Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you – Jeffrey Gitomer.

Have you ever wondered if you would succeed in anything? In your studies, a new career you are contemplating, or in relationships with your friends and family. If you think like this, you are not alone. Most of us will doubt our ability to succeed from time to time. The good news is that you can achieve what you want if you believe.

There is a fantastic story of Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, and his wife Kristen, who, in 1974, were at sea in an area with some of the world’s best marlin fishing. One day, they hired a deep-sea boat with another couple. A severe storm erupted after about two miles out, which lasted for about an hour. Branson and his wife decided it would be fatal to continue in the boat and urged the others to swim with them to safety. The others refused, and Branson and his wife swam safely to shore despite the waves. Were they lucky? Some might say so. However, you will notice that Branson survived because he believed he could swim to safety!

You may not be like Branson, who swam against the waves to survive. However, there may be a project you are contemplating. It may be learning to code, trying to learn more sociable skills, venturing into a career, etc. If you do not believe you can succeed, then you will not. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” If you do not believe in yourself, you should not expect others to do so.



The truth is that we all have doubt encoded in us. Doubt protects us from acting irrationally. For example, why should you trust someone who wants to give you a million dollars? Because it is not a common occurrence. Doubt can also be socially contagious. Have you noticed that you tend to follow without sometimes realising the norms of society? Living among people who are natural doubters is a great tragedy. If you do, try surrounding yourself with positive people.



Tell yourself it is possible and keep trying. You always want to remember that a baby does not start walking straightaway after birth. We all learnt to stroll, one step at a time. Even when we fell, we got up again and kept going. So, if you are trying to improve your reading, keep reading. If you are learning to code, keep coding. If you are learning to do anything, keep doing it.

Remember, you cannot learn how to swim on land. Keep believing, and you will succeed eventually.



Besidone Ebule is the Project Director of Bloom Initiative, where he works to encourage personal development and build success networks. You can contact him at

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