Have you ever had to rebuild trust with someone who betrayed you?

What helped you learn to trust them again?

How long did it take?

Coach Hannah, here. I’m willing to bet that there were some common elements present in the process of rebuilding trust, including:

  • Consistent behavior (i.e. the person showing up when they said they would)

  • Small gestures that built to larger ones

  • All of the above building over time

When someone hurts us, or betrays our trust in some significant way, in order to trust them again we need for them to earn it.

Typically, this doesn’t happen in one heroic gesture of trustworthiness. More often than not, it takes us seeing them as reliable in many small instances over a long period of time, before we truly believe that they are a safe person we can fully trust.

This is the same process we need to go through to rebuild trust with our bodies after an injury or pain experience.

If your upper traps have been in pain on and off for months, treating yourself to one amazing massage to “relax” those muscles isn’t going to change their trust in you as their caregiver. That is the equivalent of your lover buying you an overly large & expensive bouquet of flowers to make amends for breaking your heart. It’s not enough.

Those muscles have been telling you that things aren’t right, that they need different inputs of care, for months. That’s what pain is -- your body communicating that something isn’t working, that it doesn’t feel safe.

Each time you ignore that pain signal from your neck & shoulders (or numb it) so you can keep going, you are eroding the trust your body has in YOU to keep it safe and healthy.

The longer that goes on, the longer it may take to rebuild that trust.

This is not meant to be a chastisement, it is simply meant to help you recalibrate your expectations of change.

And to help you understand your role in rebuilding trust.

Trust is the foundation.

You need to be able to trust your body, your body needs to be able to trust you. Without that, the pain will persist. The range of motion will stay limited. You’ll feel “tight” in all the same places.

It’s so easy to fool ourselves into thinking that the heroic gesture is the answer, and that the small things we can do for ourselves aren’t enough, and therefore aren’t worth doing.

If there is one thing I’ve learned first hand from my recent injury, it’s that there is no gesture heroic enough to build that trust bridge in one go.

What has made the biggest difference is the small things, done daily, that add up slowly over time.

That’s why I get up early to do my CARs before I start training at 6:30am. It’s why I stay up a few minutes after my partner has gone to bed to do one more set of PAILs and RAILs before I call it a night. It’s why I take breaks from the computer and do my breathing exercises, even though it interrupts my writing flow.

These are the ways I show up for myself.

These are the inputs that prove to my body that I am a responsible caregiver of her needs.

These are the building blocks of trust.

To your resilience,