Harnessed properly (and wisely), faith can be an incredibly powerful force, propelling us onto greater achievements and happiness. But it can also be frustratingly elusive.
Faith can take many forms. It can mean placing your belief in a religion, a friend, a business venture, and even yourself. But greater than that, faith is also trust in a force, process or creative intelligence that is greater than our conscious selves.
This week, our Sunday blogger, the Daring & Mighty Katie Phillips discusses why faith is so important, and how she learned to find hers.
Why you need faith
I was thinking the other day about faith – about what it means and why some people seem to have more faith than others. I also looked back on the time when I discovered my own faith and started building on it.
I started thinking about it after a call with a client for whom having faith is a brand new concept. For her entire life, she has relied on her intellect to sort things out – if she had a problem, she very naturally attempted to ‘think‘ her way out of it, searching her mind for a solution.
I don’t know about you, but I can certainly relate to that. I remember when it was habit for me to try to think my way out of situations, only to end up feeling more confused, more overwhelmed and more lost. It seemed that the more I looked to my intellect for the answers, the further I seemed to be from a solution.
The day I realised thinking wasn’t working
I remember the day I realised that ‘thinking‘ up solutions was not working for me and I was absolutely beside myself. As a result of all the thinking, my head was such a muddle and I was emotionally all over the place.
And in that moment I surrendered. I threw my hands in the air and said out loud, “I don’t have the answers. Help me!”. I didn’t know who or what I was talking to, but I guess it was along the lines of God.
Except at the time, I wasn’t sure God existed – up until then, ‘He’ was a wise, apparently loving but sometimes seemingly mean man that sat on a cloud and passed out judgement/help/forgiveness as he deemed deserving. And I didn’t want to believe in a man like that.
But, putting those beliefs to one side, in that moment I simply trusted that there was something larger than me, and I knew that the way I was approaching my life was simply not working.
How I found my own faith
So, I got out of my own way, threw my hands up and gave in. Better than that, I gave over. I handed over my problems to something else, something that I sensed. And in that moment I experienced faith for the first time. It was small but it was there, and it was because I showed willingness. And quite frankly, it was a last resort!
So, when my client asked me how she could develop faith, I remembered that experience. I told her that it was willingness that set the wheels in motion for me. And that willingness was fueled by a very deep, very intense emotion. It was time to change and I was willing to do anything to make it happen.
If that meant believing in a power greater than me, then I was going to give it a try, because I had nothing to lose! And, as it happened, it worked. Very slowly, day by day, I was guided and shown ways to make change happen. I met coaches that could help me, discovered books that guided me, meditations that soothed my soul and so forth.
I have no doubt that a big part of that change was down to my new-found faith, and learning to hand my problems over to a greater power. I have built up so much evidence to prove that I was supported and being guided by that power, that faith has now become integral to my life.
I can’t imagine living without faith today. I can’t imagine expecting to have all the answers in my head – it seems crazy to me now!
Do you have faith?
What about you? Are you struggling to find answers to your daily or career problems with your conscious mind? Maybe it’s time to try something new? You don’t have to believe in a god or formal higher power for faith to work – you just need to trust that the answers WILL come to you if you give the process a chance.
Often we’re so focused on solving problems with our intellect that we don’t give our unconscious time to kick in and come up with a solution. We have so many more resources available to us than just our immediate conscious mind – and for imagination, creativity and our huge subconscious to really blossom we have to give them the time and space to work their magic.
So the next time you’re battling with a stubborn problem, stop thinking and start trusting. Quieten your mind and go and do something to take your brain off the issue at hand. And have faith that the answer will come – from somewhere.
Katie Phillips is the founder of Daring & Mighty, an organisation committed to sharing the importance of having a healthy, loving and conscious relationship with yourself.Katie Phillips