Faith in self and in desired outcomes are necessary when attempting any life change. Without Faith it’s impossible to reach any goals. So if there’s something you’ve been trying to change but haven’t tried, you probably don’t have enough faith to get started.
Thankfully, you only need a speck of faith to begin.
Five years ago I studied scriptures. It began with an unrelenting interest in the lost tribes of Israel. This set me on a journey through the old testament. This was also the beginning of my personal journey of a process I now call simplify myself thoughtfully. I left my apartment and lived with other people. Relatives at first, and then strangers. I’ve been living on faith since I left.
The faith I would be where I need to be and learn what I need to.
Now I’m at an impasse with myself. There are new things I want to do and to achieve them I’m just learning the faith in myself part. I hope that what I’ve learned will help you.
It’s my last day off, and I live 1.5 blocks from Skaha beach in Penticton, BC but I’m writing this article because I have faith it will help someone. But I’m not totally missing out on the sunshine because I came to the roof to work :).
What is Faith?
Faith is a belief in something that’s not seen; and it includes a hope for things which are not seen, but which are true. Faith is also confidence in someone (yourself/others), or something (what you’re trying to do).
In scriptures, faith is confidence and trust in Jesus Christ that lead people to obey his teachings for a successful and happy life.
For this article faith is described as confidence and trust in yourself and the results you’re trying to achieve. I will use scriptural references which mirror non religious faith. You don’t have to believe In God to get it. Studying and applying the principles are what you need to understand the concept of faith and exercise it.
- If you don’t think you’ll stick to a diet and/or don’t believe you will lose weight and feel better with a specific diet – YOU WON’T.
- If you don’t believe in your ability to get a better job, or that there’s better jobs available to you – YOU WON’T ADVANCE IN YOUR CAREER.
- If you work for a bully boss and don’t think you can change your situation – YOU WON’T.
You lack the confidence in yourself and/or the result you want.
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford
Why Faith is Important to Life Changing Actions
Albert Bandura, psychologist and professor at Stanford University combines behavioral and cognitive philosophies to form a theory of observational learning. He views the human personality, interaction between the environment and a person’s psychological processes.
In his book Social Cognitive Theory of Personality Dr. Bandura notes:
“In the agentic sociocognitive view, people are self-organizing, proactive, self-reflecting,and self-regulating, not just reactive organisms shaped and shepherded by external events. People have the power to influence their own actions to produce certain results.”
Acknowledging, accessing, and controlling this power is the hard part. Thus, we have the power to change anything within our power – but we need at least a little faith.
The Significance of a Mustard Seed in Scriptures
In scriptures, faith is often symbolized by a mustard seed. In Matthew, Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed. It’s interesting why Christ chose this plant to teach the basics of faith.
A mustard seed is very small – 0.039 to 0.079 inches. Now that’s tiny! But, the height of the plant that grows from a mustard seed is quite grand. Mustard bushes reach an average mature height of between 6 and 20 feet with a 20-foot spread, although exceptional plants can reach 30 feet tall under ideal conditions.
An Ant of Faith Growing into a Giraffe?
To rephrase this non-biblically, I’ll use another comparison. Some ant species are 1 to 2 millimetres. An adult giraffe may grow up to 20 feet tall. Picture them side by side.
When you exercise faith in yourself and your world you’ll stand a little taller and become greater than you can imagine. Not in a prideful or narcissistic way but in a strong and humble way.
“Have more humility. Remember you don’t know the limits of your own abilities. Successful or not, if you keep pushing beyond yourself, you will enrich your own life–and maybe even please a few strangers.”–A.L. Kennedy
With just a little faith you’ll be able to move mountains. Not physical mountains, but bullies, haters, adversity, and Murphy’s Law standing in your way.
You can apply the same faith Christians use in religious faith to non-religious situations.
Christians believe in a living God. This faith grows into a knowledge he he has a plan for each and everyone of us and the world. Life is worthwhile and the earth is a place to learn truths that will last throughout eternity.
The world also tells us that life is a gift and we have a purpose. Each principles agrees that we are on earth to become successful. Success as in growing emotionally and physically into what we want to become. Belief we’re here for a reason (many reasons), and one of the main goals is to grow into our being by getting through adversities.
The difference between God’s principles and the worlds is that our purpose(s)will last for eternity while the world’s only lasts until we die. Then it’s over.
Adversity is an Amazing Gift
In a non-biblical sense, we CANNOT achieve success without adversity. Adversity makes us try harder, it pushes us to our limits (or it should). Adversity is also an excuse to do nothing. It’s a comfortable nest called complacency.
Remember NOTHING happens in the comfort zone – absolutely nothing.
If everything we set out to do just happened A.S.A.P. then it would become daily life – whoopee. Actually, there wouldn’t be a reason to be here. There would be no success or failure. Can you visualize how boring life would be?
Come to think of it, there also wouldn’t be sports.There wouldn’t be any reason for teams to compete if each member set out and accomplished what they wanted. Competition would cease to exist. Training would be unnecessary.
