The concept of faith is a tough one to really explain, especially as different people tend to have different ideas on what it really means. Probably the most widespread accepted description of faith is in religious terms where a person is said to have faith in their God (or whichever name they prescribe to their own religion's ultimate being) that is an unwavering belief in the existence and presence of the father of creation.
This is a form of faith that is expected of the devout followers of their religious teachings. But is it the only form?
Faith in Self
Having faith in self is another aspect of this topic that needs looking into. The word faith is defined in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as:
- a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
- b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
- a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
- b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
- : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
Its origin can be traced back to the Middle English feith, from Anglo-French feid, fei, from Latin fides; which is akin to Latin verb fidere - to trust.
When put into a personal perspective, then it can be seen that having faith in the abilities of yourself is defined as having a firm, unshakable belief and trust in yourself and your abilities to achieve whatever it is you set out to achieve. If goes even deeper than that, because when you have faith in your ability to overcome a problem or obstacle, then you have at your command a power that is virtually unstoppable as long as your faith remains unshaken.
This idea has been expounded by the personal growth industry as central to its precepts. A person in a state of good mental health can grow, become more than they were, succeed in any venture they initiate if they have faith in their ability to achieve it. In short, what the mind believes (faith), the person can achieve.
Having faith in certain aspects of your personality certainly inspires confidence and a high self esteem when viewed by another person. Often, it is a quality they can't seen to put their finger on right away, but a person with unshakable faith in themselves seems to have an aura of charisma that indicates their successful nature.
Can Faith Be Made?
People often wonder how they can "have faith" and what they need to do in order to attain that personal quality. In actuality, faith is a human emotion that can be artificially created by the use of certain principles. It is not an easy thing to do, but it can be done.
In fact, when you have faith that you can do something, then you can do it. That might seem a catch 22 situation, because if you need faith to create faith, then surely you are defeated before you even start. But this is not so.
Faith is a state of mind that has its root in the subconscious part of the mind. It cannot be "willed" into existence buy the logical, reasoning, conscious part. But the conscious part of the mind is all we have to work with in order to bring about certain states of mind. So that is what we can use in a technique known as auto-suggestion.
This technique is used by all students when they are in the process of learning new things, so it's not some paranormal or occult ritual as some may believe. It is in fact a natural process that we all use to remember things like facts, dates, important events etc. It's more commonly known as "learning by rote or repetition" where constantly repeating a fact over and over in the mind (or saying it out aloud) causes that fact to "stick" in our memory until we have learned it.
This technique actually impresses a fact or set of data upon the subconscious part of the mind which is responsible, among many things, for the storage and retrieval of memories from our brain. Repeating a fact sub-vocally will eventually cause that fact to be retained in long term memory, whereas only encountering it once or a few times tends to have it retained only in short term memory to be forgotten about later if not re-visited often.
The same technique can be used to impress the belief that you can do something upon the subconscious so that it is retained in long term memory as a truth. Once you believe with absolute certainly that you can do a thing, you can do it. This is faith. And you create that faith your self by impressing that belief upon your subconscious mind via the constant repetition of an affirmation to the fact.
Belief Plus Emotion
While the technique may appear infallible on the surface, it needs one further ingredient to make it work. Just repeating an affirmation to your self over and over will have little effect on you, just as a prayer repeated over and over usually tends to go unanswered. The affirmation need to be "colored" by an added ingredient, which is emotion.
The subconscious is moved into action by emotion. When you generate a strong emotion along with an affirmation of expectancy, the thing expected generally tends to come about. How often have you become angry and frustrated about a financial debt you have accrued only to find that the debt gets worse? This is the unconscious use of faith to your detriment.
Turn that on its head and mix positive emotion with a desire for good and you can bring that good into your life. Because you create faith in the fact that it will manifest for your betterment. Try it sometime. You might surprise yourself!