Over and over we are told not to doubt. All the great teachers throughout history have said to be certain in our faith. Wallace Wattles, Earl Nightingale, Raymond Holliwell and others all emphasized how important it is to be sure that the things we want are already ours. Jesus Himself made the point a number of times; “…neither be ye of doubtful mind” (Luke 12:29), “…wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:31), “…if ye have faith, and doubt not” (Matthew 21:21), “…and shall not doubt in his heart” (Mark 11:23). Everywhere we look for direction in attaining our goals, we are told not to doubt. But guess what? When you first start changing the way you think, you are GOING to have doubts. The programming that your mind has been steeped in is going to tell you that things don’t work like that. The words “what if” are going to haunt you. The good news is, you don’t need to let that worry you. It’s a natural function of the way your mind works. Once you begin to impress the new thoughts upon it, that little voice will begin to fade very quickly. You’ll still hear it from time to time, but the main thing to remember is not to let it worry you. Those aren’t true doubts, they are nothing more than the last nervous twitches of a dead idea. They are “reflex thoughts”, leftover remnants of your old programming. They are only a problem if you let them feed on themselves by making you worry that you are doubting and therefore undoing the good you’ve been trying to do.
It is true that real doubt, a serious lack of conviction in the reality of your goal, can quench your desire. But not those temporary, momentary doubts. You only need to be aware of them and then you can work past them. Don’t let reflex doubts cause you undue worry. Don’t think that, just because you had a momentary doubt, that you have undone all the work you’ve been doing. THOSE thoughts are the real danger of doubts; they cause us to second-guess ourselves, cause confusion and more worry. Put them out of your mind. Doubts are only a problem when we notice them coming constantly. Then we are moving back toward where we came from, away from our goals and slipping automatically back into our comfort zone. The best remedy is to either stop, calm ourselves, and begin to visualize our goal with real feelings of excitement and gratitude, or to begin doing something that will take all of our mental effort so that we have none left to waste on idle doubts. Go back and study some more. Listen to the words of the great teachers. It is a great help to me to read Mark 11:23-24, sometimes over and over. And while I have always been an advocate of “dreaming big”, in extreme cases it may be wise to rethink your goals and possibly break them into smaller parts. Set a goal that isn’t quite so far away, and when you reach it, you’ll have more confidence to set subsequent goals that are larger and larger.
The main thing to remember is to learn to tell the difference between true doubt and those “reflex thoughts”. The most effective method I’ve found for stamping them out? A quick, silent “thank you” for the success I know is mine, because it’s been promised to me.