to its message if it has one for you – and then close the door, and turn once again inwards, looking towards where trust IS present, what you CAN do in whatever circumstances you are in, and where love STILL IS occurring in your life. And when you act from that place in your day to day business, you will be generating more of the same, and your world will begin to breed even more trust, love and other delicious feelings. The regular practice of this is part of what being in a spiritual business is all about.

5 thoughts on “How Trust and Fear Play Together in Your Business

  1. I loved this post. Perfect timing for me. I am a veteran of daily working out for 20 years now. 60 to 90 minutes a day. Good, hard workouts. Something happened to my knee and it has completely slowed me down. It has me stressed because treatment costs money. I have the money, but choose to spend it on other things. The biggest fear, however, is loosing muscle, gaining weight. As I read the post, I go in to see the old days of anorexia still at work here. I trust that the purpose is to slow me down, give my body time to heal and spend that time with my higher self, redesigning how I will proceed in the future. I know, really know, it will all work out better than I can imagine. I just need to trust what I know and allow life and healing to unfold. Thanks for giving me the time to feel this and put it in writing.

  2. Thanks for this Jane. I’ve been having awful backpain for some weeks now and realised that I was becoming afraid that my body doesn’t know how to heal itself. In slowing right down I am learning that life goes on, I can still do some work and earn money. I was afraid that I couldn’t manage pain and be happy – that being in pain equals being miserable. Today I am in pain but feeling good – that’s a new one for me! And it’s down to the fact that I’ve stopped being afraid – one way or the other I will get out of pain and stay out of it – I just need to be patient. love to you and Philip in Aberdeen.

    • Wow. ‘Today I am in pain and feeling good’ – this is great. I’m delighted you have been able to feel this, Delcia. Thanks for posting.

  3. And here’s a poem for my fears,
    My friends you’ve been with me for years.
    I hear all you ghoulish thoughts,
    and learn from your experience.

    I love the image of opening the door to fear, listening to its message, then closing the door and attending to the safe and good things in life.

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