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conviction held

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The definition of conviction is “A firmly held belief or opinion.” But it’s not as easy as just thinking something. Look at that definition again – “firmly held.” There’s an action happening there. Being a person of principle isn’t as simple as thinking a certain way. Life will constantly send you challenges that try to rip those beliefs out of your hands. People and circumstances will tempt you to let go of those beliefs. Having conviction can mean walking away from things that seem appealing at first, but that you know wouldn’t be good for you in the long run. It can mean walking away from people that meet that description, too. It can mean doing things the hard way, even when there is an easy way, because the easy way isn’t in line with your beliefs.

Firmly holding onto your beliefs will take just about every fiber in your being sometimes. And that’s why so many people lack conviction. It’s not an easy thing to have. However, without it, life is kind of a mess. You feel out of control, and vulnerable. You can even feel some shame. Being a person of conviction isn’t just some fancy and vague title to ascribe to superheroes or characters in our favorite movies. It’s an action of which we’re all capable. We spoke with therapist Lacrisha Holcomb (IG: @therapyislight), owner of Therapy is Light and a collaborator on the recovery experience app Reframe that helps individuals get sober. She knows a thing or two about having conviction during difficult times.

Lacrisha Holcomb

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It’s about non-negotiables

Having conviction means living in a way that shows your worth is non-negotiable, says Holcomb. “It empowers us to reach a place in which our values, beliefs, and character—the things that strengthen our conviction—our non-negotiables.” Conviction is also about sticking to your path, and not letting others alter it. As Holcomb says, “Whether someone wants to participate in my journey, enhance it, or remove themselves is completely their choice.”

conviction held

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Choosing to shine bright no matter what

Speaking a bit about her own journey, Holcomb shares, “When I made the choice that my light would stay on no matter what, it saved my life. I knew hardships would come but I also knew that I was going to continue to shine anyway. The light could flicker but it could never be put out.”

conviction held

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Being a survivor gives you conviction

Here’s an empowering spin on difficult experiences you may have had. Holcomb says, “When you survive things that it felt like could destroy you at the time, you truly become a Phoenix and create beauty from the ashes. Gaining that kind of wisdom—that no experience has the power to destroy you—unlocks a whole new level of conviction.”

conviction held

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Don’t let others define you

We asked Holcomb, as a therapist, what issues she sees arise when someone lacks conviction. She said, “Clients who lack conviction are often struggling with defining their identity for themselves. They have allowed other people in their lives to control that narrative for them, label them in some way, and make them question the feelings they know to be true deep down.”

conviction held

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Only you need to be happy with your choices

“For something to be ‘conviction’ by definition, it has to be firm and unwavering,” says Holcomb. Fear of disappointing others can be a source of the wavering, explains Holcomb. “When someone lacks conviction, it can look like them going back and forth about important decisions…they do not allow themselves to fully commit to one stance because it may disagree with the stance of someone else in their life.”

conviction held

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Without it, you can get stuck

In terms of specific ways a lack of conviction can hold up someone’s growth, Holcomb says, “I’ve seen people struggle with leaving a certain career, leaving a relationship, even leaving substance abuse, because it was something valued by someone else the person valued. I challenge people to value themselves in the same way they would value a loved one.”

conviction held

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Don’t please others at your own cost

“It is particularly important to remember the importance of boundaries in those moments,” says Holcomb. “It hurts us to say ‘yes’ to someone else if it means saying ‘no’ to ourselves in some vital way. We deserve our own ‘yes’ and ‘no’ that honors the life we want to live.”

conviction held

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Getting started when it’s uncomfortable

We asked Holcomb how those who are deeply uncomfortable practicing conviction in their own lives can get started, with baby steps. She said, “I encourage people to replay their ‘Track Record of Successes.’ People left, and you pushed through. Opportunities were lost or ended, and you are still here.” If you survived those moments of loss, you’ll survive the ones that may come with standing your ground more.

conviction held

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Conviction scares away the leeches

If you do lack conviction and often find yourself in relationships with individuals who attempt to control you, Holcomb sheds some light on that. She says, “People can detect your insecurity of ‘not being able to survive’ without them, which gives away your power by allowing a source outside of you to pull your strings.”

conviction held

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It takes work but it’s so worth it

“When you are grounded in faith and facts, it makes it easier to believe that everything will always work out for your good,” says Holcomb. “Positive Affirmations and Gratitude Journaling have been personally transformational for me. I always promote cultivating the mindset that we are reprogramming ourselves, so there is going to be a lot of practicing, unlearning, and learning new information occurring. Therapy is Boot Camp and the work continues outside of the sessions.”

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