Growing up in Catholic School meant priests and nuns were constantly trying to impose values and virtues, many of them outdated to say the least. But one stuck out to me the most; Conviction. This is the one virtue that will lead you and motivate you to grow, no matter what obstacles may present themselves. Conviction made me believe in myself and my decisions.
“Conviction is a strong persuasion or belief,” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary.
Now, in Catholic School they were probably talking about it in regards to faith and believing in God. But, I took it differently. For me it became this strong belief in myself and my decisions.
I realized that there are a lot of things we do because we just assume we have to. But, we don’t believe they are useful. So much of our time is spent doing things we don’t want to do just because of some status quo. But, conviction taught me to think about why I was doing the things I did. Why was I making those choices.
I decided to do all things with conviction. The conviction that I would grow from my experiences and learn from them. The conviction that my gut was right. The conviction that my time and energy were worth something so I should choose wisely what to spend them on.
This motivated me in a way I’ve never been motivated before. I not only choose my fights based on my opinions and beliefs, but I am willing to give them my all because I am convinced that what I’m doing is right for me or those around me. I stopped doing things that didn’t help me grow in any shape or form.
Now, I don’t want to make it sound like it was easy and I just do whatever I want. It took years for me to realize that a lot of things I did were actually harmful to my goals, my mental health, or myself. And, there are still things I have to do even when I would rather not – *cough, math, cough*. But, ultimately I believe that getting a degree is the best for me, so I gotta pass those classes. Or, maybe a relationship that I value is harmful, so I gotta let go even if it will make me temporarily sad.
I know you are thinking this sounds like I’m selfish and stubborn. But, the truth is this has helped me prioritize those things that help me be a better person, for myself and those around me. I have prioritized the relationships that matter the most. I work hard because I believe that what I do makes a difference. And, I dedicate 100% of my effort to those things I’m convinced will make me a stronger, healthier, more emotionally healthy person.
Conviction might not always be the ultimate motivator. But, in all honesty, if we don’t believe that what we’re doing is going to help us grow and become better people, then why are we wasting our time?
Also published on Medium.