“For the Avoidance of Doubt . . .”

Something you and I hear often – it usually means someone has failed to explain something properly in the first place!

Making comparisons contributes to our belief set, by a process of elimination, comparing one idea to another or considering the evidence presented in favour of one argument against another.

We also create beliefs from what we ‘learn’ or ‘pick up’ from others as we ‘go about our business’

You and I have our own personal set, or framework, of beliefs.

Beliefs about all sorts of things which may be long lasting or short term according to their importance or relevance.

Belief is key.

Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever man can conceive and believe he can achieve” (‘man’ here is used generically of course!)

But Hill was by no means the first to speak along those lines. It goes back millennia, it’s all over the books of all religions – one way or another.

It’s closely allied to what’s often referred to as the Law of Attraction – Earl Nightingale put it “We become what we think about”.

The reason why the Law of Attraction ‘doesn’t work’ is because of the way we’re thinking.

You see, if you wish to bring something about, then ’thinking’ just isn’t enough. You must BELIEVE what you’re thinking.

There’s a problem.

Belief has a formidable ‘enemy’ – doubt – hence the phrase ‘without a shadow of a doubt’ because even the tiniest amount of doubt, a microscopic level of doubt, can utterly destroy your belief in anything.

Most belief is derived through a logical process, but it also comes through faith in something, which is belief without ‘evidence’.

When you or I ‘lose faith’ it’s because of doubt, and belief is readily watered down or chipped away by doubt.

Doubt is insidious. It creeps in when you’re not paying attention, especially when you’re not reinforcing your belief and faith through daily affirmations and rituals.

Belief and faith are fragile. Doubt is strong and robust.

Until.

Until you and I eliminate doubt, entirely, ‘once and for all’- and erect barriers to keep it out.

The trouble is we’re trained to see ‘doubt’ as a ‘good thing’, as our ‘protector’ – against ‘false’ beliefs and ‘wrong’ decisions. Something which will ‘keep us safe’.

Wonder where that came from?

Certain elements of our society and culture make it their business to ‘sow the seeds of doubt’ about beliefs, practices and other things they are opposed to.

Because doubt doesn’t come from within us but from others who wish to ‘bend’ us to their way of thinking, their beliefs and purposes.

In defence of doubt, it does have its positive side – maybe.

It’s a tenet of English Law that an accused cannot be found guilty if there is any doubt about any of the evidence for the prosecution.

Now although this has meant that many accused have been protected from false guilty verdicts (which was important in the time of the death penalty) probably just as many have been falsely found ‘not guilty’ because of the strength of doubt sown by the defence. Hard to say.

Consider the ‘placebo effect’.

A group of people are given a pill. Some pills are real, and some are fake, but everyone is thoroughly assured and led to believe without a shadow of a doubt that all the pills are real and will relieve them of a particular symptom. (They’re not told about the fakes)

The ‘recovery rate’ of those with the fake are just as good as those with the pill being tested, occasionally even better!

You see they fully believed they would recover – so they did.

People who were told they would be dead in six months from some condition or other have gone on to live long and active lives, People told they would never walk again have, albeit with prosthetic limbs.

They refused to believe the prognosis, adopting their own belief in recovery without allowing a smidgeon of doubt anywhere near them.

It works the other way too – people die from mild illnesses which are ‘going round’ because they believe they will. They are convinced the virus (or whatever) is lethal even though it isn’t, and they duly die, sometimes regardless of whether they have contracted it or not.

For the same reason some people die when they reach a certain age, just because it’s when they believed they would die.

Whatever you or I completely believe, without a doubt, either comes true or is true, and the more we ‘think’ about it, without doubt, the quicker it happens.

We must be vigilant, on the lookout for the seeds of doubt being directed at us.

It happens all the time, from the media, from advertising, from entertainment, from the people we talk to. Everyone it seems is attempting to undermine our beliefs and replace them with theirs.

Why? Because they doubt. They doubt their own beliefs and think that by converting us to their way of thinking it will make their belief stronger.

It won’t, because they are fostering doubt, it has the opposite effect, so much so they have to do it more and more – something you may have noticed recently.

So be on your guard. Stamp on the seeds of doubt cast in your direction and – for the avoidance of doubt – hold fast to your beliefs, reinforce them and keep them healthy and secure.