An 18-month-old boy born with crippled legs walks with a pair of prostheses within a day of receiving them.
A three-year-old girl runs down the hospital hallway to greet her mother only six days after having open-heart surgery.
A three-year-old boy learns to stand after a major car crash that resulted in a damaged spinal cord and partial paralysis.
What do all these children have in common? They never doubted their abilities to heal or learn. They achieved what some might call the miraculous, never once believing that they couldn’t. They had certainty beyond logic.
During childhood, the part of our brains responsible for logic and reasoning hasn’t fully matured making it easier for us to believe anything is possible. This kind of immature reasoning can lead us to believe that our favorite stuffed bunny can talk or that someday we’ll learn to fly. But it also gives us unflinching trust in our own abilities to heal, to comfort, and to achieve great things (which may account for so many 5-year-olds aspiring to be president of the United States one day).
But when we reach adulthood, our fully developed, logical minds can sometimes get in the way. When we become aware that failure is a possibility, we begin to doubt ourselves, which can prevent us from taking healthy risks, pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones, and ultimately live more fulfilling lives.
Doubt is not to be confused with intuition, which warns us when a business deal isn’t secure, a road is not safe, or a person is dishonest. When we listen to our intuition we may realize the path we are on is not right and change course; it is an important skill, which protects us from dangerous situations. However, doubt makes us fear that we are not on the right path, inducing a mental state of paralysis that prevents us from ever attempting new things or trying to achieve our desires. Doubt steers us off course. What we often neglect to realize is that our success depends on our willingness to overcome doubt. Michael Berg explains, “The Light of the Creator flows continuously for eternity, and if we never had any doubt about it, the Light would flow to us forever. But every time we do have doubt, we shut off the flow of the Light of the Creator.”
Doubt holds us captive. The moment it sneaks into our consciousness is the moment we cut ourselves off from the miracles and blessings that are waiting for us. When you begin to wonder when things will start to go your way, that’s doubt. When you question whether your spiritual practice is working, that’s doubt. When you wonder if chaos will last forever, that’s doubt. When you can’t see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, that’s doubt. It’s a feeling that constantly assaults us even in our times of joy. Certain periods in our lives seem to be more blessed than others—perhaps your career is taking off, your daughter is accepted to a great school, and you closed escrow on a house all around the same time. In times like these we can begin to doubt that life could stay so great for much longer. Waiting for something to fall apart is an invitation for chaos; doubt is the seed for spiritual darkness.
The desire to have certainty is the first step to dispelling doubt. Try to look at the positive side of every situation. When things go wrong remind yourself that there is a lesson waiting for you. Inject your thoughts with certainty that the Creator has a plan and you are a part of it. Even if you can’t see the plan, trust it. Soon, you’ll begin to expect good things in your life. By releasing doubt, we begin to open ourselves up to miracles and blessings. It’s very simple; when you don’t believe that something good will happen, it won’t. “Once we have complete certainty—which is not easy to develop—we realize,” says Michael Berg, “that even the small things that don't make sense, that go against everything that seems right, come to us from the Creator—and therefore make us happy.”
Failure is always a possibility and in some cases, there is no way to avoid it. Certainty comes when we accept this and follow our desires anyway. Life will send us detours, challenges, and surprises. But when we have certainty, “not only will we accept things that don't make sense,” says Michael Berg, “but we will be full of joy because of them.”