Before I began my self-improvement journey, I’d end most of my days with no more knowledge or experience than when I woke up. I didn’t have any objectives or goals; I never reflected and planned for progress. So I never grew any faith in myself.
But when I started my self-improvement journey, I adopted a simple-yet-life-changing daily goal:
Do your best.
I got sick of going to bed every night knowing I didn’t give the day everything I had. So I began writing out just a few goals each day, and the very last goal was the checkbox for–“Do your best.” That’s when my best effort became a daily focus. And the more effort I put in, the the more faith I grew in myself.
After a month of best efforts, and of refining my goal-setting and executing capabilities, I started earning money in my dream job of writing. 100% effort meant pitching new clients and magazines, writing for a couple hours, editing for a couple more, and taking care of my body every single day. So that’s what I did.
Then my first paycheck came in…cha-ching! $1,200 bucks to do what I loved and to create value for others. That money confirmed the faith I’d been growing in myself. And if I could earn a $1,000 in a month, then why couldn’t I earn $2,000—enough to support myself?
A few months of checking off my biggest daily goal—do your best— and I’d earned a full time living from my writing. Now I had faith enough in myself to launch.
I fully launched at age 25. Before, I’d always depended on other people to stay afloat—girlfriends, parents, friends. They fed me and clothed me. They sheltered me. But they also prevented me from growing faith in myself. And after the fourth failure-to-launch, I couldn’t deny that. So I cut off my escape routes. Mental ones included.
I promised myself to never again slink back to my Mom’s with my tail tucked. And to prevent any relapse into dependent thinking, I started a visualization routine. In it, I paid all of my own bills; I earned more than enough money; and I always had enough. So when things got tough (as they always do), I was focusing on me depending on me, living on my own, and relaxing on the couch I paid for—not my Mom’s.
And things did get tough. But instead of daydreaming about Mom’s and admitting defeat, as I’d always done, I acted on my visualization routine.
Then lost my steady freelance gig with a major media company. My knuckles were red from anxiously gnawing at them. Bummer. But I was depending on me. So I focused on finding more work.
After the devastating job loss and weeks of searching for new work, I was coming down to the wire. Rent was due next week. My economy-sized bag of rice was dangerously depleted. And then rent was due two days ago. Heeeeeelp!
But my call for help wasn’t directed to my Mom—it was to God. I asked for a miracle. I asked that my efforts be rewarded with enough to pay my rent and eat. And on the third day, I was rewarded with a $700 dollar check from a new client. I never would’ve held out that long if I hadn’t first grown faith in myself. But there’s only so much you can do on your own: after your best, you’re dependent on God for the rest. So when there was nothing left for me to do, I talked to God. I prayed to Him. I expressed gratitude for everything He’d given me, all the breaks, all the miracles. And in the gratitude and constant dialogue, I found my next level of faith. I didn’t know where the money was coming from. I knew I wasn’t going to pull out of my ass. But I knew it was coming. And it came. And I knew that I would always be taken care of, no matter how dire my situation seemed.
Over the next year of my faith-building journey, I had more prayers answered and miracles delivered than I thought I deserved. I lost my laptop on a road trip in Vegas and it was sent back by a charitable soul who refused even a penny of compensation. That loss could have ruined me. But I got what I needed.
I landed all the major publications I needed to grow my career, and always just in the nick of time. And when my finances were perilously low, I was always granted a last-minute miracle client, or a windfall. I’d gone without eating much for a few days, and my next check wasn’t coming in for two weeks. I knew God would take care of me, so I prayed. And that afternoon a $367 dollar check came in the mail from a long-forgotten class-action settlement that had been decided two years ago.
I grew my faith to the point where I knew I could help even more people than myself, so I started my charity practice. And that’s when my faith skyrocketed.
Before, I was so focused on my own struggles that I didn’t give a thought to the people who had it worse than me. But there were plenty of them. And in refusing to acknowledge and help those people, I set a limiting belief for myself—that I didn’t have enough to share. Total faith killer.
Humans are built to share. No matter where you’re at, you can always assist someone in need with your time and money—however little of it you have. And when you do share, especially in the face of uncertainty, you grow your faith by exponents. Which earns you a very special reward.
For me, it was an enormous increase in clients, money, financial security, and joy. I’d give a hundred to someone in need, even though I was planning on feeding myself with the dough. But then I’d get $3,000 in new business—in the span of 24 hours!!! I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I couldn’t thank God enough. So I gave more. And more. And I got more and more and more. The cycle has only strengthened as I’ve continued to be charitable to those in need. And my faith is ever growing.
If you’ve never given before, start with anything. 10% is ideal, but even 5% will do. Set the money aside from your paycheck and keep it in mind for people in need. Ask God who you can help. Then await your miracles in gratitude and good faith—which means working your butt off, too!. You’ll be thrown into the path of others, they’ll be thrown into yours, and you’ll be their miracle. That’s blessing enough in itself. But then you get back more than you could’ve imagined.
Despite being fully dependent on my parents just four years ago, today I make my living by teaching others how to plan and grow their faith. The process works. All you have to do is do your best every single day—cut yourself off from your outs—pray often (and especially when you’ve done all you can)—and give more. Practice all of these things at once? You’ll have earned a rock-solid faith that no event and no one can shake. And that’s how you reach your goals.
Need help building faith in yourself and conquering your goals? Check out my coaching here.
Originally published at millennialsuccess.io