How To Know When To Take A Leap of Faith

2020 is a leap year which means there are 366 days instead of the usually 365 days. This is very exciting because we get an extra day this year. An extra day! It is like we have been given the gift of time. I want to encourage you to think of this day and the gift you have been given so that it will encourage you to take a leap of faith!

A quick search online defines a leap of faith as “the act of believing in or accepting something outside the boundaries of reason”. My sister Ashlee defines a leap of faith by “being scared and doing it anyway”. Of course, there is a difference in being scared because you intuitively know it isn’t the right thing to do at this time and then being scared because a large leap actually requires faith and with that, there is often a lot of doubt.

So, why do you need to listen to that tug in your heart? Why can’t you simply ignore it? Have you tried that? Did it work for you? Chances are that if you are reading this article, you feel a push to make a change, but you have not done so…yet.

An article from psychology today reads “The leap of faith begins with the conviction that you don’t want to go down the path that your current life has been taking you any longer…The leap of faith involves having a basic belief in yourself and a fundamental trust in the vision of who, what, and where you want to be in the future. The leap of faith involves the belief that good things will happen when you choose to change your life.”

Wow. There is so much to digest from that little paragraph. Are you sensing that if you take the leap you are feeling compelled to make, your life will be changed…forever? Everything you have done up until this point in your life has prepared you for the leap. It is not a blind leap, like you may think it is. You only feel compelled to leap because of a lot of preparation and hard work!

Imagine if you wanted to run a marathon, but never put on your running shoes. You certainly would not feel excited or compelled to sign up unless you knew you would take the time to prepare for it. When race day arrives, you know that you have done the preparation work necessary to finish the 26.2 miles. Sure you’re still nervous. Why?

I bet you are nervous because you are thinking, ‘what if I fail’? I then want to ask you what your definition of failing is. The article states that you need to “recognize that even though you feel lead to the leap, setbacks are a normal part of the process— if you didn’t have doubts, it wouldn’t require a leap of faith.”

So are you worried about setbacks or failing? The way I see it is that the only way you could fail is if you never take the leap. You are certainly more successful running the marathon (even if you don’t achieve your desired running time) than you would have been if you never signed up to begin with.

The part you are really worried about is the setbacks. Sure, we can say they are normal, but that doesn’t take away the anxiety around that they will happen. It would be nice to know when you are training that you will achieve a personal record. It certainly would take away the anxiety on race day.

Dr. Ashlee Rincon states that the anxiety you are feeling is a result of you trying to force  the future to comply with what you think should happen in the future. You have to release that desire to control the future-it isn’t ours to control. This leap of faith requires you letting things be the way they are, the way they will be whether or not you worry about them.

One of my favorite songs by Pink Martini is ‘Que Sera, Sera’ meaning ‘whatever will be, will be’. The lyrics are a wonderful reminder to sing silently to myself when I feel worry creeping in. The song goes on to say, “the future is not ours to see’…but don’t fret, often our future is so much better than we could have even planned!

Give your anxieties to God and give gratitude for his beautiful plan for your life. Thank Him for the nudge and the confidence to make the jump.

If you want to make a change, but aren’t sure where to start, it’s easy. Just start where you are. Review the goals in your life to identify where you are feeling a tug in your heart to take a leap. A leap of faith is really this is really feeling a push to achieve one of your overarching goals. Then, work backward to break it down. If you want to make a change, but aren’t sure where to start… you start where you are…

Give yourself permission to take the leap. You have worked up to this moment in your life for years, and now you feel the urge to leap because you are prepared, you are ready! However, just because you are ready does not mean you will not have the temptation to turn back after you leap. You will quickly remember all the reasons you did not want to jump in the first place.

So, before you jump write down all of the reasons you need to jump. Push past yourself and into your world…think of all the wonderful ways this leap will affect your family, your future, your neighborhood, or patients, Whatever it is-just make sure the leap is about something more than just you. Make your reason to jump serve a larger role in the universe.

Dr. Ashlee Rincon exclaims that “leaps of faith help us find fulfillment rather than just contentment’. Is that what you are looking for?

3 steps to take before you make the leap:

  • 1. Identify where in your life you feel a tug in your heart to take a leap of faith? Pray and ask God to reveal it to you if you are unsure of your action.
  • 2. Set a time limit to take the leap of faith and then another one to complete all of the requirements.
  • 3. Use the word leap to conjure up a physical image in your mind! Explore all of the emotions and feelings that go along with that leap!

Take a listen to Episode 2 of the Permission2Flourish Podcast to hear more on the topic!

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