This quote is not to be taken literally. It’s from the classic children’s story, Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie. In the story, Peter Pan’s ability to fly is significantly influenced by his belief that he can without any second thought or hesitation. While the story is made-up, the core principle is real. Nothing kills our ability to do something more than doubt. The moment we doubt whether we can is the moment our likelihood of doing it significantly decreases.
Unfortunately, believing in yourself can be easier said than done. So, if self-doubt does creep in despite your effort to fight it, there’re a couple things you can do. First, it helps to remember that doing that thing you don’t think you can doesn’t mean you have to be perfect at it. There’s no such thing. Next, it helps to break it down into achievable chunks and take things one piece, or one accomplishment, at a time.
Without the pressure of perfection plus celebrating small wins along the way, the doubt will slowly begin to disappear.