Update: I recorded this very-relevant podcast:
My life has been a never-ending string of doubts.
I’ve had doubts about my own ability/competency from the very first moment I first started self-improvement. Hell, probably from the moment I was born. I doubted I’d ever be a cool guy people enjoyed talking to, I doubted I’d ever be social or have a lot of friends, I doubted I’d ever be a decent photographer, I doubted I’d actually finish the Approach Anxiety Program on Good Looking Loser, I doubted I’d ever actually get laid, I doubted I could have 3somes, I doubted I could get strong in the gym, or have a loving relationship, or start my website and be a good coach and actually get paid to help other dudes improve their lives.
Doubt has been a constant theme for my entire existence, but I’ve never given into it or let it overwhelm me. I’ve always made the conscious decision to ignore it and just do the work anyway – often just on blind faith. “If I keep pushing myself and NEVER give up, I just have to hope this will eventually work out”.
And things have worked out – I’ve done things I never even could have dreamed a loser like me could ever do. I’ve listened to my clients tell me their loftiest, seemingly-impossible goals – the ones they think are goals for somebody else to achieve – somebody’s who’s not them. They’ve talked me through the hundreds of doubts and fears and insecurities and “reasons why I can’t do this” – it usually ends up being a very impressive list that could fill a book.
And guess what? Even with all those hundreds of doubts bouncing around their head, they’ve gone on to kick ass anyway. Doubt is something that will probably always be there – the trick is not to beat yourself up if you have doubts and insecurities. You can still do the work in spite of how unsure of yourself you may be.
My girlfriend is one of the most insecure and unsure people I’ve met – her head is constantly full of doubt – but she’s also one of the highest achievers I know. Last month she got 2 internships with 0 experience and no university degree – she just walked in off the street and spoke to a bunch of people at different firms until a couple decided they liked her enough to hire her. She had 40,000 doubts and was convinced getting an internship with 0 experience was utterly impossible – but she pushed those doubting voices out of her mind and just did it anyway.
Another mate of mine had been wanting a raise at his job for 2 years, but was convinced it wasn’t possible – “They don’t have room in the budget to pay me any more than they currently do.” A few of us finally convinced him to apply to other firms, he got a few offers, then was able to negotiate a $30,000 pay rise with his current employer. Despite being utterly convinced he wouldn’t be successful, he pushed those doubts aside and just gave it a go anyway, and look what happened. He walked out of that meeting with tears in his eyes, because he just earned himself a 40 percent payrise.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be confident and you don’t have to “fake it til you make it” in order to achieve the things you want to achieve. Uncertainty is part of life; you’re probably never going to be 100% sure of what you’re doing. Accept the fact you’ll be nervous and often bloody terrified, accept the fact you’ll suck at everything when you first attempt it, and give yourself permission to fail a few (hundred) times.
I’ve never been confident at anything I’ve started. Even after all my successes, I’m still nervous and full of doubts when I start a new venture or pursue a new goal. That’s a totally normal part of the human condition – you’ll be nervous every time you step into the unknown. Accept the doubt, embrace it, and push through it.
I’m actually glad I have so much doubt, because learning to push forward and achieve things despite the doubt is what’s made me into a man.
Despite all your doubts, despite all your fears and insecurities, you need to just soldier on and keep putting in the effort each and every day. Sheer fucking hard work will get you where you want to be – even if you think your goals are “literally impossible.”
It’s fine – hell it’s completely normal – to be full of doubts and fears and insecurities and worries and concerns along the way. None of that will matter in the end, as long as you always hold this mantra in your head and repeat it to yourself a billion times a day: