A leap of faith
My all-time favourite television commercial depicts a small child standing at the edge of a swimming pool. Her father is standing in the water attempting to encourage her to leap towards him, but rather than simply admit that she is too afraid to jump she shakes her head vigorously replies, “The feet won’t move daddy.”
To me this is a classic illustration of both the fear of taking a leap of faith, and the elaborate excuses that we manifest inside ourselves in an attempt to hide this irrational fear.
I say “irrational fear” because whenever you come up against a true leap-of-faith situation in your own life, it is never the sort of circumstance that puts you in actual physical danger – instead it is a challenge (some might say opportunity) to overcome your own self-imposed mental, emotional, psychological or spiritual limitations.
In the above example the child can see her father standing in chest-deep water right in front of her – what is at issue is whether she has the emotional confidence to overcome her fear of falling.
Now here’s the funny thing.
This article was initially inspired by a leap of faith that I myself had to take this past week regarding a request that I take on extra work for an ongoing business venture.
If you are a regular reader of this column you know by now that this is “not my first rodeo” in many respects, but even I am still confronted by situations that test me and challenge me to stretch and grow even further and this was certainly the case with the situation in question.
It should also come as no surprise that although it took me a little longer getting myself in the right frame of mind for the task at hand than I would like to admit, in the end I did just that and organised myself to move the project forward.
The journey ahead of me will most likely be long, and not necessarily smooth sailing, but in some respects the hardest part of the task is already behind me simply because I have started.
What differentiates this situation from any of my past experiences is that the subsequent actions of those around me have caused me to realise that just because I have found a way to face my own fears does not mean that others have yet been able to do the same. And, more importantly, I must find a way to accept that they may continue to act aggressively, or irrationally as a result.
In other words, when a controversy arises in the workplace, instead of reacting with anger and viewing myself as a “victim”, I need to seek higher ground and view their actions simply for what they are – their struggles.
So that’s what I am doing today.
At the moment I am enjoying my favourite caramel latte sitting in the sunshine by a pond and watching the fish jump as I type this article on my tablet as fast as my fingers will move.
My goal in writing is simply to share a key point: we have to learn to forgive the other people in our life for their failings with grace. In doing so we demonstrate what they are desperately hoping to find – the courage to put their heart and their mind in the right place, the courage to believe that dreams can come true; that impossible things can happen, that solutions to problems are always available and that prayers can be answered in the most unexpected of ways.
Robin Trimingham is the managing director of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a business consultant, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at https://bit.ly/3nSMlvc or email@example.com