Wanting to Believe is the Key

Optimal Mental Health and Well-Being

Wanting to Believe is the Key

It seems that just about everyone has an opinion on how to manifest your dreams. One popular approach involves utilizing the law of attraction. The idea essentially is if you want something bad enough, you will attract it to you. While this is an oversimplification of course, proponents of this approach hold that you truly need to believe first and that somehow, what you desire will come into your life. This essentially turns the notion of “seeing is believing” on its head as in this case, you need to believe first in order to see the results you want.

But what happens if you can’t believe first. For example, many people who grow up in dysfunctional families have a difficult time feeling worthy of good things in life. From their perspective, it is impossible to believe that good things will happen. Core beliefs about not being good enough can shut down this process to the point it becomes virtually impossible to visualize that dreams can be achieved.

I experienced this when I was sober for 2 1/2 years. I desperately wanted to go to college full-time ever since I was a teenager, but did not believe this was possible as circumstances growing up made this dream impossible. As a result, as an adult, I “knew” it was impossible for me to ever be able to go to college full-time. I couldn’t imagine that anything would care enough about me to help me achieve this dream. The best I could do was take a class at a community college once a semester. At least I was doing the best I could was what I told myself.

Yet, in early 1985 (Yes, I know that is a long time ago), I had what I call a spiritual intervention as something inside me encouraged me to apply to the local university. I felt crazy starting the application process because I “knew” it was impossible. I was too old. I couldn’t afford it. I couldn’t go to school full-time and work full-time at the same time. Still, there was something compelling about the feeling about applying, so despite all my disbelief, I did my part and applied. Not only was I accepted, but in the fall I was a full-time college student as my whole life rearranged itself to support me going to school. The impossible had happened. How? I certainly did not have faith things would work out, yet they did.

Contrary to the law of attraction, I could not visualize myself being a full-time college student as I could not believe that what I knew to be impossible was possible. What I did have going for me was that I desperately wanted to believe it was possible and as a result, did my part by taking whatever action was needed. That started off with seeing someone in the admissions office, gathering the needed materials for the application process, and actually applying. It felt absolutely crazy to take these steps as I “knew” it was impossible. Yet, I wanted to believe and was relentless in doing my part whether that was talking to someone at the university or filling out forms. All throughout that spring and summer, I kept doing the next right thing and was amazed at how the circumstances in my life slowly began to change in a manner that ultimately supported me entering the university that fall as a full-time student. The impossible had happened!

As I write this post today, many years later, with undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, I see the common thread of wanting to believe it was possible despite not believing it was possible and doing my part as the keys to realizing these dreams.

My take home point to those who can relate to intensely wanting to achieve an impossible dream, yet not feeling worthy that such a thing is possible for them, is to use the two keys I used to radically change my life.

  1. If you can’t believe your dream is possible, you can want to believe it is possible. Acting on this belief can unleash the energy to move you forward, even if it is small steps to start.
  2. Do your part. As the energy starts to unfold, there are always steps we can take as we move toward our dreams. The good news is that doing out part of the process is always doable, but we have to do it.

Do you have any dreams you “know” are impossible, yet you still yearn for them? The good news is that utilizing these two simple steps can help you start on a path that can ultimately result in success.

Yes, sometimes the “impossible” is indeed “possible”.

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