Overcoming Doubt

Overcoming doubt is easy, if you don’t doubt it, of course. However, most of us entertain an element of doubt in our minds about being successful whenever we try something new. In fact, almost everyone is in some way plagued with doubt of some kind. Take science, for example. Do you think all the scientific advancement achieved would have been possible without questioning the prevailing assumptions at the beginning? Suppose you want to start a business or launch a novel project. Are you absolutely sure that it will succeed? There is always a little fear or doubt at the beginning.

Despite your doubt, you cannot let it keep you from your ultimate goal. The reason is simple. You must be prepared to risk failure because it is important for overcoming doubt. Dive right in to whatever it is without being making rash decisions. Don’t worry, you won’t dive in without the right gear. You will analyze all of the possible consequences of your situation and you will embrace the outcome, whatever it may be. This is the secret to conquering doubt. Have courage to fight it out and you are sure to defeat it.

Belief is the enemy of doubt. Learn to think positively and believe in your ability to be successful. Remember you will succeed if you think you will and you will fail if you think that too. Your thoughts are self-fulfilling prophecies so you must stop thinking negatively. Likewise, never pay heed to the people who discourage you, who revel in planting doubts in you and who are actually wolves in sheep’s clothing. Always be in the company of those people whose thoughts and attitudes to life in general are positive.

When failure strikes
You probably won’t be fortunate to never experience failure in your life. However, you must understand that it is part of life. These are the times when failure fills your mind with doubt and it is hard to muster the confidence you built up earlier in the process. You can’t let go of your commitment, no matter how shaken you are by failure. In fact, any setback should only prompt you to double your resolve to make another attempt at reaching your goal. In order for this to happen, train your mind to build your self-control and self-confidence. Every step towards self confidence helps get rid of doubt and you will be back to your successful ways once again.

Healthy doubt
Remember some amount of doubt can always be helpful in gaining wisdom or achieving advancement in life. But when it becomes a cause for your depression and inactivity or when it stands like an insurmountable hurdle in your way to reach your destination, draw upon your energy reserves that can toughen up your mind. You have to strengthen your will to succeed at all costs and weaken doubt by all possible means, so that you will lead a life of fulfillment.

You may succeed because of your doubt or in spite of your doubt. Or, you may have to accept the inevitable and compromise with whatever worst-case scenario that presents itself. If this happens, just change course, re-energize your cylinders and start afresh on your revised path. Defeat doubt before it defeats you.

Make Your Life Extraordinary

Life is a mission, not a career. A career is a profession. A mission is a cause. A career asks, “What’s in it for me?” A mission asks, “How can I make a difference?” Martin Luther King’s mission was to ensure civil rights for all people. Ghandhi’s mission was to liberate 300 million Indians. Mother Teresa’s mission was to clothe the naked and feed the hungry.

These are extreme examples. You don’t have to change the world to have a mission. As educator Maren Mouritsen says, “Most of us will never do great things. But we can do small things in a great way.”

_From the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens