What Our Heroes Teach Us About Doubt

Heroes, Beat Self Doubt, Confidence, Tommy Runfola

Who’s your hero? What traits come to mind when you think of this person? Brave? Strong? Successful? What about doubt? The words “hero” and “doubt” are rarely paired up and with good reason. Doubt is not something that the people we admire allow to stand in their way.


  • Harry Houdini: during a trick in which he was buried six feet below ground, he reportedly began to panic after he entertained doubt in his head about his ability to complete the trick. He told friends that he struggled with what the media would say if he had to be rescued from his own grave.
  • Alexander Hamilton: despite his huge impact on American government, Hamilton struggled with self-doubt and told friends that he wasn’t sure he belongs in politics or that he even fit in with Americans.
  • John F. Kennedy: he struggled with medical issues and an older brother who was larger than life. Secretly he experienced significant self-doubt throughout his political career.
  • Abraham Lincoln: throughout his life, Lincoln experienced self-doubts about his own abilities. This often lead him to study and work harder to prove himself to others.

All four of these people have one thing in common: they never stopped.


Often we are completely unaware that our heroes ever doubted themselves for a moment because they simply refused to stop. So what else can we learn from them?

  1. No matter how large our doubts may loom, there is always a way to overcome them. Each of these people focused on their end goals, created action plans and kept moving, and pushed forward despite emotions.
  2. There are no perfect people in the world, so we can start loving ourselves for who we are right here right now imperfections and all. When we love ourselves, doubt shrinks. It thrives best when we’re trying for some ridiculous standard that no one can accomplish.
  3. There is greatness in all of us, so see doubt for what it is: a lie. It can be easy to lose track of this fact because doubt comes with such strong emotions. But there is greatness inside of you. Just give it a chance.

Heroes inspire us. They give us hope and make us see that we can be bigger and better. Knowing that they had doubts and overcame them should provide us with additional encouragement. We are bigger than our doubts. We will conquer them and show the world our greatness!


What Our Heroes Teach Us About Doubt