In an article titled the Incredible Power of Believing in Yourself on the entrepreneur website written by Matt Mayberry, former NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears, he discusses the personal faith in self of successful people Martin Luther King, Steve Job, Mark Cuban and others.
“Their belief is what created a vision so big that they didn’t care how many times they failed at something. They were eventually going to get to where they wanted to go.”
Both religious and nonreligious faith require nurturing a seed of faith, or faith the size of an ant. We do this by exercising it. We try an action and see what happens. We cut one thing out of our diet such as sugar and then wait to see how it affects us (after the cravings are gone).
When we like how we feel we have faith to try something else. There will be challenges. Sometimes you’ll stumble or something will get in your way. You’ll overcome them. Perhaps it’s drinking beverages with high sugar counts, such as energy drinks and you need one when you wake up (or you think you do).
You have to find a different way to wake up.
Each trial builds confidence and strengthens us. As we become stronger we see how powerful and blessed we are to act for ourselves.
As we gain this strength our faith grows. Soon we can extend it other aspects of our life. Before you know it you might go from a sedentary lifestyle to being 30-lbs lighter.
If you’re not happy with something you can change it. You only need Faith. First, faith in yourself, but more so exercising faith to see that by taking small steps you’ll get what you want. You only need enough faith to take the first step, then the next step, and the next. As you take each step and accomplish something your faith will grow.
Obedience is Required
In religion obedience is required to live God’s laws. We’re eternal beings and will become immortal. There are rules which govern the next life and we learn them here. How societies will exist will be much different too. There won’t be money, power, or material things. There won’t be suffering and hardships.
If we don’t learn how the celestial world functions while we’re on earth we won’t be able to live where God lives. Whatever we learn on earth goes with us. Our personalities don’t miraculously change once we get to heaven.
In a non-religious way reaching goals in this life works on the same basis. Obedience is also required to reach our goals. You can’t eat what you want, not exercise and have a thin, strong body. If you want a raise you can’t come in late to work, and do your work half haphazardly. You have to work hard, be on time, and prove yourself worthy of getting paid more money.
This is Why the Destination Isn’t Important
I’m reading a book titled Destinations are Fake, by new author, Jorg Schlagheck he makes an interesting point. Where you’re going doesn’t matter it’s what you live through on your journey.
Where you want to be isn’t important. It’s what you’ll learn about yourself and the confidence you’ll build as you set out to make changes (simplify yourself and life) and then make them. The journey is where the most growth happens. Remember nothing ever happens in the comfort zone.
Jorg and his wife stayed at the hotel I work at before embarking on a worldwide tour on their bicycles. He write about his bicycle travels. As a thank you for allowing us to park their vehicle he left a copy of his book – Thank You Jorg!
A Little Girl Trembling and Afraid in a Dark Hallway
It’s scary to take the first step and exercise faith. Imagine a little girl in a dark hallway. She was playing and went through the wrong door. The door behind her locked and she’s engulfed in blackness. She remembers her mother telling her if this happened there’s another door in 10 steps.
Picture her alone and afraid in the darkness. She’s sobbing. She knows there’s a door to freedom and light. But, If she stays where she is nothing will happen. She’ll be stuck there.
She’s doesn’t want to take a step because she doesn’t know what’s in front of her. Her imagination pictures spiders, monsters, and rats. With her heart pounding she takes a breath, exercises her faith and picks up her little leg and moves it forward.
When nothing bad happens, she continues taking baby steps until she reaches the other door. As she gets near and counts her eighth step her heart is pounding in anticipation.
Imagine the joy in her sweet little heart as the light warms her face. She did more than just walk and open a door. She learned that by using a bit of faith, she could create a life changing event which will give her strength the rest of her life.
Not only did she get the result she wanted she learned something about herself and life. We can look forward to this same blessing.
Perhaps you’re thinking she’s a little girl and faith comes easy to children because life hasn’t beaten them down. This is partially true, if you simplify yourself thoughtfully and pare down life events to their core, faith will come easily to you.
Faith to Simplify Yourself Thoughtfully
Simplify yourself thoughtfully is a decluttering process. But not only ridding yourself of stuff you don’t need in your environment. But, it also includes getting rid of thoughts and beliefs you need not carry with you anymore. It may also include ridding yourself of people in your life who are holding you back.
My Novel: Reclaiming Childlike Faith and Innocence
In my Novel tentatively titled Drowning in Despair (with no genre as of yet) my little darling is a young woman with a key element missing in her life – her childlike innocence. She’s lost her faith and needs to get it back or she may lose what’s more important than anything else – her life.
This is just one part of the novel, there’s much more. There’s romance elements, alternate world fantasy, and psychological thriller/suspense (conspiracy). I’m on my second draft but as I let the characters take over, I’m not sure what will happen and I’m excited.
Moving Mountains and Walking on Water – Bullies, Haters and Adversity
In the bible moving mountains and walking on water is a possibility when faith is applied. In the world when we move mountains we’re overcoming bullies, haters, adversity and Murphy’s Law.