What would you do if you were 100% certain that if you keep doing what you are doing you will succeed?
My guess is that you will move heaven and earth if you have to. You will be unstoppable, motivated and steadfastly directed.
When you are certain, setbacks don’t faze you. Discouragements don’t distract you. In short, whether it’s raining or shining, when you are certain about success, you are simply unstoppable.
On the other hand if you are uncertain or doubtful as to whether you will succeed, you will be less than willing to put in the time and the effort. You will oscillate between maybe and I can’t. ‘May be if I do this or that I will succeed’. ‘I can’t make it because I don’t have this or that; or because I am not this or that’.
Not being certain stops you in your tracks; or at the very least slows you down. But certainty infuses you with enthusiasm and energy since the final outcome of your efforts is guaranteed.
The problem with doubt is that it’s never definitive; it waivers between success and failure – never being certain of either.
Doubt leads to indecision
In the Bible, Elijah is quoted to have challenged the Israelites to be decisive; to either follow God or Baal. His statement aptly demonstrates how doubt looks like to those who are certain: “How long are you going to be paralyzed by indecision? If the LORD is the true God, then follow him, but if Baal is, follow him!” (1 Kings 18:21; Net Bible).
Doubt is the main cause of indecision; and indecision leads to paralysis and inaction.
Doubt leads to toxicity
People who are plagued by doubt are some of the most toxic people to be around. These are the kind of people you should avoid giving a chance to address a motivational class. Doubt easily rubs off onto other people. You could be having one of the most engaging conversations and then someone interjects with a one-word rhetorical question (really?) that changes everything. One toxically twisted word carefully lodged in the direction of your confidence and all of sudden the atmosphere is filled with doubt.
As a preacher and life coach, I frequently encounter a type of people who, despite my efforts to put a positive twist to everything, never lack one word or comment; sometimes a sly doubtful look or glint in their eyes, that destroys an otherwise engaging conversation or message.
No one knows better the impact of doubt than satan himself! In Genesis 3: 1, satan successfully manages to tempt Eve by planting seeds of doubt in her mind: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The words, did God really say, were a perfectly loaded lead ball, aimed and launched directly at Eve. This doubt bullet was so effective that it went right through Eve and Adam. As a result, both of them failed the obedience test and were cast out of the Garden of Eden.
Doubt Kills Passion
Nothing destroys passion and enthusiasm as effectively as doubt does. Without passion, you will not be motivated to take the actions you need to take to be able to move ahead.
One of the measures that determine your purpose is passion. Most often, your purpose lies in what you are most passionate about.
For instance, I have recently re-discovered my passion for writing and encouraging other people. It is this passion that motivates me to write at least three articles per week. I am passionately and genuinely driven towards doing what I do. It’s not even about money. It’s about living my purpose. If I am not passionate, I would find it very difficult to write even one article per week.
There is a deep inwardly bubbling satisfaction that you get when you are doing something you are passionate about.
Doubt leads to failure
When you are not sure whether you will succeed, the only outcome you can be certain of is failure.
If you are not sure you will succeed, then you might as well stop before you waste too much of your time and resources.
Doubt distorts your thinking and consequently impairs or stops action. Henry Ford once said: “if you think you can or can’t; you are right”. Thinking happens in the mind; and that’s where doubts find their way as well.
If you doubt in your mind, those doubts are outwardly expressed as half-hearted attempts or inaction. Success is never achieved with such fickle efforts.
The evasiveness of certainty
The reality about life is that almost nothing is certain. In other words, it’s almost impossible to be 100% certain.
However, once you are convinced that your chances of success far outweigh those of failure, you can be fairly certain of attaining success. And in most instances being ‘fairly certain’ is all you need to succeed.
Success does not lie in being 100% sure that something will succeed; even doctors rarely give that kind of certainty. But once you are convinced that you have more than 60% chances of success, you should program your mind to the level of 100% certainty.
Let’s take the scenario of a doctor in the operation room with a patient. A go-ahead has been granted to perform surgery on the patient. The verdict is that unless the patient undergoes surgery, he or she will die. The patient has a 60% chance of surviving the surgery. Does this mean that the doctor will put in 60% effort? No; in fact the doctor strives to go beyond the 100% certainty.
When we do nothing, we fail. But when chances of success are higher than those of failure; and then we move ahead with 100% certainty, success is almost always guaranteed. And even in the unlikely event that we don’t succeed, we can rest in the blessed comfort that we did all we could – all there was to do.
You may not have 100% certainty in what you are pursuing right now. But if there is a 51% chance of success – what most call the tipping point – then your chances of success are higher than those of failure. You however need to proceed with a 100% certainty mindset.
Marshall or the resources at your disposal. Network with others that are likely to give you a push towards your goal. Be doggedly determined to succeed in spite of the obstacles that waylay you. Above all, have a 100% certainty mindset and proceed as though success is the only possible outcome.