This is the second piece of a three piece article series examining Faith: what is it, why it's useful, how to cultivate it.
Part 2: Why bother with faith?
The short answer is: Faith sustains the courage needed to confidently jump into greatness, even when it feels scary or uncertain that you will succeed. The biggest things in between us and the lives we want are often rooted in faith’s opposite: fear.
I am not an advocate for ‘fearlessness’ as I think that is both impossible, and if it is possible, it’s unhealthy. Fear is a totally normal and evolutionarily critical part of being a human. However, far too many of us have allowed fear to run the show. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this in her book, ‘Big Magic’. I am generalizing here, but she discusses that the idea is not to avoid fear or never listen to it, it’s just to let it ride in the back seat of the car rather than in the driver’s seat, giving it room to have a voice but not dictate and control every move you make. It is but ONE of the many wise voices that accompany us on this journey of life.
I know you have big dreams and hopes for your life. I know that you don’t want to settle for “OK” or “good enough”. I know you want to leave a positive mark on the world and some of you perhaps even want to leave a legacy that others talk about long after you’re (physically) gone. I know above all, you want to be happy, to be less stressed, to feel a greater sense of fulfillment and freedom…and often times, to reach our biggest goals, we need courage. And in order to have courage, aka the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty”, faith is critical.
There are points (sometimes what feel like enormously long points) on our journeys to something new, something exciting, something that lights us up, where you begin to feel hopeless, stale, futile, inane, unqualified, terrified, doubtful, confused, lost… Where so many things around you seem to be pointing to “QUIT! No one likes you or your idea. Give up now, while you’re still ahead.” Where you feel silly for believing you could do this and courage feels hard to come by.
That’s when faith comes in. In these moments, there needs to be some degree of ridiculously “firm belief / strong conviction / certitude” and “complete trust” in what you’re doing when there’s “no evidence or proof” that it will definitely work. Faith powers your courage and gives you the fuel to keep going.
If you’re thinking “Well, Ryann, I don’t know if this is going to work out exactly according to plan.” And the answer to this is that faith isn’t about making your life into a series of plans that are all a ‘sure thing’ rather it’s about knowing that if it’s not this, something better will come along. Even if initially, that ‘something better’ is disguised in what feels like something terrible, life-ending, destructive, dream-crushing… it’s just making space for whatever it is that you’re truly meant to have / do / be, it’s part of your journey and your story.
Lastly, having faith is one component of reclaiming your power. This is because we place complete blind trust and belief in things like the government, big corporations, etc. yet we don’t trust ourselves and/or in that sacred force that is bigger than ourselves. We demand proof of Divine Source, of ourselves, yet we trust the words of other humans and believe in their guarantees with very little evidence that we should.
This is just one way we give our power away as humans. If we place our trust in another and they let us down, we have a place to point our finger to blame. Yet if it is in God or ourselves, it makes ‘things not going according to plan’ more painful or scary. We have to face what it is that happened and take responsibility for it instead of turning the blame outward. Yet we also get to be empowered to change the situation, rather than feeling that we are victims of it.
Having faith in the unknown is an act of trusting in ourselves and our ability to make it through whatever comes; it allows us to accept our Divine assignment rather than force something that has been given to us that is most certainly not ours.
Next up: Part 3 "How to Cultivate Faith"
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Thanks to Ryann Pitcavage Collective Gain Coach, who authored this post. Ryann is a life coach who works with you to reduce your stress and anxiety in order to develop a renewed sense of what is possible; thereby, enabling you to make decisions with greater ease which makes room for the mental breathing room that is necessary in order to begin to make change happen. Request a consultation with Ryann.
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