Taking a ‘leap of faith’ into something is often referenced as one of the best things that we as individuals can do for ourselves. However, for many people taking that leap is a lot easier said than done, because although you may want to, you may not know how to.
After taking some huge leaps of faith this year in both my business and personal life, I was able to put together a list of the five things that I did to make it easier to trust myself and step out on faith.
Acknowledge the Present
The first step to any 12 step program is acknowledging the problem and your powerlessness in the situation.
The same can be said when facing your fears. Oftentimes we fail to acknowledge that it is our present state that prevents us from making a change. We feel like we’re too old, or too busy, or too poor currently and therefore we delay taking the leap. In order to become more confident in our ability, we must acknowledge and accept that we have some obstacles to overcome based on our current circumstances.
This means that although you may want to be in a different situation, you need to accept that the universe has brought you here now and has presented you with this idea and opportunity. The universe does not care how old, busy, or poor you are, if you’re handed the opportunity then the opportunity is yours and yours alone.
You must understand that the present is a gift handed to you by the universe and the more you make of it, the better it becomes.
Listen to the Whisper
The second thing that you must do in order to face your fears and take the leap is to listen to the whisper.
Oprah Winfrey perfectly described the whisper when she said “Life whispers to you all the time. It whispers, and if you don’t get the whisper, the whisper gets louder. If you don’t get the whisper when it gets louder, I call it like a little pebble — a little thump — upside the head.. The pebble or the thump upside the head usually means it’s gone into a problem. If you don’t pay attention to the problem, the pebble then becomes like a brick. The brick upside your head is a crisis, and If you don’t pay attention to the brick upside your head, the crisis turns into a disaster and the whole house — brick wall — comes falling down.”
Ignoring the whisper and the subsequent ‘brick wall falling’ manifests itself in the form of anxiety, trouble sleeping, lack of discipline, and a fear of change. The whisper is your guide in life. The whisper is the thing that tells you to start the business, write the book, or move to another city. Listening to the whisper requires faith, which scares most people into ignoring it with the hope that it will simply go away.
If you want to hear the whisper more clearly try this. Next time you can’t sleep at night get up and write down what you’re thinking about. This is the clearest the whisper will ever be, because its the only time the universe has your full attention aside from meditation and prayer.
Accept the Inevitable Resistance
Another way in which you make it easier to face your fears is to accept the inevitable resistance that comes with change. Unfortunately our brains understand the difficulty that comes along with change and as a defense mechanism, we often decide to remain stagnant in order to reduce potential suffering. However, our actions, or rather inaction is not powerful enough to reduce suffering. Regardless or whether you strive for success or not, you will face rejection. Things will still go wrong if you choose the ‘easy way’. You will still have sad days even if you don’t live up to your potential, so you aren’t making things better by not pushing yourself.
In order to be great, Tiger Woods at some point had to accept the fact that he would not always be in the mood to play golf. Elon Musk had to accept that after a failed rocket attempt, he may not be as motivated to engineer another. We all face resistance at one point but what separates us is often not our talents, but our tenacity.
Respect the Opposition
The best professional fighters have one thing in common, they respect their opponent enough to predict how they could potentially beat them. The same can be said for taking the first step.
In order to conquer your goal, you have to respect the way in which you potentially may not succeed. This doesn’t mean that you believe that you won’t succeed, but you respect that certain things must be done in order to succeed.
For example, if you are not the most organized person, respect the fact that your lack of organization could lead to failure and put into place small boundaries that keep you on the right path. Respecting the opposition means also humbling yourself and having the self-awareness necessary to recognize your weaknesses.
Agree to Discipline
The last thing that you should do to make it easy for you to take the first step is to agree to discipline. Joe Rogan summed up the need for discipline when he stated “The one thing discipline helps you with is it gets things done. When you actually do things, you have more success. A big part of success is not being lazy and just doing it. 90% of success is just showing up.”
The part that cripples many people, is the idea that you are now going to have to be responsible for something. You will likely need a schedule for it and you will likely have to spend time each day working towards your goal.
Fortunately, discipline is not as scary as it seems. Discipline is your routines, your habits, and your tendencies. The only way to achieve discipline is one day at a time. Make it a goal to spend at least an hour each day working towards your goal and in 30 days your mind will be blown at how much closer you are to achieving it.
Overall, the most important aspect of facing your fears and taking the first step is the idea that none of this is a coincidence. Nobody stumbles into greatness and the most difficult part is starting. You have to first decide that you want more, and decide that when the universe gives you an opportunity, you’ll seize it. After the first time that you take a leap of faith and you feel the euphoria of achieving your vision, it’ll get easier. If you haven’t yet felt that feeling, it doesn’t mean you fell, it means you’re still leaping.