Fear. It’s a painful emotion that holds us back from taking a risk on the things that could truly make us happy.
Sure, there was a need for extreme fear thousands of years ago when our ancestors were being chased by lions and needed to be constantly cautious in order to survive.
These days, those same fear instincts tend to get transferred on to more simple events that, while painful in their own way, will not result in us being eaten alive, far from it.
Obviously, there is still a place for fear in life to keep you safe, but when fear stops you from taking a leap of faith towards something you’ve always wanted but were too scared to try, it becomes a problem.
The good news is, rejecting your fear, believing in yourself, and taking a leap of faith is just like flexing a muscle. The more you exercise it, the easier it gets. And the more fulfilled you become.
And if you clicked on this article, that probably means you have something in your life you are scared to do and are looking for the courage to take that all-important leap of faith.
Don’t worry; we’ve got your back.
What is the meaning of “leap of faith”?
In its simplest terms, a leap of faith means taking action despite having no idea how it will turn out.
You take action and hope that things will turn out the way you wanted them to…or at least turn out well!
As human beings, we like to be a bit more methodical with our actions. We tend to weigh up our options and decide if it’s worth the risk to do something. I.e., will it go in my favour?
If we decide that it is more likely to have a positive outcome, we are more likely to go for it.
The idea of not knowing what will happen is enough to send a swarm of butterflies racing around your stomach.
Some people live for that feeling, but most people find it too much to bear and avoid going into situations without feeling like they could have the upper hand.
If you can relate to being a person that only feels comfortable acting when the odds are stacked in their favour, you’re probably asking why you should start taking a leap of faith.
So without further ado…
Six life-changing reasons to believe in yourself and take a leap of faith
1. You’ll never know unless you try
One of the big truths about life is that nothing is ever guaranteed. You can’t predict the future. So even when you think there is no way you could fail, there is no way to be 100% sure. Which means every move you make is a mini leap of faith in itself.
See? You’re already a pro at this! It’s all about scaling up now.
There is a false perception that you have to be completely ready to start before beginning your journey. But it is almost impossible to be completely prepared. So, finally, there comes the point where you just have to bite the bullet and jump.
Preparation can only take you so far, but when you leap, you open yourself to learning on the way.
You might be worried that a leap of faith opens you up to failure. But it also opens you up to success. It’s all about a change of mindset. Sure, you will never lose if you don’t try, but you’ll also never win. Which is more uncomfortable?
Besides, what’s the worst that will happen? Will people laugh at you? Are you worried you won’t get the job? This is a normal, instinctual reaction.
Yes, these things seem awful in the moment, especially if you actively avoid them, but eventually, you realise that there is a lot more value in how you perceive yourself than how others do.
There is a lot to gain from having the guts to take a leap of faith. Much more than any amount of failure could take away from you.
2. Even if you fail, you learn
Failure has such a bad reputation. It is seen as a sign of weakness. Of unworthiness. In reality, failure is a strength. If you have the strength to fail, you are already winning at life.
And, as a concept, failure is something we need to learn to redefine for ourselves. After all, is it really failing if you learn a lesson or two along the way.
Learning lessons is the only authentic way to grow as a person and reach bigger and better heights on your journey to success.
Most successful people already know this – that’s why they are in the positions they are in. Ask any successful person if they ever failed on their way to success, and they’ll be able to provide you with countless examples.
But they accept that taking a leap of faith, regardless of whether they might fail, is essential for reaching their goals. The lessons you learn along the way are the key to success.
Besides, when taking a leap of faith, you might find that despite doing everything “right”, it doesn’t go your way. You’re not in control of the universe, and sometimes factors out of your control hinder your success.
But that doesn’t take away from the lessons you learn by taking that initial risk.
You may even realise that it didn’t work out because it doesn’t align with what you truly want; you just thought it did. Which gives you the freedom to get particular with exactly what you want out of life, so you can go for it with passion and fire.
3. Great things come from seeking discomfort
There is a famous saying:
“There’s no growth in the comfort zone, and there’s no comfort in the growth zone.”
Taking a leap of faith is all about jumping feet first outside of that comfort zone and expanding it.
Seeking discomfort is all about pushing yourself past your fears and doing the things you always wanted to do in the hopes that you achieve something.
And by achieving something, it could be anything from success, learning a lesson, or simply the joy of overcoming a fear.
Taking a leap of faith gives you an adrenaline boost. But, once you learn to embrace it, you’ll find that pushing past your comfort zone becomes addictive.
