Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. That evidence part is what my logical mind struggles with every single day.
I receive a call from a new client. We have been working on part of his company’s profile. When I see his caller ID, my mind goes like: “Oh shoot! Did I overlook something?” Immediately, I go into crisis mode. My heart races and I am reduced to shallow breaths.
This year (2017) has been particularly difficult for me. Business has not gone well. I have fallen short on everything: income, writing, rent, relationships… The tense political situation and national elections have not been favorable for businesses. Present clients have held back spending. Potential clients have zero appetite for my proposals. It is like a train that has ground to a halt in the middle of no-man’s-land!
Back to the call from my client. I am in the middle of a meeting with my mentor and can’t wait to return his call. My chance comes in the form of a bathroom break. Quickly, I grab my phone and call my client back. “It was nothing much,” he says after we exchange some pleasantries. He then adds: “I just wanted to thank you for a job well done.”
For a fleeting moment, I am lost for words. When I find my tongue, I can hardly put together a “Thank you!”
For months, I allowed worry and doubt have been my bed-fellows. Crazy thoughts plagued my mind. What will my family eat? Will we have a roof over our heads? Why are our kids outgrowing their clothes this fast?
In all this, I allowed worry and doubt to steal my faith that I have what it takes to succeed. My optimism was gone. At every turn, I second-guessed myself. It seemed like I was a fugitive from myself.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
1. Shifting focus to the right things
My focus had drifted from my vision to empower people through authentic leadership anchored on strong communication and branding. I worried that I was missing the big picture. However, when I began to evaluate the few positive events, I realized that I was slowly gaining traction towards that big picture.
I will now focus on small wins that drive me to my big vision. This gives me the motivation to courageously pursue stalled projects.
2. Get help
I cannot do everything myself. All I need to concentrate on are my inherent skills, talent and intellect. Anything that I cannot effectively do, I consult someone else who can perform it better than me. I will no longer invest precious resources – time, money, emotion – on what I cannot deliver efficiently and effectively.
What this means is that I have to deal with my ego. Accept what I can, delegate what I can’t. It is actually very empowering to get help.
3. I’m not the first to fail
That is okay to fail and learn. Failure is not a death sentence. It is an opportunity to learn and grow. The key is the value of the lessons I take away, but even better, the action I chose to take after my lessons. For the longest time, I have berated myself for not achieving the success I wanted. In the process, I missed the opportunity to critically assess what went wrong. I was neck-deep in my mistakes.
Failure is not permanent. It is a moment, not a definition of who I am.
Faith gives you an inner strength and a sense of balance and perspective in life.”
~ Gregory Peck
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Photo by Sarah Crutchfield on Unsplash