Doubt Breeds REAL Confidence

“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”

Francis Bacon

Have you ever been so confident in something & then ended up wrong?
I have. 

I’ve tried to put together a small table without following the directions & after failing I finally decided to use the directions.

An ignorant confidence does that to us all. Blind faith is easy.

Over the years I have learned that I know nothing for sure. I am confident in that and so I can live confidently, forever learning. Confident in trying something so many times, and failing, until I can do it with complete confidence.

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Confidence is a great trait to have in all aspects of life, but HOW you gain that confidence is more important than “confidence” itself.

 

In a world that praises fake confidence & bravado, why and how can you use doubt to breed REAL confidence?

“The dumbest people I know are those who know it all.”
Malcolm Forbes

Remain humble —You stop learning when you are confident in “knowing it all:”

“Men cease to think when they think they know it all.”
Horace

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
Stephen Hawking

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Doubt can help you improve.
It’s a sign that there is something to learn, always.

Instead of having blind confidence in whatever it is you’re doing, question it & LEARN.

Do you follow directions when building things like tables for the first time?
I do now. Doubt guides me to follow the directions because I doubt I can build a table without directions if I’ve never done it before.

So why can’t we apply this idea to other aspects of life?

We can.

We can question things & look for answers until we learn what we need to to succeed & grow in that area. 

And no matter what there’s always more to learn!

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Doubt allows you to think critically and opens your mind.

“If someone can prove me wrong and show me my mistake in any thought or action, I shall gladly change. I seek the truth, which never harmed anyone: the harm is to persist in one’s own self-deception and ignorance.” 
Marcus Aurelius

 

Having doubt will prepare you for anything you anticipate. Soldiers train every day to stay ready for battle, because if they had 100% confidence without training, they would fail. Doubt is a guide for them, as it is with all people.

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.”
Robert Hughes

 

People who doubt are preparing themselves for the future, which is today. (Yesterday the future was today…)

“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”
René Descartes

 

Some people don’t want to be wrong in the fear of looking stupid. That is stupidity in itself.

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”
Charles Bukowski

“The less people know, the more stubbornly they know it.”
Rajneesh

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Ignorance is NOT bliss.

Doubt is a good thing.

It will lead you to a REAL, humble confidence.

Doubt will keep you learning and growing throughout all of your days.

“Uncertainty also relieves us of our judgment of ourselves. Then we don’t know if we’re lovable or not; we don’t know how attractive we are; we don’t know how successful we could potentially become. The only way to achieve these things is to remain uncertain of them and be open to finding them out through experience. Uncertainty is the root of all progress and all growth. As the old adage goes, the man who believes he knows everything learns nothing. We cannot learn anything without first not knowing something.” 
Mark Manson

“Always be suspicious of those who pretend to know it all, claim their way is the best way and are willing to force their way on the rest of us.”
Walter Williams

“The only thing I know is that I know nothing.”
Socrates

 

I can agree with Socrates in saying that I also know nothing.

You don’t need to fight doubt. It’s there for a reason.

Allow doubt to prepare you and guide you to real confidence.

 

 

It’s okay to not know

I was in my senior year of high school when I was asked for the millionth time by another “adult:” “What are you going to major in?”

I had no idea. Later that evening I was talking to my dad & I asked him what he thought I should major in. I’m sure he gave me some ideas but what I vividly remember from that conversation is him telling me that it’s also okay if I don’t know right now.

“It’s okay to not know.”

That answer seemed somewhat surprising after numerous teachers & “adults” spoke of how important it was to know what you were going to major in.

This advice gave me a huge sense of relief and I still use it today in a number of situations.

I went into college with no major, undeclared, for my first 2 years, then I actually had to decide.

I chose based off of what my interests were, not off of what would make me the most money, and I am happy with my choices. I have a degree in Sport Management, a minor in Business, and a Masters of Education degree.

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I wasn’t worried about the future when I entered college undeclared.

“Know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.”
Mary Schmich

My focus was on the day at hand. My focus was to live life to the fullest while completing everything needed to graduate.

I knew that it was okay to not try to know exactly how my future would pan out, but to trust it would turn out well, and I took actions based on that faith, like this quote from Alan Watts:

 “To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” 

 

But it can be easy to get caught up in worrying about the countless tasks you need to complete. I do that sometimes, but when I know I’m worrying I remind myself to focus on what I can do to return to peace of mind. 

Worry can be a motivator to get things done, but it can be a cage as well. Uncertainty lives with all of us, every single day. It’s always there, like gravity. How will you deal with it?

“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty that you can comfortably live with.”
Tony Robbins

So it’s completely okay to not know.

“The only thing I know is that I know nothing.”
Socrates

But what happens when you really want to know?

You want to know the answer.
You want to know what to do.
You want to know what will happen.

You want certainty in uncertain things and there are ways to create some certainty during uncertain times.

 

There are ways to create some certainty during uncertain times.

