Last year, I was in the midst of the third huge wildfire I had endured on the US West Coast and packing my car for the second time in a week. My nerves were shot. COVID was full on as well, and this fire was just one trauma too many. I decided to call a dear friend from my hometown who had also been through the same and ask for moral support. I told her I was worried I wouldn’t pack what I needed before I headed out by car to a Red Cross shelter. Would she guide me in making a list? She said three words: “You got this.” In that moment, my mind became calm and clear, and I was anchored in trust. I did have this! I needed to trust myself and do what was in front of me to do.

In this country right now, we have an epidemic of mistrust. A number of us don’t trust the government, healthcare, food safety, or the vaccine. Some of us don’t even trust our own families! This lack of trust creates problems for us in every arena, including our professional lives. You may wonder how developing trust could possibly benefit your business. Well, let’s look at trust from a few different angles.

Trust as faith
When we are young, it helps if we can have faith in the wisdom, protection, and guidance of our parents and caregivers. Later, we benefit if we can have faith in our teachers, that they will convey to us the information and skill sets we need to go on in education and in our lives. And if we have a major professional goal, generally, we seek ever more highly skilled guides along the way, people whom we can trust to help us get where we want to go.

Trust as commitment
We need commitment to do what it takes to reach our goals. On my own yoga path, I have a decades-long commitment to daily practice. This commitment has given me an anchor that has held me firm through the most difficult times in my life. We have ups and downs in business and especially if we’re in a leadership position, so commitment to our vision and purpose and values is essential to carry us through challenges.

Trust as reliability
When we are part of a group, we need reliability within that group. We learn to rely on other members of our team, each playing their part, using their unique gifts at the right time. Mutual reliability makes a team operate as a mighty force in moving toward a goal. Trust grows through our experience together over time by each one of us being reliable. We rely on partners to have our back as we have theirs. If even one person in a group is unreliable, the power of the group is lessened and success might not be possible.

Trust as confidence
Self-confidence is always the underpinning of personal achievement. I remember as a dancer, after many years of dedication to the instructions of my teachers, when it was time to audition, I had to have confidence that I knew what to do. As one of my teachers said to me early on, “If you’re going to make a mistake, make a big one.” At a certain point, I simply let go altogether and let it fly. I will never forget that series of leaps where I felt absolutely weightless to soar, free and ecstatic. My body had imbibed confidence, and my mind had been set free. It was time to dance.

The same is true with any endeavor in our lives. You study, you learn, you practice—and then at some point the structure that supports your dependence is gone. You come to realize that no guide is meant to be with you forever. Except one. At some point you have to believe in yourself. Trust.

At some point you know: you got this!