The word “conviction applies to a lasting, habituated state of mind carried into action. Conviction is the end product, not the starting point, of your choices. But it is the end product of each choice, not of the entire process. When you decide you want to improve your life it will be the start of deciding to “go for it.” You believe you have the ability to change; otherwise, you would not have “gone for it.” As you continue to make positive choices, your conviction grows. As you continue to believe in yourself, you will come to realize that you really can build a happy, meaningful life. You will understand more deeply that this requires not only a choice but also acting on that choice. Conviction grows when you do what you say you’re going to.
Depression creates transient states of mind, so even when you are sincere in your belief that you want to pull out of it, you may not have an enduring conviction. Depression creates distortions, tries to keep you in its old patterns of thoughts and actions (or inactions as the case may be), and deflates your belief. Belief without action is just a wish; belief with action is called conviction.
Do you have the conviction needed to make a change? If you don’t think you do, that’s okay. That is something you have to work on one step at a time. In the meantime, you may need to promise yourself that you’ll have a “bring it,” attitude each and every day.
If you do have the conviction, will you demonstrate it by having a “bring it” attitude each week? You’ve seen scenes in a TV show or movie where one person has a score to settle with another and they give that person the “bring it” look. Half-hearted efforts or “giving it a try” don’t typically work for long. “Bringing it” is one choice- a choice you will live into. The outcome of this choice and all your hard work, even though you might not like it at the time, is valuable beyond words. It’s both fun and not fun, but it gives you the self-respect and peace of mind to become a whole person again by doing right by yourself and by the people who love and care about you. Whether you know it or not, doing something good for yourself has a positive ripple effect- your actions help all those who care about you, as your depression makes their lives less than full. The truth is they have been struggling with you by having to work on their issues around control, helplessness, and patience.