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  • BY AHRIANA PLATTEN

From Betrayal to Belief: It’s an Inside Game

I spent the last year closing a company that simply ran out of money. It wasn’t my company, but I accepted the nomination and became president of the board at the most inopportune moment. Without boring you with the details of hidden debt, betrayal, manipulation, and outright dishonesty, I’ll begin by telling you this was one of the most violating experiences of my life. It violated my faith in people, my confidence in myself, and my peace of mind—and my sleep. My body, heart, mind, and soul paid a powerful price from which I am still recovering. And it destroyed my trust.

The trust aspect of all of this is a big deal because the world we share seems to be more and more distrustful. I grew up believing I could trust the police, the government, newscasters telling the world's story, the history books I was reading, and I could trust science—because science was the best truth we could come to after doing diligent research.


Over the past few decades, I have, at one time or another, come to distrust so many of the sources that shaped my original opinions and beliefs about the world we share. Still, I went into this business experience with a powerful trust that most people are trying to do their best, whether they succeed in their efforts or not. Along the way, I had to accept that more often than I cared to admit, people were greedy, self-centered, and disingenuous.


It violated my faith in people, my confidence in myself, and my peace of mind—and my sleep. My body, heart, mind, and soul paid a powerful price from which I am still recovering. And it destroyed my trust.

Stay with me. I’m going somewhere with this…

When the doors closed and the dust settled, I felt shattered. Thus began the process of picking up little pieces of myself and examining whether they were worth keeping or not. Trust was one of those pieces—a rather big piece, I might add.


You see, living a life of distrust toward everyone and everything is a recipe for pain. If

you begin looking for reasons not to trust, you’ll find a bucket-full (a very BIG bucket-full!). But the opposite is also true. If you start looking for what you can trust, you’ll find a lot. Here are some simple examples:

  • The sun will rise, the birds will sing, the wind will blow, and life will go on.

  • Babies will laugh and cry, and their tiny coos and gurgles will remind you that you, too, were once innocent.

  • There will be mornings you love who you are—and mornings you don’t, but every morning, you’ll find your reflection waiting in the mirror. You can rely on your own presence.

  • There is beauty in life. In faces of all shapes and ages. There is wisdom in life. In people of all ages and levels of education. There is adventure in life. No matter where you live or how much money you have.

  • And change. You can trust that life will change.

baby with angel on head
You, too, were once innocent.

I could go on and on—but you understand what I’m getting at already, don’t you? It’s all about what you look for and whether you're willing to work on your own perspective.

I often ask my kids, “Who’s in charge in there?” Who’s in charge in your head and in your heart? Life happens. Things go wrong. We all experience disappointment, self-doubt, and true pain. Some days, we are the betrayed, and other days, we are the betrayer—even when we don’t intend to be.


Life is messy, uncertain, challenging, and full of mind-blowing moments of unbelievable joy. You can’t have the good without also experiencing the other end of the spectrum. I feel confident that without the hard times, we’d never truly understand how amazing it is to be alive.


So, getting back to trust. My trust has been broken. Your trust will be broken (and probably has been broken numerous times already), and the whole point in me asking you to invest your valuable time reading these words is to say this to you, “Who’s in charge in there?” In your head? In your heart?


Pick your head up out of your hands and look at the world around you. It's full of blessings. What are you grateful for? Any amount of gratitude is a steppingstone to feeling better when you’ve lost trust in the world. Who or what can you trust? If you have trouble finding something to be grateful for, step away from your desk and into

woman with arms open
It’s an Inside Game

the sunlight. Is it still there? Yes. And in case you’re feeling like I’m oversimplifying a very difficult and painful experience, I’ll remind you, I’ve had to lay off a staff of more than 50 people, close a 30-year legacy company, and figure out how to pay debt when there wasn’t enough money to pay it. I’ve lived through sleepless nights and anxiety-ridden days—and all of that happened recently. I’m telling you, from experience, that you must be in charge of your own state of being, pull yourself out of the hole you're in (whether you dug it yourself or someone dropped you in it) and remember that you are breathing.


As long as you are breathing, you can find something to be grateful for. Look for it. When you find it, take time to truly appreciate it. Do that, and you’ll be on your way back to living a life you love.


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Meet the expert:

Dr. Ahriana Platten on Her Nation Magazine
Dr. Ahriana Platten

With 35 years of international business experience under her belt, Ahriana has learned how to create a life she loves living. She’s a mix of compassionate mentor and “wont-let-you-off-the-hook” coach who will drive you to your best professional performance. Ahriana believes in self-mastery and teaches her students how to make life sacred, satisfying and successful.


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