When I hear the word faith, my mind almost automatically goes to religious or spiritual belief. Most of us tend to “go there” when we hear people talking about faith. Some of us might even get uncomfortable, especially if our beliefs don’t line-up with those of the person speaking about faith.
I want you to start using the “F-Word,” preferably without bringing up religious or spiritual belief, but I realize that perhaps providing a helpful guide will help get you there. I like to use Wikipedia definitions when writing about something that is abstract, or esoteric. So, I’ve provided a portion of the definition below. Notice that the first part is about religion, and the second part relates more to the reference I would like to use.
Wikipedia defines faith:
Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. The word faith can refer to a religion itself or to religion in general.
As with trust, faith involves a concept of future events or outcomes, and is used conversely for a belief “not resting on logical proof or material evidence.” Informal usage of the word faith can be quite broad, and may be used in place of trust or belief.
Piggy-backing on the second part, I want to talk about the concept of future events or outcomes. If the words faith, trust and belief can be interchangeable, then we can use them all productively.
Using those three words, we can make the following statements, or some variation thereof (surprise! These statements could serve as mantras) : I have faith that my family will be provided for. I trust that the universe/God/higher power will protect us. I believe that I am capable of reaching my goals.
The last statement really resonates with me. “I believe that I am capable of reaching my goals.” If you’ve been following my blog, you will learn that I believe life is a process, that we lay out and follow a path, and things happen exactly as they should. I have great faith. I have taken leaps of faith. I trust in the process, that the process will lead to the outcome that is meant to be. I believe in myself. I can say all of these things most of the time. If I always believed, had great faith and never wavered, if I never felt pressure, then I would probably never produce, never move forward, never grow.
How do we grow, how do we produce, and more importantly, HOW do we have faith? I have to break things down into smaller tasks, pieces of the puzzle, if you will. I have to do this or I get overwhelmed with the task at hand. We can break down “having faith” into simple steps or stages, and go from there.
- Identify the Challenge: Think about something you want to achieve.This could be something work-related, a fitness goal, weight loss, getting more sleep, organizing your file cabinet, anything.
- Put it in Writing: Write down what you want to achieve, specifically. Here is an example: “Organize my file cabinet/office”
- Visualize Yourself Doing It: Paint a picture of the final outcome in your minds’ eye. Believe that you will finish it. Trust yourself to complete this task. Have faith in your abilities. Also hold yourself accountable by going to the next step.
- Make Your Plan: Write down your plan, in simple and realistic steps, with time limits (say, 15 minutes each task) for example: Step One, separate trash from important papers. Step Two, separate important papers by group. Step Three, make new file folders. Step Four, file papers into the appropriate file folders.
- Check the Results: Now think back to what you just did. You did it and you completed the task. Did you believe you would finish it? Did you visualize yourself doing it? However you got there, you did it!
You have just spent about an hour doing this. Perhaps your challenge is a much larger task and you need to change the time frames, break it down a little more and spread it out over a week or two, but you get the general idea.
Now, applaud yourself for doing it. You tore the bandaid off and “just did it.” You also created an environment in which you could not fail, held yourself accountable and had faith in yourself.
You might wonder why I tackled your filing cabinet rather than some level of deep insecurity keeping you from faith in yourself. Think of how symbolic it is to take care of your filing, clear out the clutter, organize your systems, make your life easier. Now you can focus. I believe that when we start to take care of the things that are nagging us, like clearing out the clutter, we can grow. When we begin to grow, we find that faith in ourselves.
My personal journey to this place of great faith has been a bumpy road at times, but I had to believe that I was going thru the process in order to come out on the other side of it to find myself in a good place, and ready for the happiness and success I so craved.
I believe in you. I have faith in your abilities. I trust that you read this blog because it touches you on some level. You may read because we are friends, and you do it to support me. But I believe that you read because you are growing and can relate to what I share each week. I also know that if you are reading this, you have faith in me. That humbles me to the core, and I am grateful for you.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.