Doubt – A feeling of uncertainty about the truth; to distrust; to fear. Not a very positive word, is it? Yet we allow doubt to fill our mind and body all the time, letting it hold us back from doing and achieving great things in our lives. Doubt can come from many places. We could simply not believe in ourselves, whether self-inflicted or inherited through family that never gave positive encouragement, or we may have leaders and peers that plant a seed within us, telling us that we cannot or will not be successful in our goals, careers or dreams. Whatever the case may be, just a smidgen of doubt can completely derail us from achieving and doing great things.

I am fortunate to have parents that never let me have self-doubt, and allowed me to follow my dreams and aspirations. That doesn’t mean that I have never doubted myself or that I haven’t let it creep into my mind, keeping me from doing or achieving something that I have always wanted. In part, this is the reason I decided to write this piece. I once had a senior manager at a company tell me, “You’ll be successful in whatever you do, but not in this industry.” For a brief moment in my life I believed him. The thing is, he didn’t understand or care to know me and what I had been through in my life, to see that he was wrong. So he tried to plant a seed of doubt in my mind that I couldn’t be successful in that industry, instead of being a positive re-enforcement of my efforts.

Most people that know me well know that I was a singer in two fairly successful rock bands. I’ve performed in front of over 75,000 people, have been featured on television networks like ESPN and CW, and shared the stage with countless major label acts. What most of those same people don’t know is that growing up I felt very shy and doubted myself a lot. Get up in front of a large crowd and sing? No, not happening! But then, fresh out of high school, I had my first taste of being on stage and it was life changing. Friends of mine had a band and
needed a singer last minute. I was the only one that knew all of the songs, and was willing to take a risk and believe that I could do something I’d never done before. Not only did I find my passion, but I was forced to adjust my personality in order to become the best at my craft. All it took was that one time of raising my hand and saying, “I’ll do it”, for my life to take the positive course that it did. 

I’m not one to be quiet and shy anymore, actually quite the opposite. For me though, there is much more to this story than just self-belief and the removal of doubt. I have my faith that has given me encouragement throughout my life, and now a loving and supportive wife that believes I can do anything I set my mind to. But there has been a lot that I have learned in my life that I will pass along to my son and daughter. One thing is this, that doubt can be very powerful in both a negative and a positive way. If we allow doubt to take over our mind, heart and actions, then we will never achieve all of which we are capable. But if we use doubt as a fire, a motivator and a tool, it can be far more powerful, than its negative definition states.

The next time you ever feel doubt about yourself or someone is planting a seed of doubt in you, I encourage you to take that fear and uncertainty and use it to your benefit. Tell yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, and that no one or nothing will deter you from achieving your goals. Use that negativity to your advantage and prove not just to everyone else, but most of all to yourself, that there is nothing you cannot achieve. Keep your head up and stay positive. Not only will it have an impact on your life, but it will have a positive impact on those around you. Oh, and by the way…that senior manager that doubted me? I proved him wrong.