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An Epidemic of Doubt

Paul Kearley

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Doubt and despair, like hope, are born in imagination. ~Robert Lynd

It must have been a really good dream, because when I awoke, I was charged with a high level of energy and enthusiasm, and I couldn't wait to get out for my run. Just from the way I felt, I knew that it was going to be a great day.

Climbing out of bed, I slipped into my running gear, grabbed my stopwatch and stepped out the door.

"I should push myself this morning" I thought. “I want to shave some time off my personal best time for this year so far. "

"Thirty six fifty five" I said out loud. “That's the time that I want for this run. " This would be a full minute faster than my best time so far this year for 7.5 kilometres.

And off I went.

After a couple of kilometres, I seemed to be much more winded than I had in a long while: The hills looked bigger and the trail seemed longer. Then my mind kicked in, “Do you really think you can carve a minute off of your time? Does it really matter? You're tired now; think of what you will feel like in a couple more kilometres. " I thought. “Why don't you slow down now, you know you're not going to hit that goal, so you may as well just slow down and just enjoy the run. If you were just to equal your best run, wouldn't that be good enough?"

I was bargaining with myself to lower my expectations because I started to doubt if I could achieve my goal.

But I pushed on, trying to rid myself of the doubts that were screaming at me, feeling the lead weight of my legs grow heavier, while my lungs grew shallower.

To try to shake off the doubts, I suddenly started chanting as I ran, “Thirty six fifty five, thirty six fifty five, thirty six fifty five", the sound matching the pace of my running shoes and becoming louder than my unbelief.

As the last 150 metres came into view, I broke into a sprint right up to the finish point at the end of my driveway and I pushed the stop button on my stopwatch: Thirty six forty five!

I had done it. . . and bested my original goal.

As I sat at my desk a while later, still on a high for making a new personal best time, I started to think about what had actually happened, and how it relates to a lot of what we, you and me, experience on a daily basis.

What I came up with was: Our doubts betray our aspirations, and limit our successes.

Many of the goals that I have missed along the way throughout my life were not because I was physically incapable of achieving them; it was because I was mentally incapable of seeing myself achieving them. . . and when I spoke those doubts aloud, they became a reality.

My doubts put the brakes on my success.

And so it is for many of us.

What we doubt and fear gets most of our attention and so we talk about it to anyone who will listen just so we can justify our failure. It's an epidemic! Just listen to the conversation of the people around you and you will see it too. Most conversations are filled with “can't, couldn't, don't and shouldn't " and as many limiting beliefs as can possibly be inserted into it.

We limit our success with our doubts and excuses.

If you want to break out of the pattern create more success in your life, follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Don't listen to the negative talk of others. Many negative people can't stand to be around positive thinking people who move forward on their goals. In many cases, when they see us succeed, they try very hard to find our weak spot so that we will fail. Refuse to be around them.
  2. Give yourself permission to succeed. You may have failed in the past, but that's in the past! You can't change that. The only thing that you have that is certain is the present moment. What you do with it will determine where you will go and who you will become, so think positive.
  3. Speak your goals out loud. When your mind, through your ears hear your mouth saying your vision or your goals, it starts to believe that it is possible, and the more you say it out loud, the more you believe and the more your mind searches for a way to make it happen. Your words create your reality!
  4. Take action on your goals. Stop wasting time planning for everything to be perfect and just get into action. Nothing worthwhile was ever completed by someone saying, “wouldn't it be nice?"

This week, vaccinate yourself from your doubts. Set your goal, get out on your trail, and speak what you want into existence, and when you do, you will find that what you have been searching for will find you faster than you may have earlier believed.

Dare to believe that you are capable of whatever you set your heart and soul to.

Make this your best week ever!

© 2008 Paul Kearley CS, For 22 years, Paul Kearley has thrived in the personal development and coaching business. As a Master Business Coach, Paul's passion is in developing and creating increased potential, and coaching people to create success.

A newspaper columnist, and editor for “E-Motion", his own weekly ezine, and author of 3 e-books, Paul writes articles that address the everyday challenges we all have and face in life and in business, and offers suggestions for success.

If you'd like to connect with Paul to discuss your personal or business strategies or to subscribe to “E-Motion", simply visit or send an e-mail to

Visit to review and purchase my NEW E-Book MUST Thinking: An easy four step guide for creating the results you want"


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