What Does It Take To Make A Leap Of Faith?
You are that kid in the water, heart pounding and scared of what might happen next. A hundred thoughts rush through your head. As you hold on to the pool’s border with one hand, you feel you are hanging on to a delicate thread—safety on the one hand and the unknown on the other.
Swimming appears to be so unnatural and the risks are high, yet so many others have done it before. Then something miraculous happens: a spontaneous surge of power overtakes you. You take in a deep breath and plunge into the water. Next thing you know, you are swimming! You took one leap of faith in a second that will now change your whole life, forever.
These unexplainable and momentous life changes have transformed the world and its history. Brave men and women from all ages have broken through barriers and achieved the ‘impossible’ through what we call a leap of faith. They took that one step forward into unknown territory, against conventional thought and shared fears.
Leaps of faith have, since the dawn of time, driven Man’s discovery and have propelled enormous changes and forward movements. Without faith, even men of Science and pioneers in all fields would have never reached the dizzying heights of success. It is truly a magical component in our genetic and psychological makeup that we haven’t yet fathomed.
Embracing the unknown with a leap of faith
One of the most fundamental fears in humans is that of the unknown. It is so deep in our collective psyche that it pervades through our myths, dreams, art and literature. This fear of the unknown has many forms and faces: Xenophobia, religious intolerance, cultural divides and many other phobias are all faces of the same basic fear.
A true leap of faith takes courage not because of the act in itself but because it arises out of our breaking free from this fundamental fear. It is like the kid who let go his grip (order and familiarity) and plunged into the water (chaos and the unknown). What happens in that moment of spontaneity is not fully clear but what is certain is that an inner power is discovered. This takes me to the next point.
Faith is finding your inner power
The thing which really needs to be understood here is that making leaps of faith is not losing yourself. On the contrary, it is about finding one’s inner power which may sound like a bit of a paradox. We feel that by stepping out of our comfort zones and into the unknown—taking that decision, making a life-changing choice, etc.—we are losing a part of our self.
This feeling comes from the fact that we are letting go of the structures, points of reference, familiar setups and habits in order to embrace something which is not yet part of our reality.
When we start letting go of these belief structures and old patterns, we really start discovering our true self and our true nature. Discovery of Self happens only through releasing those things that do not belong to us—those that are not authentically ours. In doing so we find our inner strength and power.
Another way of seeing it is that finding your inner power and strength is about surrendering and transcending beyond your fears and doubts. This is why a leap of faith is one that is about letting go or surrendering as a result of which you find your inner power.
Leap of Faith = Surrendering + Inner Power
Letting go of mind control
Another big obstacle in life is our own mind. There is no doubt about this. We are continually subjugated by our mind. Constant noise and chatter, distractions, doubts, self-criticism and its addiction to thinking. Another addiction of the mind is control—or rather, the illusion of it. It tries to attach to things and situations or even over our own life.
Being free from the control of your own mind is being free to listen more to our intuitive and bold heart. Leaps of faith will never, ever, happen from the mind. You can be sure of it. Leaps of faith happen when we let go of the mind’s control over us and give space to the wisdom of our heart.
Leap of Faith = Surrendering Mind to the Wisdom of the Heart
You are bigger than you think!
When you start slowly letting go of the mind’s 24×7 grip on you, you start realizing one important thing: that you are far bigger than you thought and that there is far greater intelligence and wisdom outside of the mind.
This is a very important notion when it comes to faith because we start understanding life beyond the narrow stories and the fear mongering our mind was feeding us. Our mind belittles us while our heart, when properly given the space, encourages us, makes us bolder and makes us understand our own greatness.
You start trusting your inner wisdom, knowing that your whole ‘You’ (beyond the self-image of the mind) knows much more that your mind thinks. There is a far bigger You that is there to support you when you are ready to step out of your fears and take that leap of faith.
Make it happen
In the end, one can say nothing more than the fact that an unexplainable part of taking a leap of faith requires a mysterious, unknown and undefined element: making it happen. It’s an impulse that, because of its spontaneity, our mind cannot decode into formal language or instructions. It just happens and when things ‘just happen,’ from my little speck of insight about life, I can tell you it is because you have invited it from somewhere inside of you. So it is never about being ready as they say, but about inviting it in.