Ways of Keeping the Faith
When the Going Gets Tough

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keeping the faith

Keeping the faith can be an enormous challenge when the gap between where we are and where we want to be feels so vast and seems impossible to bridge. Even when we are doing all we can to reach our goals, frustration and discouragement can set in from time to time. We may know exactly what we want in our lives, be taking steps to achieve these goals, using affirmations, quotes, and other motivational tools to change our thoughts, beliefs and reality, but even so, keeping the faith can be the hardest part of the journey.

At times, the results we want to achieve can feel like a carrot dangling on the end of a stick – continually moving just beyond our reach at the whims of some hard-hearted master. Whether we feel that our dreams are so close to reality we can almost taste them, or whether they seem more like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, the toughest part of keeping going at times is all about keeping the faith.

Faith is a firm and steadfast belief in something that cannot be seen or touched. In this case, I am talking about keeping faith in the fact that it is truly possible for you to have what you want. Even when it may seem like it is never going to happen. When you feel like you have been trying and trying and believing and affirming that something is going to happen for you, and it feels like that thing is still just as far from reality as it ever was, here are a few tricks that can help in keeping the faith.

  • Accept that you will have moments of doubt. When you are not seeing the concrete results of your dreams, it is very, very normal to have feelings of doubt and discouragement. Pretending these feelings don’t exist is only going to result in a false attitude of confidence masking an ever-growing mass of suppressed uncertainty.

  • Allow yourself to feel and acknowledge your doubts. Express your frustration aloud or in writing, and give your feelings a chance to be heard. Ignoring and denying feelings of any kind only allows them to gain strength, while ventilating them causes them to dissipate.

  • Choose not to dwell on the doubt and uncertainty. Once you have acknowledged and accepted your very natural fears, move your focus back to keeping the faith by demonstrating positive action towards your goals. Taking steps, however small strengthens your faith that you can, and deserve to have what you want.

  • Don’t beat yourself up for not having 100% blind certainty at all times. You are human, and having doubts and questions arise doesn’t negate the fact that you are still, in fact, keeping the faith. If you are not throwing your hands up in the air and admitting complete defeat, then even while you are bemoaning the fact that you currently feel ‘it is never going to happen,’ you are still keeping the faith. That faith may be temporarily overshadowed by uncertainty, but unless you declare ‘game over,’ the faith is still there.

  • Redefine faith as a readiness to keep believing that you have what it takes to keep going, even when the going gets tough. Realize that faith is not an absence of doubt, but rather the willingness to keep going even in the presence of doubt.

  • Keeping the faith is about keeping that glimmer of belief alive. That glimmer that keeps you going even when it appears that all odds are against you, and that there is no end in sight to the circumstances that you want to change.

  • Remember a little bit of faith goes a long way. The biblical saying is that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible for you. It is only when you lose sight of that kernel of faith that keeping on going gets really tough.

  • Stop to notice how far you have come. Sometimes when you are busy gazing hopelessly at the seemingly endless road ahead of you, what you really need to do is turn around and look back at how far you have already travelled. List as many reasons as you can why you are now closer to your goal than ever before.

  • Nurture your dreams and your faith in them and yourself. Take time to visualize your dreams as a reality. Create visual reminders in the form of pictures of what you want and written words of inspiration placed where you see them often. Talk about your dreams, and create the emotions that you will feel when your dreams become your reality.

  • Create simple plans of action that can help you to keep taking the next steps towards bringing your dreams to life. Take one small step at a time and avoid getting caught up in the overwhelming feeling that you need to do it all at once.

  • Make taking care of your physical and emotional wellbeing a priority. Being rested, and as fit and healthy as possible, as well as creating good emotional supports from friends, family, and/or communities or support professionals can make it much easier to stay on track with your goals, and your belief in them.
Keeping the faith is like keeping fit. Some days you will feel great, and like you can conquer the world. Other days you just want to curl up in a corner. Continually deciding to stick with your dreams, through the ups and downs is the only thing that determines between choosing faith or despair. Which are you going to keep choosing?

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