How to maintain a trustful attitude

Trusting that things will be fine isn’t that simple. But it makes life so much easier. Journalist Mariska Jansen looks into what it takes to maintain a trustful attitude.

How confident we feel is not only dependent on the outside world, but also on ourselves. Personally I find it difficult to hang my confidence level on the opinions or ideas of other people, such as whether they like me or think I’m worthwhile. My self-esteem and self-confidence sometimes take a hit due to the smallest things that happen at work or in my personal life. Whether it is a disgruntled shop assistant, rude waiter or someone speaking curtly to me on the phone, I take it personally, and start to blame it on myself.

Confidence is actually a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you set out thinking that something will have a good outcome, it also usually turns out that way. ‘Those who believe in themselves go forward in life believing that they’ll graduate from school and then they’ll find a job,’ writes Dutch author and retired professor Frans Jacobs in his book Een filosofie van emoties en verlangens (‘A philosophy of emotions and desires’). ‘Meanwhile those who are scared or fearful of their future focus on the obstacles that loom before them, thereby materializing them into reality.’

I know what he means. During a presentation I once gave about a complex topic to a group of strangers, I (completely against my nature) reassured and promised myself that I was going to do well. I stayed positive and imagined a successful presentation, and it worked. Besides visualizing a positive outcome, I also had to trust myself to let go of my negative thoughts. I decided that the result would be favorable even though it wasn’t completely within my control.

  • The article ‘Everything will be okay’ can be found in Issue 21.

Text Mariska Jansen Photography Shutterstock