Believe

I think most of us can agree that time flies by way too fast and so does our childhood. In the blink of an eye, we are trading in our baseball cleats, sidewalk chalk, frosted Teddy Grams for a the work grind, monthly rent, and more responsibility. Now I don’t know about you, but adulthood has always been something that has held an enormous amount of appeal to me. Having a house, a family, and running my own life are responsibilities I have longed for since I was youngin’.

Having this mature frame of mind and thirst for responsibility at such a young age would lead one to believe that adulthood was a time in life I was very much looking forward to, and in a sense, this would be a very true statement. I’m done with school, held different jobs and gained new skills, established credit, bought my first car, gone on trips, put away money, and many of the other things I always wanted to do. So why do I have this sudden desire to be a child-like again? What do I feel is missing? All my desires to grow up aside, there is a single aspect of being a kid that I, and many others, miss so much. This aspect is deeply ingrained in the imagination of a child. This aspect is our ability to believe.

What do I mean by an “ability to believe”? It is really quite simple to explain. As kids, we allowed our imaginations to run wild. Our dreams were never too big, we had no fear, and not once did it occur to us that we did not have what it took to get exactly where we wanted to go. We lived life with such a fire and optimism and, in a way, we felt invincible. I’m not sure where things went south, but from what I have observed during my time in the adult world, I see a lot of people (myself included) who have, in a sense, lost parts of the believing area of their lives. All of a sudden, we don’t think we have what it takes to be successful in a career we’d enjoy, to be a great husband or wife, to be a great parent, to get out there and explore the unknown, or to try new things. We let the stresses and routine of every day life bog us down and drown out the most important part of our make-up. The saddest part is that most of us don’t realize this has happened and even if we do, we don’t know what we can do to change it.

Photo Credit: Ryan Magnuson
Photo Credit: Ryan Magnuson

I have thought a lot about this issue over the past year or two as I am avidly trying my best to figure out where my journey will take me, and I while I don’t have any end-all-be-all solution to get those “believing juices” flowing again, I think there are small things we can do daily to help us get there. First off, we can talk about it. It’s good to have people in our lives, whether it be family, friends, co-workers, or other people who may or may not be in our social circles, who we can voice things to. Life is not just about what’s on the surface and we can’t be afraid to bare our souls and let people know what’s really going on with us. Secondly, we can take small action steps. Do things that will get you out of your comfort zone a little bit and push you in ways you never thought of. Strike up a conversation with that stranger sitting next to you, take up a new hobby, or go somewhere you wouldn’t normally. Remember, this is a small action step meant to inspire you and get things flowing.

The last one, which is deserving of its own paragraph, is taking bigger action steps. These are meant to jolt you and get you out of the box in an entirely new way. These are the epitome of risk-taking and meant to take you completely out of your comfort zone. Take that trip you always wanted to go on, whether you have the means to or not. Quit your job or scale back your time devoted to that job to invest yourself in something you’re truly passionate about. Pick up your life and move somewhere else where you don’t know anyone. Pursue the things you’ve always wanted to pursue with no fear and forget about everything else.

My methods may be a little brash, well, some of them, but it’s the honest truth. We need to start believing in ourselves again and the only way we can do that is by putting ourselves out there. No one ever said it would be easy, or even if it would be worth it, but we cannot improve our undesirable situations if we stay exactly where we are. We have to get out there and be about it.

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