As leaders, we need to believe in ourselves and others, and those following us need to believe in us. It’s simple enough to say, “just believe me” or “trust me,” but it’s not always easy to walk it out.

To believe is to accept something as true, or to feel sure of the truth of someone or something. It is closely tied to faith, which is defined as complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Trust is closely tied to believing. Trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something, often without evidence or investigation.

So, how do we get someone to believe in us, to want to work for, work with, and follow us? We can’t force someone to believe in us. It’s a choice. Often times, people choose to follow us because our actions support our words, we follow through on our commitments, we are authentic and transparent, and we treat them well and fairly. We also need to be confident and inspiring. The bottom line is that we need to earn their trust and their desire to believe in us or our ideas.

So, if your spouse, children, or team doesn’t seem to trust or believe in you, make an honest self-assessment. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I taken a genuine interest in them?
  • Have my actions supported my words?
  • Am I moving in integrity, honesty, and truthfulness?
  • Have I consistently done what I said I was going to do?
  • Have I given them enough detail and explained the rationale for my direction?
  • Have I really given them something to believe in?

If you answered no to any of these questions, then that may be underlying the reason why people don’t fully support you or buy into what you are requesting of them. If you really want to assess yourself, ask those closest to you to what extent they believe in you (or your direction), what you’ve done that keeps them from fully believing, and what you could do for them to have a stronger belief. If you are completely open to the feedback, it could be quite revealing. It’s hard work and may not be easy to hear, but it is well worth it!