Have a little faith

The title sounds odd coming from an atheist, doesn’t it? Bear with me for a few moments and hear me out before you hit the exit button.

Since dropping off into depression due to my father dying, things have not been the same. Then, as I was bouncing back, I came down with the worst flu I’ve had in my entire life that took me out for weeks with the actual illness, then more for the recovery time. After that, I began a frantic run trying to find ways to get the finances squared away since I’m the only one that brings in money for Insanitek. And I’m still at that point.

The gloom hanging over my head is quite palpable at the moment.

I’m frantic, panicked, stressed, and have a lack of faith in myself, the company’s purpose, and the design we set forth to make. 

Image found on The Art of Charm.

Image found on The Art of Charm.

This lack of faith in all that we dreamed is actually quite crippling. It can make you freeze up, question every action you take, make you indecisive, and worse, cause you to procrastinate to the point where you don’t move forward. (Or even move backward.) It can make you give up the dreams that you fought for and even attempted to start.

Over the past few months as my world fell apart, I pieced it back together, and then it came unglued again, I’ve noticed that a simple act of faith that I’m doing something useful, helpful, and wanted in the world helps to displace all those gloomy feelings. It isn’t that I’ve not gotten positive feedback from my contractors, friends, staff, and clients — no, they have all been supportive. But the human mind is flawed, and when it takes hold of the Pity Poor Me track, it can be quite relentless in it’s desire to crush your confidence.

That’s why it’s important to have some faith in something that is bigger than your own self.

This faith can be the business mission and purpose, your employee’s faith in you, the love you see in your children’s eyes, your spouse’s trust, your friend’s belief in what you’re doing, your client’s success or whatever else motivates you to move. Including a god’s higher purpose, if you are religiously inclined. No judgements here.

Is this yours? Can I link to it?

Choose your hero stance. Sketches by Rusty.

You can find this motivation by asking yourself why you started in the first place. Was it to help people? Then look to your clients. Was it to provide a better life for your family? You know where to turn. Was it to build something to show the world a better way? Make sure your mission statement reflect that passion so every time you read it, your heart soars.

For me, personally, this means a combination of having faith in the company’s purpose and the systems we’ve worked so hard to build to get here. It means having faith in my team’s desires to see it through when I’m down. Affirmations don’t work, but hearing my employees say they trust me even when I’ve been punching a boxing back in anger or have tears down my face does. Having one of our clients say to us or show us that we’ve made a difference in their lives pulls me back from the brink because that is what we made Insanitek for.

Shockingly, this isn’t as easy as it seems.

Remember the part about our little human brains being irrational sometimes? That fun bit about our brains makes it so we really have resistance to this sort of thing until you either programme yourself to or are naturally (and enthusiastically) optimistic. The reason seems to be that our brains aren’t familiar with the concept of easy change, and thus they take the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to life. And even when it is broken, they want to grasp onto the familiar and only go kicking and screaming into the future.

And while it’s fun to pretend to be awesome, it’s human to conquer things.We are our own heroes when we conquer fear, obstacles, the every day drudgery of life, and even getting out of bed when we don’t want to. It feels good when we allow it to seem through the armour to our lives. It feels even better when we let down our armour for more than a day so we can experience what the optimistic people do — faith that whatever bump in the road is before them (and you) will be conquered soon enough, and along the way we will learn invaluable lessons.

So, do yourself a favour. Stop over thinking, embrace the positive, and have a little faith in life.

Or, as Shepherd Book says at the end of his life in Serenity, “I don’t care what you believe, just believe it.”

What do you believe in?