One way is to dwell in the idea that life is working out in everyone’s best interest, even during down times. And if you’re constantly hating your job then that could be life telling you to quit & find work that you enjoy.

—The second way is to focus on making progress.
If you really want to “grab life by the horns” and take control of your life, progress is key. You might feel stuck at a job you hate or lost in what you think you should do.

 

How can you make progress?

 

—Begin by asking yourself “what does my ideal life look like?”

Think about ideals in a variety of aspects in your life: Financial, relationships, career, hobbies, environment, etc.

This is the time to let go of any limiting beliefs you have and raise your standards. 

Even if you don’t believe you can have your ideal life just pretend for a moment and think about what it would look like.

—Know your “why.”

Why do you want your ideal life? Think about all your reasons. It could be for your happiness, to provide for your family, to start a charity, to buy a new car, etc.

—Take Action

Begin taking action toward your ideal life. Your reasons for making it happen will grow stronger from here.

 

Uncertainty surrounds us every day.

How will you make the most of it?

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Quotes!

“The root of suffering is resisting the certainty that no matter what the circumstances, uncertainty is all we truly have.”
 Pema Chödrön

“We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and there is no learning. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty. People are terrified — how can you live and not know? It is not odd at all. You only think you know, as a matter of fact. And most of your actions are based on incomplete knowledge and you really don’t know what it is all about, or what the purpose of the world is, or know a great deal of other things. It is possible to live and not know.”
Richard Feynman

“There are many things of which we are completely unaware—in fact, there are things of which we are so unaware, we don’t even know we are unaware of them.”
Donald Rumsfeld

“Suspecting and knowing are not the same.”
Rick Riordan

“People don’t know that they don’t know. Remember that before you hold it against them.”
Akiroq Brost

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.”
Gilda Radner

“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
William Shakespeare

“Everything you’ve learned in school as “obvious” becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There’s not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines.”
Richard Buckminster Fuller

“Beyond all sciences, philosophies, theologies, and histories, a child’s relentless inquiry is truly all it takes to remind us that we don’t know as much as we think we know.”
Criss Jami

QUESTION YOUR CERTAINTY

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I was listening to famous blogger Mark Manson get interviewed by Marie Forleo Here when he said something that inspired this whole post.  I believe that this idea can help everyone in their daily lives.

  • “The starting point is simple, start asking WHY about everything.”

“What if I’m wrong?”      “What if my assumption is wrong?”

The more I think about this subject, the more I see how IMPORTANT it is to question ourselves.

“Don’t believe everything you think” is a quote that has impacted my life in great ways.

Author Dan Millman wrote that our thoughts are like wild monkeys stung by a scorpion.

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Our minds are running all day; thoughts appear like clouds passing by, some stay longer than others, but some quickly pass by.  So how can you and I let go of these “clouds?”

1) As Manson would say, “There’s no ‘how.’  It’s all in your head.”  There is not much you can do other than try on a new perspective and ask, “What if my assumption isn’t true?” What would that mean?  And then psychically traverse the answer.

  • So write down 5 things in your life that you could potentially be wrong about.  Question those deep assumptions you’ve had about your identity for years.  For example, “I am lazy” I am not an attractive person” “I don’t know how to talk to people” “I won’t ever be happy” “The world is going to shit”

The more emotion you have behind these assumptions, the more important it is to write it down and CHALLENGE IT!

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After you have written down 5 or more assumptions, go through them and write down what it would mean in your life if it were wrong.

It may not be easy but it’s worth it!  Anyway how confident can you be in your own beliefs if you’ve never challenged them?  Try to see the “other side,” and when it does appear more likely and more valid, join that side!

2) THINK THROUGH YOUR THOUGHTS to see if what you’re thinking is irrational or not.

For example:  Say that you get a little nervous to go to the gym or grocery shopping.  But why?  Because you have to step out of your COMFORT ZONE.

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You are comfortable inside your apartment watching TV & the thought of leaving will disrupt your comfort – so you think..

It’s crazy how the mind can trick us to stay exactly where we are.  But if you want to do anything significant or really even just anything, you need to leave your comfort zone.  It’s worth it.  The pain you will feel later on in life due to staying in your comfort zone will be much worse than the temporary discomfort of going for what you want.

-This can relate to asking a girl/guy out.

-Performing at that open mic night you’ve been considering.

-Joining that group you’ve been thinking of joining.

-Anything that has to do with doing what you want.

People are afraid of all sorts of things & that’s okay.  You shouldn’t try to strive to be fearless, you should strive to TAKE ACTION when you are feeling afraid.

I have learned that it’s not about how I think or feel, it’s about what I do!!  

Don’t believe everything you think!  Question your assumptions and thoughts, and start TAKING ACTION!!!

Stop wasting time caring about the wrong things; things that only worry you.  Start caring about things that truly matter to you!

