Do you remember a time when you didn't think you could do something, but you decided to go for it anyway? When was the last time you took a leap of faith? To take a leap of faith means to choose to believe or accept something outside the boundaries of reason.
There will always be a time in your life when you feel compelled to take a leap of faith. Here are some examples. You refuse to date anymore because you've had your heart broken too many times. But, when friends insist they have the perfect match for you, you take a leap of faith by agreeing to go on a first date. Feeling undervalued at your job, you want to make a change even though it's been years since you've interviewed. You take a leap of faith by applying for another job anyway. Because people have taken advantage of you in the past, you have trouble trusting others. Then, one day, someone offers to do something nice for you. So, you take a leap of faith and give them the benefit of the doubt. You love to sing, but you've never performed in front of an audience. So, you take a leap of faith by performing at an open mic night. You love to write, but you've never shared your work. So, you take a leap of faith and create a blog. You want to lose the weight you gained while pregnant, but you’ve never exercised before. So, you take a leap of faith and join a gym or hire a personal trainer.
Taking a leap of faith requires having a positive mindset. It is nearly impossible to lift your feet off the ground, take action, and achieve your goals if you're weighed down by negativity. But, being hopeful and optimistic can make you feel lighter, which is helpful when you're in the process of making a change. Cultivating a positive attitude can help build enough momentum to take that leap and jump higher than ever.
We could all use a little push to make decisions and take actions that support our goals and dreams. Imagine a rocket at takeoff. A rocket requires fuel to lift off the ground, but it’s actually the force of the gas produced from burning fuel that propels the rocket into the air. Just as thrust is the force which moves the rocket through the air and into outer space, positivity is the power behind your thoughts to propel you into action. The more positive you are, the more momentum you can build. As you build momentum, you're more likely to take positive action faster, which can create more positive results and outcomes.
Taking a leap of faith requires courage. There may be a time when you need to make a decision, but you don't have all the information you need. Sometimes you have to rely on instinct or even hope to take a chance. The bottom line is you will never know what you can achieve unless you try. Cultivating a strong sense of self helps build the courage to try.
Even when you don't have the information you need, you can still focus on what you already know. Knowing yourself and having a strong sense of self is the key. Sense of self includes self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-belief. Knowing your abilities, having faith in your abilities, and believing in yourself is a powerful combination. It is the right formula for building enough courage to take a chance, take a risk, and get outside your comfort zone. A better understanding of your skill set, passions, qualities, traits, and achievements builds self-esteem and self-belief. Therefore, a strong sense of self is a powerful asset for helping you move forward in courage and confidence and taking a leap of faith.
A helpful writing exercise to create self-awareness, develop a stronger sense of self, and build courage is creating lists of positive things about yourself:
Your Passions. List everything in your life that brings you joy. List every person, place, or thing that makes you happy. Describe all your passions - what you enjoy doing, where you enjoy going, and who you enjoy being around. Describe what makes you laugh, feel free, and alive. What gives you purpose and makes your life meaningful? Describe it in detail with colors, size, weight, height, and texture. Write about your favorite kind of day, your favorite activities, and your dreams. Include what your ideal job, work environment, and lifestyle would look like. By clearly identifying and defining what makes you happy, you may feel more encouraged to pursue your goals and turn your dreams into reality. Therefore, you may be more motivated to take a leap of faith in that direction.
Your Qualities. List your best qualities. Write down every characteristic or trait that you admire about yourself or feel would be helpful in your endeavor. Are you thoughtful, considerate, honest, and trustworthy? Are you persistent, determined, and hard-working? Also, think about all the compliments you have ever received. Were you told you are flexible and can adapt to change well? Did anyone ever say you had an eye for detail or were a good problem-solver? Has anyone ever thanked you for your patience or for being a great team player? Write down all the qualities that make you feel brave, strong, and good about yourself. Every time you review this list, you're helping to cultivate positivity, self-love, self-esteem, and confidence.
Your Achievements. This list is the most important for cultivating courage and taking a leap of faith. Yet, it’s the one we forget the most. When we think of our achievements, we tend to only focus on the trophies, awards, certificates, medals, ribbons, promotions, or money we've received. But, victories come in many sizes, shapes, and forms. Therefore, this list should include all of your accomplishments - big or small. From achieving a weight loss goal, passing a test, taking your first international trip, finishing your first 5k, and graduating college to moving out on your own, getting approved for a loan, winning first place in a competition, and getting married, write down anything that makes you feel proud, happy, or accomplished.
It is also important to acknowledge all the fears you have faced as well as all the challenges and struggles you’ve overcome. Examples include overcoming your fear of public speaking by giving a presentation to your class, starting over after losing a job, dating after a divorce, and recovering from an illness or injury. Remembering all the times you've overcome a fear or challenge will help you build self-belief, resilience, courage, and confidence. There are no achievements or struggles too small because they all add up! Reviewing your list of achievements can help build your courage, encourage you take a leap of faith, and move you in the direction of your dreams.
No matter what prompts you to take that leap of faith, doing so will bring you closer than you were yesterday to the life you want. You might even surprise yourself with the results or outcomes you achieve. The more you believe in yourself, love yourself, and have compassion for yourself, the bolder and braver you will be in taking action. Your steps will take you farther in your journey and your leaps will lift you higher than you've ever been.
Take a leap of faith, my Pineapple. You can jump higher than you did yesterday!
Live, Love, and Lead with Aloha.