Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. This is a quote that has stuck with me for a while. It is only partially correct. Doubt can kill your dreams if you don’t do anything about them. But if this doubting, this questioning of your abilities makes you work even harder, push further, take more action, take more risks, then we all know what would happen. In this article I will explore the possibility of looking at doubt in a different way and using it to our advantage.
From Doubt to Curiosity
Doubt is a belief that you are not good enough or that things won’t work out or that something is lacking in general. Believing by definition means that you don’t know for sure. Well there is only one way to figure out the truth. Go ahead and give it a try. I know, much easier said than done. Sometimes the doubt itself is preventing you from trying. In this situation start by reframing your thought process like this, for example:
Doubtful: I don’t think I can wake up at 5am every day for a week.
Curious: I wonder if I can wake up at 5am for a week? What would it take to wake up at 5am? How would my life change if I had 3 extra hours before work? What could I accomplish?
Doubtful: I don’t think I can make more than $2000 per month.
Curious: I wonder if I can make $500 more this month. I wonder if I can make the same amount in less time.
It’s so easy to convert the doubtful statements into curious statements. Curiosity fills you with enthusiasm and fires up your brain to come up with all sorts of ideas. Give it a try, you won’t regret it.
Doubt your abilities, never your potential
It is ok to doubt your abilities. Use it to propel yourself to more practice, more learning, more growth until there is no doubt in your mind that you are ready. On the other hand never doubt your potential. We are all human beings and there are thousands of other people that have already achieved the things you want to achieve. Whenever you say: “I can never do this” you know you are lying to yourself and making an excuse. You are the only one that limits your potential.
Doubt and Confidence, opposite but both limiting
I’ll end this article with the most controversial point.
Doubt means you believe you aren’t good enough. Confidence means you believe you are good enough. Both of these are beliefs.
Again, by definition, believing means you don’t know for sure. Here is a suggestion, instead of believing this and that, go for the actual truth. The only way to get it is to try.
Certainly going into a situation with confidence is better than going full of doubt. However they both draw their power on past experiences, on memory. Doubt is backed up by past failures, confidence by past successes. If this confidence only works for familiar situations how are you going to handle new situations?
Instead of believing this and that, keep an open and empty mind, observe what’s happening at the present moment around you and respond with your full intelligence at this moment. This is what happens naturally when you achieve state of Flow. Going in with an open mind and focusing on the present moment is all it takes. This way you leave the door open to surprise yourself with your abilities.