Cooling Off In The Shadow Of Doubt!

Cooling off in the shadow of doubt!

Can I? Will I be able too? What if I fail? You have the training, skills, and knowledge necessary to accomplish a task or conquer a challenge, but a doubt or a fear of failure keeps you from moving toward your desired outcome. Sound familiar? The Self-Help world is filled with advice and technologies to render every doubt into a certainty. I know of at least a dozen NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and hypnotic techniques that are sure-fire recipes for eliminating doubt. Understandably, a life filled with certainty has an appeal, but let us not toss the ‘doubt’ baby out with its old bathwater. The skill of proper doubting is an extremely useful resource.

Of course entertaining a doubt might not be the perfect activity while firewalking or approaching a potential dance partner; a doubt is a very useful thought to have when considering one’s perceived barriers and weaknesses. Like a procrastinator that never gets around to putting something off, a person that gets into the habit of doubting his doubts might just find doubt’s silver lining.

Think of something you know, or truly believe to be true. A classic example would be “the sun is going to come up tomorrow”. Most of us feel fairly certain about that idea. Notice how it feels, and even pretend to know where you feel that feeling. Is it inside, or outside of your body (remember, you’re pretending), if there is an image associated with this certain thought is it bright or dark, close or far away, a still shot or a like a movie? Imagine you have a place somewhere inside or outside of your body you can call your ‘position of certainty’. That position is where your strong beliefs and certainties exist. Play with that certainty until you’re familiar with its experiential structure.

Next, do the same exercise with something you doubt. Make it an obvious doubt such as “I doubt I’ll ever sprout wings and fly” or “I doubt I’ll ever be president of MicroSoft”. If you don’t doubt either of those two suggestions, good luck, and pick your own. Notice how you doubt in terms of the same qualities that you observed with the thought you were certain about examined above. Imagine or pretend there is a ‘position of doubt’ somewhere around your body.

Now, think of a thought you are certain of, or believe firmly, that you would rather not be so sure of. Examples of this might include “I don’t deserve success” or “I’m not good enough”. Make it a problematic certainty that you wouldn’t mind doubting. It probably shares many of the structural qualities with the strongly believed thought you examined above. Check and see.

Finally, imagine rapidly taking that last certain thought that you would like to doubt, and quickly changing it’s qualities and location to resemble a doubt. If, for example, certainty is big and bright, and doubt is smaller and dark, take this thought that you’d like to doubt and quickly shrink and darken it, and snap it into the ‘doubt’ position. Do that a few times…. certainty to doubt…. certainty to doubt. Do this as fast as you can. Remember, your brain works much faster than you think. Now, take a deep breath, and re-examine that thought you’d like to doubt. You will probably notice it feels, well, more doubtful. Of course, you can also do the reverse, and change a doubt to a certainty. Never doubt the value of proper doubting. Your brain is a playground…so play.

If you see the value in this process, but just couldn’t get the hang of it, I recommend contacting a local hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner to help you discover doubt’s ability to free you from debilitating beliefs. Debilitating beliefs are often unconscious, and require the trained eyes and ears of a hypnotherapist to uncover.

This is another mind management tip from the Richard Lefever and the brain weavers at Quit! Check us out at