There is something incredibly unique and powerful in the concept of belief. When you believe that you can accomplish something, it emboldens and fuels confidence in your abilities to achieve it. Contrast that with doubt, and just reading the words you can almost feel the vigor and life vanish from your heart.
But the power of belief isn’t only valuable as a perpetual source of courage and confidence. It also provides a tremendous capacity for endurance – to remain steadfast and diligent in the face of a challenge, or several of them. When you believe you can accomplish something, challenges and adversity only serve to inspire and motivate you to burst through the tough shell that otherwise holds you to a limitation you’re outgrowing.
Alright, so perhaps this isn’t news. But what is fascinating to think about is this: if your abilities and limitations hinge on your level of belief, then it stands to reason that the only thing holding you back from growing is your mind. In other words, you do have the power within you to accomplish far more than you may realize or care to admit.
What’s even more interesting, by way of an analogy I’ll borrow from Fulton Sheen in Life is Worth Living, if it weren’t for the adversity, for the struggle, for the pain – we’d have no opportunity to grow. The chick who labors and struggles to break free from the shell that has been its world – for all of it’s life – is prepared then with the strength and vigor to sustain himself. Remove the shell for him, and his chances for survival are slim to none for lack of strength.
Really, when you think about it, it’s not at all unlike physical exercise. A person who never exercises doesn’t just fail to become stronger and healthier, but if they don’t exercise at all they become lethargic and begin to atrophy. We’ve got to get up and get uncomfortable both to grow and to survive. The same applies mentally and spiritually. The minute we succumb to doubt or avoid discomfort or pain, we begin to atrophy, and stop growing. By the way, indeed, while our bodies may stop growing, don’t think for a minute that we’re supposed to stop growing as people. Think of this Earthly life as a gestation period, and you’d better have grown and developed enough by the time it’s over…
Avoiding discomfort or pain is much easier to do if we can tell ourselves it would be a waste because we couldn’t succeed anyway. If we’re honest with ourselves, it’s a habit we’ve developed to feel better about not trying, an excuse to avoid pain and discomfort. This lack of belief leads to a half-hearted effort or none at all, and like a spiral this only fuels more doubts and makes us more “secure in our insecurity.”
Conversely, believe you can, try harder, succeed, and your confidence and vigor spirals upward. Momentum cuts both ways.
“Faith is believing in what you do not see. The reward for that faith is to see what you have believed.”
Belief. Faith. It’s in your head. It’s a decision. Control your thoughts, and you control your future.