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What Causes Hesitation

Lesson 10 from: How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence

Mel Robbins

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Lesson Info

10. What Causes Hesitation

What causes hesitation? When you hesitate, you're seeking validation, but validation only comes when you take action.
Next Lesson: Avoidance Coping

Lesson Info

What Causes Hesitation

What happens with self-doubt, is self-doubt triggers actions. The first action that it triggers, and this is the first trap, is hesitating. So let's unpack this a little bit, and then we're going to pull somebody up, and kinda talk about what are the ways that you see yourself hesitating? What are the stupid things that you're doing, the funny things that you're doing, the embarrassing things that you're doing, that are a form of hesitating? So, hesitating is typically triggered by uncertainty. So, you feel uncertain about how something's going to happen and so you start waiting, and you're really busy though. Hesitation is a very busy activity 'cause you're up in your head and now's not the time, I'm not perfect yet, dah dah dah dah dah dah dah, and you start to think about it all the time and hoo I don't know and you want your work to be perfect, like this is a, this is a busyness to it, right? There's a pattern, it becomes a habit, that this is kind of the energy that you have, that...

you feel uncertain about something, so you go straight upstairs and then you're really busy about what you're uncertain about, right? But you're hesitating, you're actively waiting. You're actively deciding not to do it. Here's a really good one. The last two times it didn't end well. Also I got a photography business going, oh, do we have anybody in here that does that? And I have spent hundreds of hours studying and practicing but I'm paralyzed when it comes to becoming a legitimate business, deciding if I want to make it a career, and especially taking money from people. Do you see that, taking money from people, as if she's robbing them? (audience laughs) I act on my impulses, but then I freeze and I don't follow through. It's so frustrating because I know I'm the problem. The harder I try the more complicated I make everything. Because you're not doing anything, right? You're up here. I overwhelm myself and feel guilty and stupid, I give up. I just wish I could smack myself and get out of my own way. So how many of you are hesitating in some form, raise your hand. Where's Lynn? C'mon up, let's give Lynn a round of applause here. (audience applauds) So why don't you sit here, all right? All right! So, first things first, what are you feeling right now, so what are the feelings that are coming up that are natural? I feel nervous. Okay. Anything in your body? Uh... Like a pit in your stomach, sweaty pits, like you know, anything like that? Oh yeah, sweaty pits. Yes? Sweaty pits. Yeah me too. (laughing) I know, this is not a very breathable shirt. Okay, good, that's totally normal. What I want to know is-- Fluttering heart. Great! That just kicked in. Terrific, see? (audience laughs) Fluttering heart, this we're going to cover in the next module, it's about how self doubt goes into worry which goes into anxiety because anxiety is all that when your body state matches the worry and the self-doubt in your head, and so we're going to teach you some super cool tricks to stabilize your body, in any situation, so that you can focus on performing. So first of all, thank you for being up here. Thank you for having me. Of course, secondly, there's nothing that you can say that's wrong, and third, everything that you say is going to help everybody else, okay? Okay. So, what I want to know is, when you, I know why you're hesitating, based on the small things that you wrote-- I don't remember what I wrote. Okay, I'll read it! Thank you. You ready? (audience laughs) Yeah. So Lynn writes, did you fly here from New York? Yeah. For real? Yeah. Woo hoo! Wow, fantastic, okay, awesome. And we've got somebody from Baltimore, and Oregon, and who else flew here? Where'd you fly from? San Diego. Los Angeles. Palm Springs. Awesome, oh my God, I love all of you, even those of you who just drove or walked. (audience laughs) Okay, so Lynn wrote, I'm a photographer, author, want to be documentary filmmaker. Um, can I stop right there? Sure. What does want to be mean? I haven't done it yet, officially, like for real. What does for real mean? It means I haven't really made a film that's out there. I've put together some films for like nonprofit organizations. Were they documentaries? Yeah, documenting what they did. So, you know what's interesting about this, and I think this is a creative thing, is that there's a piece to which you've defined what it means to be that thing, when actually, did you hear her describe being a documentary filmmaker? So you are a documentary