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Squashing Self-Reliance Through Belief

This has been a month of building belief. Belief in what I’m passionate about, but also belief in things beyond my cozy niche in the world. I think most people are told as a child to believe in themselves, great things can be accomplished by those who try. But what does that really build? Perseverance, individuality, resiliency? Maybe. But what about self-reliance, competitiveness, and selfishness? Are those attractive outcomes to your belief? Is that your measure of success? I don't want them to be for me.


We live in a culture that thrives on mattering. We want to be liked, recognized and praised. We want to succeed in whatever earthly goal we have set out to accomplish. And so often we become little idols to ourselves, rather than believing and recognizing the world beyond ourselves. Here is what I’m (slowly) realizing:

We rarely, if ever, accomplish anything on our own.


Whether you believe in God or not, you still have someone helping you out along the way. And usually that someone (or someones) is an unsung hero to your success. Let's take learning to dance. Everyone is born with a desire to groove. I've never met a baby that couldn't move it to a good beat. But, most of us will keep our dancing skills to invite-only-dance parties. To be recognized as a 'dancer', depends on a lot of factors. Did someone waltz you around to help you fall asleep? Was music a backdrop to your childhood? Did you have the opportunity to take lessons?


Some might argue that they were born to dance, that they were naturally gifted But even so, someone gave you that gift. So, really your ability to dance, or sing, or kill it at baseball has very little to do with you. Your perseverance, individual success, and resiliency to that passion was even fostered. But most often, only one person receives the ovation, the award, or the MVP trophy.

Just like dancing, you can not learn to write on your own. You can not share a story about your personal beliefs, whether fiction or nonfiction, without a crowd of support. You will never share your passion without a willingness to receive help. It takes a lot of belief in that passion to build a person up enough to be willing to share it with the world. For me, it requires trust in God, that I'm sharing a story important to someone. (Anyone!?). It takes a willingness to believe far beyond myself.


In Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller talks a lot about belief. He shares at one point, while struggling to understand his own faith, “… if I live what I believe, I don’t believe very many noble things.” This resonated with me to the core. But much like this author, I’m trying to change how I live. But it is so hard. Can anyone relate? I can tell your how I should live and what I should believe, but to live it out is an entirely different thing.


Speaking out our false beliefs is a great place to start.


What are your false beliefs? What childhood mantra's do you wish you could take away from your inner monologue? How would your life change if you lived it with the belief Someone much greater than yourself was more worthy of the applause?