By Dawn Onley
It’s quite possible that we cannot fully realize our potential until we exercise faith. In love. In the pursuit of our passions. In our vocations. In healing. In life.
Repeatedly we are instructed on the importance of faith, from a spiritual context:
“Faith can move mountains.” – Matthew 17:20
“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” – Martin Luther
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” – Saint Augustine
And we have also been reminded of how faith works in a secular context through popular self-help speakers and in motivational books. One of my favorite quotes about faith comes from educator and civil rights activist, Mary McLeod Bethune: “Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.”
I learned of this quote nearly 11 years ago, when I was mulling a job offer in public relations. At the time, I was editor of a niche magazine that covered military information technology and was unsure whether I wanted to leave a career in journalism to pursue a chance to learn a related but new career field. To help you understand the difficulty of my decision, and to avoid getting too inside baseball, you should understand from a journalist’s perspective, joining the ranks of PR flacks has long been likened to going over to the “dark side.”
Ultimately, I love a challenge and I love learning new stuff (and I always kind of had a thing for Darth Vader), so I decided to step out on faith to take the position, assuring myself that if I hated it, I could always go back to doing what I loved.
I ended up mostly liking PR and grateful for the opportunity to expand my skill set. Here’s where I’m headed with this: Because of that one decision to step out on faith and try something new, I am now walking into a new season of my life starting my own communications firm that marries the things I honed in journalism with what I liked most about PR.
Exercising our faith is key to unleashing our potential. It’s what made the difference in me ultimately deciding to steer my own ship rather than pursue another full-time job with a company. It took faith to start me on this journey.
If fear is keeping you from making a decision, I want to encourage you to give faith a chance. It’s best when we work through our fears of the unknown, even if we have to take baby steps at first. The worst that can happen is never as bad as we work up in our minds. We owe it to ourselves to be present and courageous and to begin laying the groundwork to go after our best work lives and personal lives.
I can’t tell you how happy and blessed and absolutely thrilled I am to be in this moment! Sure, I’m scared too, but fear will not hold me captive. No way will fear win. I’ve got work to do and a business to build!
When my son heads out for school each morning, this is what I tell him: “Go and Be Great!”
Now it’s time for me to take my own advice.