filmmaker, who hasn't reached the next goal, do you see the difference? That's what makes me feel like an imposter. And what did you learn in the stuff that we talked about, about being an imposter? That I gotta just do it. Yeah. And that once I do, and start getting comfortable in that, I will build the confidence to call myself that? Yes, so here's a couple pieces of advice right out of the gate. Number one, start calling yourself a documentary filmmaker. So for those of you that are hesitating because you're not there yet, stop. That form of hesitation is keeping you from reaching the next level, okay, and you have to be, the imposter thing is perfect, because it means that you're in a state of growth. That's all that it means, and if you want to hyperspeed that growth, the fastest way to do it is to put out into the world the thing that you want to be. You're not lying, by the way. Hm-mmm, no. You're in this mode that I think a lot of us in the creative businesses are in, where we're dying for somebody to discover us. (audience laughs) My God, please. You know, somebody else to give you permission to do the things that you've dreamed of doing. And you know, how did Lin-Manuel start? He wrote a rap poem about Alexander Hamilton, and put it out there, and then he started writing, and same thing with me, you know I mean, courses, I thought the same way, where before I did a course, I didn't know how to do a course, and then I started doing a course, and then I was, oh, I should call myself you know, somebody that teaches courses! And what's interesting about that, is that when you're willing to just, and this is a piece of trying, so you're going to try calling yourself a documentary filmmaker, and it's going to feel weird. And you're going to feel like a fraud, that's normal. I still feel like that when I call myself an author, even though I have a book, I still feel like a fraud-- Why? Because I have one book. (audience laughs) So how many books, I guess I'm a fraud too, right? (audience laughs) So how many books do you need to have, or what does the book need to do? The book needs to get out there and be more in the world, rather than just, in the small space that it's been in. So the interesting thing is is that, you've set criteria for when you're actually legit, and yet that criteria keeps you from doing the things that will make you legit, does that make sense? Hm-mmm. Does that make sense, yeah? Did I explain that right, yes, go ahead. Well, I just, I wanted to know if-- We have a mic, can she have a microphone? You're doing great by the way. Thank you. And by the way, how's your body state? I'm still nervous-- Yeah, but is it a little bit better? No, now my legs are jiggly. Okay. (audience laughs) All right, good. All right can you stand up so we can see? Oh, I wanted to know if you think that that might be part of that we're seeking validation versus feeling the validation in ourselves to put it out there, or like, we have to-- Here's the trick. It's an excellent question, and before I forget, I want to answer it. And so thank you for letting me cut you off. No that's okay. So the question was, do you think this is that seeking validation but we're waiting for other people but we need it from ourselves-- Right, because the doubt is the lacking the validation. Yes, yes, but here's the thing. So here is the riddle of all of this. You're seeking validation but you're never going to get it up here. The validation only comes when you become the kind of person that's willing to try over and over, because you see evidence that you're the kind of person that makes documentary films. That you're the kind of person that writes a book. And so it's through the action, because you're proving to yourself that this is who you are, instead of up here, that gives you the validation. So then when you feel it on the inside, then can you kind of override your mind? Yeah, so this is what happened to me. So last night we went out to dinner and then we were polishing this PowerPoint because I had to have it be perfect and then I go to bed and I woke up for the first time at one o'clock in the morning and I felt incredibly nervous, because I've never taught a class live, I've never taught a class with you know, 30 some people in it, I've never taught a class with 1,000, 10,000, however many thousands of people are watching. I've never taught this material in a class. And so it's normal for me to feel that way. And it isn't until about halfway through, the first 90 minutes that we did together, that I actually stepped into not being uneasy or like doubting myself as I was doing it, because I'm seeing myself do it and so it's through the actions that the feelings disappear, and we're also going to train you to catch the self-sabotaging thoughts and yank 'em back here because they're not going to serve you, if those thoughts stop you from progressing, and failing and trying and