Confession: I am a work in progress when it comes to believing that others will come through. Part of this stems from being burned by immature people in the past.
A few years ago, I was “seeing” someone (it’s complicated), and I could only rely on him to show up to things maybe 50% of the time (even with an agreement on time, place, etc.). When he didn’t show up, the excuse was often simply that he didn’t feel like it.
While I now have the self-respect to not put up with any of that, it’s those past experiences that sometimes fuel anxiety as I’m waiting on someone, especially if I don’t know their track record. (Do they do what they say they’re going to do? Do they honor their commitments? Are they chronically late? Do they at least communicate about it?)
The thing is, I can’t control others’ behavior (nor do I want to). But I can control how I deal with my own trust issues. So one new habit I’m cultivating is believing the best in people. Believing that people are capable of growth and following through.
That’s not to say everyone can be trusted. I think it’s still wise to hold back a bit and allow people to show me what they’re made of. But I know that I’ve grown over the years, and I’ve seen growth in others. So I can open my heart and have faith that others are at least on the same trajectory. As a former pastor of mine likes to say, “If I’m going to be wrong about someone, I’d much rather it be for believing the best in them rather than believing the worst.”