Self-Trust: Reflections from Cirque du Soleil Acrobats and a Mystical Poet

Posted on December 21, 2017

The ability to nurture trust in others and in ourselves is becoming an increasingly respected core leadership practice. In the trust equation, designed by ‘The Trusted Advisor’ there are four distinct elements of trust:

Trust Worthiness = (Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy) / Self-Orientation.

‘The Trusted Advisor’ shares that ‘self-orientation’ can impact building trustworthiness the most of all four components, and that the biggest expression of self-orientation is self-preoccupation i.e. the inability to focus on the other person or the context you are in due to your preoccupation with negative self-talk or doubt in a scenario (you may be preoccupied with scanning signals in the room or trying to control what is happening, rather than engaging in the moment from a place of presence).

Thus more essential than many might realise in nurturing trust is the conscious effort required to let go of that self-doubt, and instead relax into the present moment with a quality of trust in yourself and in the situation. What this means is that:

the more we trust ourselves the more present we are able to be, the more we are able grow trust with others.

As two acrobats from Cirque du Soleil, who must frequently put their lives in one anothers’ hands share,

“trust is your relationship to the unknown, a slow and steady practice of learning about the capacity of the world, and of learning to let go so that we can focus on what is in front of us. Trust is like invisible hands that we stretch out into the world looking for someone to hold onto as we walk out into the unknown.”

Trust in ourselves fosters the ability to handle the unknown or the challenging from inside out,  by establishing within us an inner power that creates coherency and confidence between our self-belief and the immediate context we find ourselves in.

Mystic poet Rumi regularly explored the importance of trusting oneself in his teachings. Two of his most quoted reflections are

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”


“Stop acting so small, you are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

These quotes speak to that intention of letting go and surrendering to the act of being led into the unknown. By trusting yourself and the moment you are in, you draw from an inner power that then makes space for coherency between where you are and where you want to go to unfold out of your capacity to be present with the unknown.

These two teachings also speak to the coherency that can be experienced by trusting in the unfolding process of living. Rumi invites you to connect with the notion that you are a unique expression of a universe that is constantly unfolding into the unknown through evolving motion and discovery.

Both Rumi’s reflections and those shared by Cirque du Soleil acrobats invite us gently back to the inner power that resides within us, so that we might develop coherency in any context from a position of self-trust and presence in the face of the unknown.

As you look forward to 2018 and the renewed commitments, aspirations and realities you want to manifest for yourself, may you move forward with an unshakeable trust in yourself, born out of an appreciation for the inner power that lies within you. May you surrender to the unknown by following the pull of what you love and by radiating your unique presence in the universe in any context, in order to make space for the coherency that these acts can bring you.

With all our festive wishes

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