I think that I’ve been living a lie.
Up until this point, I envisioned myself to be a person with a strong sense of faith.
I am a spiritual individual firmly rooted in the idea that things ‘happen for a reason.’ I honestly think that vision is a powerful tool to explore and blow beyond the limits of our perceived potential. I’m inspired by the success of others, and I seek out opportunities for my own growth – even when it makes me uncomfortable.
I am also an engineer by education, training and practice. I am a self-described ‘techie soulista’ — an analytically minded, heart-centered woman striving to blend two very different aspects of my being.
Lately, I’ve struggled to build momentum around my entrepreneurial goals. At times I find myself questioning the very idea that my dreams are even possible if not probable. I’ve oscillated between motivation and paralysis more times than I can count.
Where is the bold persistence of my youth? What happened to my inner eternal optimist?
Fortunately, I haven’t experienced such challenges often – even in the face of obvious difficulties. Yes, I’ve had periodic doubts. I’ve clearly made huge mistakes, flailed about and focused on the wrong things at work and home.
My life hasn’t been perfect by any means, but I’ve historically had a foundation of internal confidence that has framed my journey and steadied my steps over rocky terrain even in the face of fear.
I thought that my feeling of stability on shifting sands was belief.
Now I’m not so sure.
I’ve come to the realization that I am very driven by data and I love empirical evidence. Belief, however, by its very nature requires that we move forward without any proof and invest in the unseen for guidance.
In hindsight, I’ve usually had some level of information to substantiate my progress and encourage my continued action.
I am slowly but surely learning that :
Merely wanting to believe is not enough.
I will choose to move ahead without the promise of proof or even the slight suggestion that my outcomes will align with my expectations.
And while walking in faith requires consistency, it isn’t a science but rather an act of commitment.
In order to authentically embrace belief, I must take real risks and suspend my skepticism long enough to put 110% of my energy into my goals. No matter what it looks like.
Informed action is a beautiful thing, but I ultimately know that my destiny won’t be determined by statistics.
I’m not going to abandon my analytical self, but going forward I will use my convictions to advance even when I don’t have any evidence in hand to support my choices.
Belief is an art of the head and heart that transforms the unseen and makes dreams reality.
I can live with that – thrive even. And so can you.
La Tondra Murray, Ph.D. is an executive coach and engineering educator who helps technical professionals lead their most engaged, productive and inspired lives. Connect with her on Facebook or visit http://www.latondramurray.com.
Image courtesy of Sergey Zolkin.December 26, 2016