Click the BOOK PICTURE below to buy Mark Manson’s NY Times Best Selling book that can help you do all of the above!

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6 Human Needs; Why all people do what they do

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This post mainly comes from the ideas of the great Tony Robbins while I only add to it.

You are seeking emotions and experiences. After researching experts, I have found that there are six basic, universal needs that drive ALL human behavior. Every human being has these needs, but we each put different VALUE on these needs. Our focus on these needs will determine the direction of our life!  What need will you live for?

The six human needs include:

1) Certainty

2) Significance

3) Variety

4) Love/Connection

5) Growth

6) Contribution

Each of these needs influence every single human being’s life, and by understanding the needs that shape your behavior, you can take control of your life, and create new habits that lead you to the life you’ve been dreaming of living.

What do you think the most addictive thing in the world is???

Find out in a few paragraphs, it’s not what you think.

Before we get more into our human needs, lets look at how DECISIONS shape our destiny, and our decisions of course are intertwined with our needs.

Decision is the ultimate power. Decisions shape destiny.

There are 3 Decisions we are making EVERY moment of our lives:

1) What am I going to focus on?  Focus=feeling.  Past/present/Future…Self or others?

2) What does it(this situation/experience) mean? Is it the end or the beginning?  Are you being punished or rewarded?

3)What are your going to do? Are you going to give up or move forward?

We make these decisions consciously or unconsciously.**

Lance Armstrong for example could have focused on his cancer but he continued to focus on biking and being the best. He continued to win!

Rosa Parks.  Her focus was that she could change the world for her kids or grandkids instead of focusing on what she was told to do.  She wouldn’t go to the back of the bus & she changed the whole world!

Entrepreneur Tony Robbins also has an incredible story.  When he was a eleven years old with a very broke family and no food for Thanksgiving, a stranger came to his house on Thanksgiving to give them a turkey.  Tony’s angry father and himself had VERY different PERSPECTIVES/FOCUSES on this event that went like this:

Tony’s Father: His 3 decisions: Focus was “this is charity” What does it mean “I am worthless” What do I have to do? “Leave my family.” Which he did…

Tony’s focus:  There’s food!  What does it mean? “Strangers care about me and other people.”  What am I going to do?  “I’m going to do something to make a difference.” Six years later he started feeding families when he was 17. Slowly but surely he built a foundation and has fed millions of people all over the world.

Your FOCUS determines much of your life. Try to be intentional and conscious of what you focus on.

& The most addictive thing in the world is….

Most people will guess wrong. The answer is Problems.

**Most people find a way to feel significant by having a significant problem.  Problems are the safest way to connect with others and not be rejected. Problems are the biggest addiction in our culture.

And SiGNIFICANCE is one of the six human needs!!! Think about your life. Do you connect and feel significant through problems? And are you happy with constantly talking about problems or do you want to live a life with less complaining?

***Instead of just looking at peoples’ behaviors, see their attempts to meet their needs.***

A few insights into the 6 human needs:

1) Certainty

  • People like to be certain, to have financial security, to trust people and experiences. But too much certainty makes us bored, so we need some variety.

2) Variety

  • People like good surprises, if it’s a bad surprise they call it a problem.

3) Significance

  • We all need to feel important, special, unique..People do this in so many different ways-tattoos, religion, joining a group..etc..One of the quickest way some people feel significant is through Violence. Violent things happen each day, just watch the news; these people have a striving for significance, as well as some big mental problems..I encourage you to be significant in a positive way.  Join some great groups, read, write, travel.

4) What we really need is Connection & Love

  • Connection and love are like rain to a garden of flowers, they make us grow.  Surround yourself with people who support and love you. I am so thankful for my family because of their love. Also if you are feeling down and depressed, get a pet. Dogs will love you and are always happy to see you.  Cats are different, but they can show love to their owners as well.

Every human finds a way to meet the first 4 needs. What will your FOCUS be to meet these needs???

The next two needs create fulfillment!

5) Growth

If you don’t grow, you die. Relationships, businesses, self, etc.

  • We grow when we have something to give of value. So don’t always be thinking of yourself..I know it’s hard, but try to get out of yourself for awhile & see what you can give to others that can help them. EVERYONE has something great to contribute, but it can be very difficult to find it. Start by donating food or clothes, or doing something small for someone. It feels amazing and will help you grow. It’s funny how a selfless act will ultimately help you too.

6) To Contribute beyond ourselves

  • Growth and Contribution are intertwined. You grow by contributing.  Contribution=growth.

“The secret of living is giving.”

“It’s not about me, it’s about we.” Tony Robbins

People truly get excited to contribute once they experience it and not just talk about it.

We ALL have the same needs, but whatever need leads us will lead us to our destination.

People all try to meet the same needs, but we do it in different ways. A firefighter saves lives for significance while someone else kills a person for significance.

Try to appreciate how people are attempting to meet their needs, explore your decisions, and give.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO FOCUS ON?

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?