“Pull with your back.”

My initial reaction was disbelief. I heard myself wonder, “What?” but I was pretty sure I had just thought it and not actually asked it.

Linda, my fitness trainer, repeated herself: “Pull with your back.”

I’m not even very picture smart, but I laughed as I saw and imagined large hands coming out of my back to grab the handles. I told Linda what I had seen and she laughed, too.

Because the piece of equipment we were using was designed to strengthen back muscles, Linda wanted me using those muscles, rather than my arms. You know what I discovered?

Because of the trust I had in Linda, I knew it must be possible to actually pull with back muscles, even though my hands were on the handles and it appeared my arms would do the work. Linda had never asked me to do something impossible. Why would she start now? I knew she wouldn’t, so I was willing to try.

When Linda placed her hands on the exact spots on my back that allowed her to feel if I was in fact pulling with those muscles, it helped me concentrate on them. Her choice to evaluate whether I understood her direction did more than show her if I had. It helped me do what she wanted. Her evaluation contributed to my success. That caused me to trust her even more than I already did.

Trust that builds security is essential for learning and growth to occur. How are you doing at creating it? Responding to it?