I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear the word ‘faith’ I think of religion. I think of the many hours at primary school in Zimbabwe talking about the bible and then going to prayer meetings in the mornings of high school. I mostly went to the prayer meetings to avoid being in the classroom with my classmates, as I was new to the school and my promotion to the 1st team of cricket didn’t land me any friends. I think it was because my face didn’t fit…
I used to pray each morning along with other guys from the school, I’d give thanks and inwardly pray that the bullying would stop. It never did though, and somewhere between me leaving that school and leaving Zimbabwe because of the politics, I lost faith in more than just God.
Up until a few years ago I very rarely let the word ‘faith’ associate itself into personal growth. For me it was so closely linked to the Religious memories and it took a while for me to associate the word with self-belief.
I spent most of my years after the high school debacle trying to carve out a decent name as a golfer. Playing as much as possible each week, finding solace in the golf courses of southern Africa. The only issue was that I had very wavered self-belief. If you look at any sport, any goal and anything you set out to achieve in this world there needs to be an element of faith in oneself.
I remember in 2007, walking down the 8th hole of Paris Golf Club in Texas. I wasn’t playing badly or very well, it was just average. I made one bad swing, one swing that caused a chain of events that determined my outcome for that round. It was a competition and all of a sudden I had taken 12 shots to get the ball in the hole, where others had taken 4. Who could I get angry with? How could I let it go? Those were the last questions in my mind as I launched into an internal battle with myself.
I cursed and screamed in my head at how useless I was, I carried myself with a negative demeanour and finished the round way off the pace. The whole reason I was upset with myself is because I knew I was better than that, I knew that I had more to give. It had just become very comfortable over the years to be the person that beat himself up for ‘being useless’ every time something negative happened.
It has taken me a long time to realise that setbacks and negativity are a simple part of life, they don’t just seem to happen to one particular person. It may seem that other people get an easy ride, but in reality it is the way that we respond to that setback and situation that defines how we treat the faith in ourselves. I’m still learning and working on being better at this, it doesn’t just disappear overnight. What I can say is that if you’ve ever had those thoughts about getting fit, losing weight, changing something in your life. Or thoughts that one day you might be the next best tiddlywinks champion of the world. You’ve had those thoughts because ultimately you have faith, you have belief that you have something awesome inside of you.
With that said I’ll leave you with this quote from Marianne Williamson that might help to set the tone for your week and your year!