8 February 2012

Trust yourself

I'm reading a book at the moment called 'The Speed of Trust' by Stephen M. R. Covey.  Last week I met with a former colleague, Andrew McKenzie, to share what we've drawn from the first few chapters.  We both established that within the first chapter alone, we were already looking at our relationships at work and at home and how the word 'trust' now seemed to have a connection with pretty much everything we do.  As the book claims...it's the one thing that changes everything.  The reason I raise it here is because earlier this week my swimming coach bellowed out to me... 'Trust yourself Rose!' 

When I started my training for Rotto back in October I quite rightly placed myself at the back of the slowest lane.  I did struggle to keep up and I had to stop often to catch my breath.  The last time I'd trained in a squad was four years ago, leading up to the English Channel swim.  After a few weeks my strength returned and I felt at ease with the water again.  After about 3 months, I was the fastest in the lane.  What I reflect on now is my behaviour everytime I arrived at squad - even though I was the fastest in the lane, I would still place myself at the back and often get very frustrated at the fact I couldn't go my normal speed.  I didn't trust myself that I could lead the lane and keep the pace!

While reflecting on how I handle swim squad, I've looked back at how I do the same with so many parts of my life.  I vividly remember a parents evening at school when I was 15.  We had a 1-2-1 with my history teacher, who I greatly admired.  He said 'Rose often knows the answer, but never raises her hand to offer it'.  I used to sit in class and wait for someone else to speak the answer..just in case I got it wrong!  Sometimes we'd wait a couple of minutes..even when I knew the answer but never said anything!  Fifteen years on I don't think I have changed this about myself, but I think my increased confidence has guided me to where I am now.  I have wondered in the last week, however, if I truly trusted myself, what is the extent of what I can actually achieve.  Have I jeopardised my potential purely because I haven't trusted myself?

This is a big lesson for me and something I'll be reflecting on for quite a while.  Meanwhile..I'm now swimming in lane 2 and I will make a conscious effort to trust myself and see where it leads!

"Trust yourself..you know more than you think you do"  
- Benjamin Spock

Swimming in Oulu, Finland, where the water temp is -0.1 degrees


  1. Excellent post Rose, and something I can really relate to myself - trusting yourself, and having confidence in your own ability is one of the things I find hardest.

    I do the same thing as you have been in running races. Even though I would be one of the faster runners there, I wouldn't line up in the 'Elite' Section, but would jump in the next best timing group. I'd then get frustrated that I wasn't able to start at my own pace or run with people consistently throughout the run. I did this for about 3 years and finally wised-up that I can trust myself enough to be further ahead... unfortunately, I've since had a knee injury and am learning to 'trust' that now too!

    I too am pretty sure that we can do many things that we don't think we're capable of, and am often worried that we're wasting our potential along the way...

  2. Thank Nige for sharing your experience! I also think that by 'trusting yourself' it ties in closely with pushing yourself and often being out of your comfort zone. However, if we don't trust ourselves and don't push ourselves, then we don't learn how far we can go. If we try to be more conscious of trusting ourselves I think we're half way to finding out our real potential!