Rebuilding Trust: How to Reclaim Your Self-Trust After Hitting Rock Bottom

Craig Stanland
3 min readNov 30, 2023

The torture of self-distrust is one of the worst pains I’ve ever known.

What is self-trust?

It’s the ability to make a decision that aligns with who you are and who you want to be.

It’s the knowledge that whatever the consequence of that decision, you will be OK.

Good or Bad — You trust yourself to handle whatever may come.

Self-trust is one of the most powerful forces in the Universe. It’s a foundational piece of an extraordinary life.

Self-trust is to know you are Enough, Worthy, Capable, and Resilient.

A fork appears on our path when faced with a choice/decision.

One direction: Lying, Hiding, Avoiding

The other direction? Speaking your truth, being honest.

When we lose sight of who we are and what’s important, we lose sight of the correct path.

Often, we choose the most efficient, easy path: Lying.

We seek to avoid some future outcome we’ve fabricated in our minds.

When we do this, we give up more than we know, realizing only when it’s too late.

We sacrifice long-term peace for short-term temporary comfort.

We destroy our self-trust because we are going against our higher selves.

I chose the easy path. I could have been honest with my wife and with myself.

But I wasn’t. I acted out of fear.

The consequence? A 2-year federal prison sentence and losing absolutely everything.

No identity, no self-worth, no self-trust.

I wanted nothing more than to die. I wished for the hand of death to take me in my sleep in my prison bunk. I woke up devasted every morning when I saw the light of a new day.

That’s what the extreme of not trusting yourself feels like.

I destroyed my self-trust, and rebuilding it’s been a hell of a journey.

Here are 5 key elements I implemented to cultivate my Self-Trust:

  • Think outside of myself



Craig Stanland

I write about my journey from corporate success to federal prison and finding joy, mission, meaning, and fulfillment beyond professional and financial success.