Learning to Trust All Over Again


I thought I would wait until Monday to post this but really wanted to get all the thoughts down on paper today while it was fresh in my mind so decided to share it today.  

At last night’s Share Class/Happy Hour, we watched Brene Brown breakdown the Anatomy of Trust and how we can each decide which principles of trust we need to work on in our own relationships and lives. Below is a brief summary of Brene’s talk.


First off, what exactly is trust?

We all use this word in a “ethereal” sense but what exactly is it? Brene defines it as choosing to make something important to you, vulnerable to the actions of someone else. Then we have distrust on the opposite end of the spectrum and she defines it as deciding what is important to me is not safe with another person.

The concept of trust and truly cultivating trust in your life is something we all struggle with. Brene broke it down in such a way to show that there are key elements that impact our levels of trust and ultimately demonstrated it by sharing a “marble jar” story.

marble jar

Brene uses the acronym of B-R-A-V-I-N-G (representative of marbles in our jar that have been earned) as a checklist to help us measure levels of trust in our relationships with others and most importantly, with ourselves.

An In-Depth Look at B-R-A-V-I-N-G


B – Boundaries: Being clear on what is okay and not okay.

R – Reliability: Doing what you say you are going to do, over and over again.

A – Accountability: Being responsible for our own behavior and being willing to buck up and admit our mistakes.

V – Vault: What I share with you, you will hold in confidence; and vice-versa. In a nutshell, do not share things that are not yours to share. It’s a combination of refraining from gossip, demonstrating empathy for others and not getting sucked into the “drama” of things. What tends to happen is we share things as a way to hotwire connection with a friend. Our closeness is built on talking bad about other people. Brene calls it
“common enemy intimacy” where our relationship is built on hating the same people” which ultimately is counterfeit trust. It’s learning to respect your own story and other people’s stories.  

I – Integrity: Choosing courage over comfort, choosing what is right instead of what is fun, fast, easy and practicing your values instead of just professing them.

N = Nonjudgment: Ask for help without being judged and vice-versa. We are all better at helping than asking for help. If you can’t ask for help, that is not a trusting relationship.

G – Generosity: Assuming positive intent and the most generous things about other people’s words, intentions and behaviors and being willing to check in if you are feeling otherwise.


Trust isn’t just about others, it’s about taking a hard look at yourself

Most of us resort to negative self-talk when we mess up in life; and Brene says that this is a loss of self-trust.

Self-trust is braving self-love and self-respect.

If your own jar isn’t full, you can’t count on yourself. Examine how you treat yourself. You can’t ask people to give to us something we do not believe that we are worthy of receiving.

You will know you are worthy of receiving it when you trust yourself above everyone else.

Take a hard look in the mirror and reflect on how you are b-r-a-v-i-n-g trust for yourself. Ask yourself these questions

  • Was I clear about what’s okay and not okay, ultimately setting and respecting your own boundaries?
  • Did I do what I said I was going to do? Was I reliable?
  • Did I hold myself accountable?
  • Did I respect the vault and share accordingly?
  • Did I act from my integrity (living out your values instead of just professing them)?
  • Did I ask for what I needed? Was I non-judgmental about needing and asking for help?
  • Was I generous towards myself?” – This one is huge, think about how mean we are to ourselves. Be nice to yourself.



Marble Jar Card

We passed out “marble jar” cards for everyone to take and pass on to their “true” marble jar friends. We asked each person to also take one for themselves and count themselves as their own “marble jar” friend.

marble jar friend card

Always Learning, Always Growing

Trust is built in the smallest of moments – even as infinitesimal as asking how others are, how their family members are doing, etc.

There is the opportunity to build trust or there is the opportunity to betray.

To choose not to connect when the opportunity arises is a moment of betrayal (i.e. avoiding someone because you don’t want to have to deal with them).

We have to share our stories and our hard stuff with people whose marble jars are full. People who have really over time, done those small things that have helped us believe that they’re worth our story.

Doing Your Homework

I think we all walked away with a sense that we need to self-reflect and see where we can offer improvement and tweaks in our own lives.

In the end, I really believe it is never about anyone else, “it’s about you and your “home” work, your “soul” work”.  


Hope you enjoyed this summary friends.  As always, you can find more at Sharing Our Life, Love and Food.

4 thoughts on “Learning to Trust All Over Again

  1. This one hit home for me! I’m sharing it with my family in little pieces & especially with my 6th grader as she is approaching those years of trying to figure out who she is & what a “true” friend is. Thanks Elayne & Brene! 😀

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