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Quotes about Doubt

Inspirational Quotes about Doubt

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“Our doubts are traitors,

and make us lose the good we oft might win,

by fearing to attempt.”

– William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure


“Men at some time are masters of their fates:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar


“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”
– Charles Bukowski


“Hell is when we look back during that fraction of a second and know that we wasted an opportunity to dignify the miracle of life. Paradise is being able to say at that moment: “I made some mistakes, but I wasn’t a coward. I lived my life and did what I had to do.”

– Paulo Coelho, about Doubt


“He thought of this in astonishment. He saw for the first time that he had never known fear because, against any disaster, he had held the omnipotent cure of being able to act. No, he thought, not an assurance of victory—who can ever have that?—only the chance to act, which is all one needs. Now he was contemplating, impersonally and for the first time, the real heart of terror: being delivered to destruction with one’s hands tied behind one’s back.”

– Ayn Rand, about doub, Quotes from Atlas Shrugged


“I won’t let life drag me down. I own my life. My life does not own me. I live for the moments that signify my growth. I am rising. I am rising above the goals I once set. I am rising above the limits set by society. I am creating the life I desire.”

– H. A. Wolff


“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure , than to take rank with those poor spires who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt


“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”

–  Paulo Coelho, Brida


“Doubt thou the stars are fire.

Doubt that the sun doth move.

Doubt truth to be a liar.

But never doubt my love.”

– William Shakespeare, Hamlet


“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”

– J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

– Paulo Coelho


“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”
– Yann Martel, Life of Pi


“Often the best in us springs from the worst in us.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality


“Que de choses il faut ignorer pour agir.” “How many things one should disregard in order to act.”

– Paul Valery


“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”
– Francis Bacon, on doubt, The Advancement Of Learning


“What we know is little, and what we are ignorant of is immense.”

– Pierre-Simon Laplace


“Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is – for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him.”

– Socrates


“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing”

-Elbert Hubbard about Doubt


“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Studies in Pessimism


“An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. “Can they be brought together?” This is a practical question. We must get down to it. “I despise intelligence” really means: “I cannot bear my doubts.”
– Albert Camus


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy for every factory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither yourself nor the enemy, you will succumb in every battle.”

– Sun Tzu


“The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss—an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc.—is sure to be noticed.”

– Soren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death


“There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.”

– Gautama Buddha


“People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”

– George Bernard Shaw, about Doubt, Quotes from Philanderer


“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

– Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath


“I want to say to those who are trying to learn to speak and those who are teaching them: Be of good cheer. Do not think of to-day’s failures, but of the success that may come to-morrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere, and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles — a delight in climbing rugged paths, which you would perhaps never know if you did not sometime slip backward — if the road was always smooth and pleasant. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost. Sometime, somewhere, somehow we shall find that which we seek. We shall speak, yes, and sing, too, as God intended we should speak and sing.”

– Helen Keller, as quoted in Address to the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf (8 July 1896)


“Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life?”

– Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes


“Our critique began as all critiques begin, with doubt. Doubt became our narrative. Ours was a quest for a new story: our own. And we grasped towards this new history driven by the suspicion that ordinary language couldn’t tell it. Our past appeared frozen in the distance, and our every gesture and accent signified the negation of the Old World, and the reach for a new one. The way we lived created a new situation, one of exuberance and friendship; That of a subversive micro-society in the heart of a society which ignored it. Art was not the goal, but the occasion and the method for locating our specific rhythm and varied possibilities of our time. The discovery of a true communication was what it was about, or at least the quest for such a communication: the adventure of finding it and losing it. We, the unappeased, the unaccepting, continued looking, filling in the silences with our own wishes, fears, and fantasies, driven forward by the fact that no matter how empty the world seemed, no matter how degraded and used up the world appeared to us, we knew that anything was still possible, and, given the right circumstances, a new world was just as likely as an old one.”

-Waking Life, about Doubt

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