And it is essential to do this. Because when you live life within your comfort zone, you tell yourself you’re not good enough to do anything else. And that just is not true.
Besides which, seeking discomfort makes life more interesting and exciting. Who knows where it will take you?!
4. Your self-confidence will improve dramatically
Can you think of anything more confidence-boosting than putting yourself out there?
Knowing that you believed in yourself enough to know that no matter the outcome, you were going to be ok? That you believed that you had what it takes to even consider trying something new?
That you didn’t let fear dictate your actions?
That kind of self-belief can only improve your self-confidence. Over time you will realise just how capable you are to achieve great things. That you can trust your intuition because in taking risks, you’ve allowed it to develop and learn.
Taking a leap of faith requires a tremendous amount of self-belief that whilst you may not feel you have right now, in doing so, you’ll find it.
5. You will find yourself
Guess what? Doing things you aren’t used to teaches you a lot about yourself.
When you don’t have control of the outcome, you learn exactly who you are at your core.
You find out what you like and don’t like by experiencing unfamiliar situations. Your universe becomes a lot bigger, and you can gain a wider variety of experiences that you can confidently discover whether you would want to keep them in your life or not.
You also learn your true boundaries. You may think you know what you would not allow, but if you have never taken a significant risk before, how could you possibly know?
In expanding your world experience, you learn what you can tolerate and would accept into your life, rather than letting fear dictate it, shielding you from new possibilities.
Not to mention the fact that by pushing past your comfort zone, you will feel more whole. You will feel you have discovered new sides of yourself that you were holding back and feel more in tune with who you are as a person, not who you pretend to be to protect yourself from failure and discomfort.
6. You will feel free
A person who is not held back by fear is free to fly. The world is theirs for the taking. In learning to take a leap of faith, you will know no limitations to what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.
You will be confident enough to unashamedly try the things you’ve always wanted to but never thought you could because you realise now that the only person stopping you is yourself.
You will find that as you open yourself up to discomfort, more opportunities open up for you. How liberating is that?
Taking risks means you can explore more of life and discover what you are genuinely passionate about. Meet new people, learn new cultures, cultivate new ideas, and break the glass ceiling you installed for yourself.
How do you take a leap of faith?
Taking a leap of faith is scary – this is a normal reaction for most people who aren’t used to it.
So here are a few tips and tricks to get you ready for taking your first leap of faith
- Get clear on your motivations
While it’s great to take risks and discover new experiences, you are far less likely to go through with it if you don’t have a good reason for doing it. So get clear on why you want to take a leap of faith and what you hope to get out of it.
- Don’t overthink it
Sometimes our brains are our worst enemies. The more we think about the things that scare us, the more paralysed by fear we become. So while it is essential to think things through to keep yourself safe, overthinking will lead you to inaction.
- What’s the worst that can happen?
Genuinely. Ask yourself what the worst that could happen is. And use facts only – no emotions here. Unless there is evidential fact that you could hurt yourself (like jumping out of an aeroplane with no parachute) or you would end up in financial problems, there is nothing you can’t achieve.
- Trust yourself
While you might be used to working on autopilot, trust that you will instinctually know how to keep yourself safe. And more than that, trust that no matter what happens, you can survive it.
Remember you are stronger than you think
- Find people around you who will support you
You don’t have to go it alone. Instead, find people who can give you encouragement as you take your leap of faith and who can help you pick up the pieces if it doesn’t work out the way you wanted.
While it is important to trust yourself and know you can survive it alone, everyone needs a good support network around them.
And most importantly:
- If you are scared, do it scared
You don’t have to wait until you’re not scared anymore to do it. If you do wait, chances are you will be waiting your whole life.
We don’t conquer our fears by meditating on them; we conquer them by facing them head-on.
Take it from Will Smith. His philosophy in life is that if something scares him, he has to do it because he doesn’t want to let his fears hold him back.
So, do it scared. Do it trembling. Do it with knots in your stomach. Do it even though you’re about to throw up. It’s ok to be scared; just do it. You will never regret facing your fears. You will only grow stronger.
Your life will change from the moment you take that first leap of faith. But just like with any other muscle, you’ll have to keep doing it before you find comfort in the uncomfortable.
If you want to achieve great things, you have to learn to trust yourself to push past your self-imposed limitations and try things you never have before. All you can do is either succeed or learn. Because when you try, you never truly fail.
It’s normal to feel scared when embarking on a leap of faith. It would be stranger if you weren’t.
But my goodness, the immense feeling of achievement and power you will feel on the other side makes the risk worth it!