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Trevor E. S. Smith | The dictatorship of doubt

Published:Sunday | February 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMTrevor E. S. Smith


Three Bible events could have changed history. They reveal the stark truth about an issue that continues to shape history and your life today.


Event #1


Israeli spies return with glowing reports of the land but said accessing it was impossible. (Numbers 13)


Event #2


King Saul was willing to surrender to enslavement when challenged by Goliath. (1 Samuel)


Event #3


Peter risked drowning, and earned the rebuke of Christ for his doubting. (Matthew 14)




The Israelite spies were willing to give up the promised land under the dictatorship of doubt.

Saul and his army exposed the nation to servitude, in subjection to the dictatorship of doubt.

Peter risked drowning, incapacitated by the dictatorship of doubt.


Doubt dampens desire


Have you had an inspiring thought that you filed away because it did not seem feasible?

Are you currently facing a challenge and your confidence level is not high?

Are you confronting the future fully assured that you will overcome obstacles and reach your goals?

When doubt takes charge, we lower our expectations and reset our goals to protect ourselves.

We do not want to feel like failures, so the safe thing to do is to play into the hands of doubt and downplay our hopes and dreams.

Think back to an idea that caught your imagination, but you shelved it or modified it because of concerns about how you could do it.


Tyranny of 'how'


Tony Robbins speaks about the tyranny of 'how'.

Focusing on the 'how' has frustrated many an initiative and frustrated numerous aspirations.

The spies were trapped in the how.

Saul's army was hamstrung by the how.

Peter sank when he shifted his attention to the how.




'What' is two-sided. It not only sees the benefits, but also the consequences of the alternative. Caleb knew that going back to Egypt was not an option. Going forward was the only option.

David understood the implications of Goliath's challenge. Win and be free, lose and be enslaved.

Clarity about the 'what' fuels desire and desire determines destination.

When you burn with desire to achieve a goal, concerns about how you are going to get there fade into insignificance.




Caleb added the critical element of 'why' to the 'what'.

This land has been promised to us by the God who took us out of Egypt and has fed us and led us to this point. This is the promised answer from a God whose promises never fail.

David's 'why' was that this issue was bigger than the human players. "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."

What is it that you really need to do but you are assailed by doubts because you can't see how you can get it done?

What extraordinary achievements have you failed to pursue because you did not have a blueprint?


Success Strategy


The secret to achieving more is to identify your 'whats' and 'if notes' and underpin them with 'whys' that you can be passionate about.

Elon Musk has the vision of colonising Mars. His 'why' is wrapped around how vulnerable planet Earth is and the need to protect mankind from extinction. He has adjusted the 'how' but not the 'what' and 'why'.

The Cure Cancer Project is a major non-profit initiative to develop a complete and total cure for cancer. The 'what' and the 'why' are clear. The 'how' is not clear but research continues.

I challenge you to bring back into focus some of the ambitious projects and goals that you have shelved because you were not sure how you could get them done.

Train your mind to avoid falling prey to doubt and its master 'how'. Complete your work with 'what' and 'why' before you pay attention to any questions about 'how'.

Make a commitment never to surrender to doubt.




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- Trevor E. S. Smith and the Success with People Academy team prepare and certify leadership coach/mentors and develop high performing teams. hire smart with their recruitment solutions. Email: