February 3, 2013

Why believing is seeing

molly published this at 3:00 am

Faith isn’t faith if you know the outcome. We’ve discussed in previous posts the importance faith has when living an independent life. Whether expressed as comfort with flux; or taking a managed risk, you have to take a leap of faith in order to reach your goals. And, more often than not, it’s a leap that we must each ultimately make alone.

Many times, my point of reference is the movies. When I think of ‘leaps of faith,’ one of the most vivid examples I can think of is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In order to save his father’s life, Indy must recover the Holy Grail by deciphering riddles – clues to avoiding the deadly devices designed to prevent seekers from finding the Grail.

After successfully clearing two devices, Indy finds himself facing a chasm, across which there appears to be no bridge for him to safely cross. Reading from his father’s notes, Indy says to himself, “Last is the breath of God: Only a leap from the lion’s head, shall he prove his worth.” He then steps into apparent nothingness and is rewarded when his foot falls onto an invisible, narrow span which allows him to cross.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Action. Action begets opportunity. Opportunity begins with taking a step.

Key to independence is taking that first step. The staircase is there; but even if we COULD see each step leading to the goal at its zenith, we can physically only take one step at a time. Our job is to take the step immediately before us. Our responsibility is to step.

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” ~ Gail Devers

This is the hardest part. Harvard Business Review blogger Rosabeth Moss Kanter has called this time between steps “The Middle.” It’s true: The Middle is where we are tested.

While we are taking our steps toward our goals, The Middle is the part where our friends and family may doubt our sanity. Leads may not pan out. Financing may dry up. We may even begin to doubt ourselves and our ability to reach our goal. When we are feeling unsure, we must revisit our plans, focus on what it is we hope to achieve and examine our motivations. Once you have had a chance to take this time to review, and all your instincts affirm your actions, press forward.

“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” ~ Patrick Overton

This is what it all comes down to, doesn’t it? Do you trust yourself? Everyone who lives life on his or her own terms has come to this crossroads. Is it fair? Absolutely. We are each the product of our choices and convictions. Making choices like this one is the price of admission to a full and rewarding life.

When encountering this crossroads in my own life, I usually refer to this moment as the ‘put up or shut up’ moment. We are called to live out our values. Again, faith is not faith if it’s based on the known, no matter how much we may wish for guarantees. In order to achieve independence, we must step out in faith. When I’m feeling small and more than a little crazy, I am encouraged by the words of a pioneer in her field:

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” ~ Marie Curie

It is worth it. You are worth it. Decide. And then take that step.

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Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive Foundation) or “Like” them on facebook.

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