What self-trust is not

Aga Szóstek
2 min readJan 30, 2017

It may be easy to mistake self-trust with other behaviours disguising as such. Behaviours like overconfidence, superiority and righteousness. Behaviours that are everything but self-trust.

It is not really surprising that superiority is called a complex. It is a way to mask one’s inferiority. Whoever suffers from it has this annoying tendency to claim that her opinion is ALWAYS better than others. That he is more important than the rest of the people in this world. Pretty annoying if you ask me. Not that I am free of this flaw… Every now and then, when I find myself particularly threatened by a person or a situation I run to my feeling of superiority to escape facing the uncomfortable situation. It is pretty easy to think: what does this person know about this subject? Who do they think they are? Why would I ever get involved? Those excuses, whispered by Resistance, give an impression of getting me off the hook. But what they really do: they win the game of a hangman. Win it on my own permission.

So, what is self-trust all about? It is about letting go. Letting go of ambitions, expectations and convictions. Letting go of the whispers dripped into our ears by insatiable ego. Ego which is the core of Resistance.

Marianne Williamson beautifully writes in her book “A return to love”:

“Our self-perception determines our behavior. If we think we are small, limited, inadequate creatures, then we tend to behave that way, and the energy we radiate reflects those thoughts no matter what we do. If we think we are magnificent creatures with an infinite abundance of love and power to give, then we tend to behave that way. Once again, the energy around us reflects our state of awareness.”

To me self-trust is about seeing ourselves as “magnificent creatures” we really are. It doesn’t mean that we are now to become saints: a joy and pleasure to everyone. My beloved mentor and professor Kees Overbeke once said:

“People with character have this character for a reason. If you have a character it means that some people are not going to like it.”

Self-trust is about finding in ourselves the humility to see who we are with the good and the less good that lurks in us. To become aware that it is trust in our character that makes us unique. And this character is what makes us able to achieve great things. If we let it.



Aga Szóstek

author of “The Umami Strategy: Stand out by mixing business with experience design” &"Leadership by Design: The essential guide to transforming you as a leader"