I came across a quote the other day. Maybe I’ve seen this quote someplace before. Or maybe I haven’t. Maybe I just never read it quite the same way or maybe my eyes are open differently.
The quote said, “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
I have been thinking about this quote for the last few days now. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. But what is doubt anyway? Isn’t doubt just a human construct? To doubt or to be uncertain; to question and believe in the unlikelihood, isn’t this doubt? Isn’t it to hesitate, to pause or fail to launch? Doubt means to stall and wait; to watch and see the world go by. This means to never dare, never touch, never risk the chance to reach something so incredible or meaningful. This is doubt. This is why people quit before they ever start. And this is why doubt will kill any dream before failure has its chance.
Doubt is a thief. Or more to the point, doubt is the thievery of life. This steals moments and robs us of the victory to overcome. Doubt is what wipes away the opportunity for us to ever become our own super hero.
The last thing anyone ever wants to be is joyless or hapless, unfortunate or broken. No one ever stands in line to be disappointed. No one ever asks to be let down or hurt or picked last when the people around them are choosing teams. There is so much more to us than wealth or positions. There is so much more to life than the basic, status quo, or to go along just to get along. There’s more. There’s so much more.
There is the need for life; to thirst, to hunger, to strive and to feel the thrill of the hunt. This is not to suggest that life is about the stalk and kill. Instead, life is about the goals we set and our zest to achieve them. Life is about overcoming; it’s about climbing the hill and overcoming the obstacles that were once so big and so intimidating. Life is about climbing out of where we came from and not only carving our way but creating a path that surpasses our own expectations.
Life is a series of inspiration and motivation. And make no mistake about this. Motivation and inspiration are always present and always constant. They are both energy. They only need direction.
Although doubt is the main thievery of life, doubt cannot stop the constant flood of energy behind motivation or inspiration. Instead, this allows for a choice. I do not say depression is a choice. I do not say that tragedies are a choice. No, these can be constant. However, in order to maneuver through life, we have to find a connection; we have to find the right pathway of thinking otherwise we sink.
We have the choice to nurture the direction of our energy. For instance, when we say, “I don’t even have the motivation to get out of bed,” the motivation is still there. However, the direction we nurture is the deciding factor of whether we get out of bed or not.
Doubt is a disruption of focus. It’s a voice that lies to us. This is the internal narrative whose whispers can become a scream; and no matter what we hear, doubt lies and keeps us from moving forward.
There is a glimmer in us all somewhere. There is a light within us. And this is important. This is something to nurture. No matter how small or how seemingly doubtful or insignificant; this little glimmer might be, this is the spark of something we call hope. And sometimes, this is all we have. Sometimes the light is so small that we can barely see it. But no matter how small this light might seem, so long as there is a speck of light, no darkness shall ever prevail.
So, what does doubt do?
What does doubt tell us?
Doubt says don’t bother.
Doubt is the voice that tells our spark that no matter how hard we try, this spark will never become a flame.
That’s a lie.
That’s a theft of services. This is doubt. And meanwhile, hope is very real. Same as doubt can only survive if doubt is fed, hope will only thrive if we learn to feed it.
We have to nurture this. We have to fan these flames until our spark becomes overwhelming and insurmountable.
Sure. Change is intimidating. Growth will often come with growing pains. Growth takes work. Dreams take work. So does love, friendship and family. Nothing comes easily, which is why doubt has an easy time overtaking our thoughts.
Nothing in this world will ever be free. Not even doubt because although failure might hurt, doubt and its results can cost nearly everything, including the joy for life.
I received a book in the mail the other day. I ordered this because this is something that sparked my dream a long time ago. I ordered Jim Carroll’s The Basketball Diaries.
One of my favorite quotes from this book is something I think about when I’m standing on the rooftop, high above New York City. I say to myself, “Ah, the City is on my side.”
I like that line but no line is liked more than this.
“Little kids shoot marbles where the branches break the sun into graceful shafts of light . . .
I just want to be pure.”
Me too, Jim.
I want to be pure and rid of the impurities that lead to the ideas of imperfections. I want to be free of the ideas that stem from doubt and judgment. I want to be rid of this so that I can be the person I’ve always wanted to be.
Isn’t this what we want? Isn’t this why we’re here? To find hope?
Otherwise, all anyone could ever be is hopeless and doubtful.
Does anyone really want to live this way?
I doubt it.