Trust is a decision made in the moment to assure the reliance of the character, ability, strength, or truth of self, someone or something.
Trust as it relates to performance, provides the confidence that a task can be accomplished by you, in your relationship or with your team.
Trust is the hardest quality to achieve and maintain and the fastest to lose. To trust you have to believe deeply, be virtually consistent and never waiver under pressure, fear or serious doubt.
One false moment and you are caught in not knowing what you believe in. Worse yet, you put yourself in a dangerous spot: I remember learning how to surf at a spot known for its potential to beat you up. One moment I knew I was destined for greatness, the next moment I paused when I should have responded with trust and I was looking down at a bare reef.
To build trust in yourself you need to be consistent in your effort, avoid being critical and judgmental, acknowledge your positive achievements and give yourself credit for the good you have accomplished in the past.
As an athlete, to achieve trust you must learn to settle-down during the warm up or preparation phase and practice seeing and feeling yourself being able to complete the movement or movements and skills in question. Be sure to feel that the sensations and feelings that signal your form, tempo and intensity are appropriate.
At the completion of this phase you need to affirm your skill level, “Yes, I can complete these movements and skills in question under pressure.”
To maintain trust during the execution phase you must develop the mindset that allows you to express the fire and passion you have for performing these movements and skills in practice and competition. Be sure to welcome the opportunity to work hard and focus on giving the effort needed to be successful and feel the satisfaction in getting the job done. The affirmation that goes with performing at this level is “Yes, I am up for this challenge!”
Note: In the moments after a poor or disastrous performance, you must be able to see and feel the opportunity to strengthen or regain the trust in your ability to improve your performance. You need to evaluate the results of your efforts in terms of what you have done well, what needs improvement, and what decisions have you made for regaining the trust in this regard.
The affirmation that goes with improving or regaining trust is “Yes, I will do whatever is required to perform my movements and skills at the highest level!"
When “trust” is established and maintained in your performance and life, you will notice a letting go of sorts. The work becomes easier, you will enjoy it more and you will be able to take risks and perhaps battle. In the heat of competition, you will be able to go one on one with the distractions and win.
If you work really hard, you may experience the flow state, sometimes referred to as being in the zone. It is a mental state in which you are fully immersed in a feeling of an energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.
In essence, flow is characterized by the complete absorption in what one does, and a result in a transformation in one's sense of time. In addition, the energy that you expend will come back to you in the form of satisfaction and joy.
Trust in yourself and your ability to focus on the passion and the mental strength you need to get better at what you love to do is indeed a wonderful and precious gift. There is joy and a huge sense of security and acceptance of self in learning to trust.
In the case of injury, illness or age, the trust in your ability to perform will be challenged by the need to accept change and make the appropriate adjustments to your expectations.