saying, I'm a documentary filmmaker and you're not like, "No I'm not," oh, yes I am, you know like it's... Right, right. And then seeing yourself pick a project and start working on it, a small one, a five minute documentary film about something, and to put your work out there and put your work out there, that's how things grow, and then of course what happens is we know, the compounding effect of human beings, right, thank you that was an excellent question. When you start to say it, interesting things happen. Oh really? Right. We need something made, or have you ever thought about covering this story? Hm-mmm. You see? My problem is, I'm not necessarily afraid to put things out there, but once they are out there, I kind of like just go, if they're not like instantly, you know, people aren't instantly into them, I kind of like pull away and say, "Oh well, "I guess that wasn't worth it." Not that it wasn't worth it, it was an experience, but I guess it wasn't meant to be more than it is. Gotcha, so, for every project that you do, are you doing it like... No I'm not, if you're going to say "Are you doing it for like it to be more than it is?" I'm doing it in the moment because it's an interesting and exciting project to be involved in. So I have an analogy that I hope makes sense, because I have a feeling that what you need to do, unless it's something that requires a launch, and nonstop promotion, that what you need to do with your work is finish it, publish it, and move on to the next project. And that being distracted by the validation of how something's doing is impacting your ability to move on to the next thing, and what documentary filmmakers do is they create and they look for stories and they talk to people. Somebody, a good friend of mine who's got a really big job in New York in the advertising business was being recruited for this big international job and he had this philosophy about it that I thought was really interesting. He went in for this series of interviews where they flew him to Paris or whatever, super fancy, two days of this that and the other thing, and then he comes home and I said to him I said, are you stressed? Like how do you feel about it, and he said, he said, "Here's what I do: when I'm in that interview space, "I focus on the interview, I do my best, "and the second I leave I forget about it "and I go back to doing what it was "that made them want me in the first place." And so with, and this gets back to the deeply, like personal nature of being a creative, that it feels personal when your work doesn't fly off the shelves, it feels personal when people you know, kind of don't do what you want them to do with your stuff. And so I think that you would start to feel the benefit of momentum if you did projects and then let them do their thing and then you go on to the next one and you look forward rather than looking back. What are the things that you do that are kind of in the realm of hesitating? You mean like why haven't I become successful with the projects I work on or... I didn't say she was not successful, did you see that? Oh I hate this. (audience laughs) What do I do, what do you mean, rephrase that question so I get it. So, so, sure, yeah. So first let me go to a different one. What does it mean for you to be successful? Well... Like how do you define that? I guess like, make money at it, like consistently. Okay. And be able to charge what I think I'm worth. Okay. And do what I do well. Can you charge what you're worth now? I don't. Excellent answer. 'Cause it actually shows that you're taking responsibility for the fact that you don't. Right, hm-mmm. So this is another area-- And the other thing I don't know how to, I don't really promote myself well, that's the thing, that once I have a project done, I kind of feel uncomfortable because of it's me that I'm putting out there. Like when I worked at Wilhelmina Models as an agent, when I was putting other people out there, I was fine doing that, but when it's me that I'm putting out there, I definitely hesitate. How many people can relate to this? This is so powerful. So there's a bunch of things that I want to unpack here in this story, so number one, you're not putting you out there, you're putting your work and your story, you're putting a story out, particularly as a documentary filmmaker. So you know one of the things that actually helped me with my nerves about doing a good job for you, was realizing it's actually not about me, it's about doing something that serves all of you, and so when you think about the fact that it's not about you as a filmmaker, it's about these ideas that you're creating, these stories that you're telling, and that's what you're putting out there, that shifts everything, everything. So focus more on the stories, second thing that's going to help is, the second, there's a huge tie-in to the fact that you're not calling yourself a documentary filmmaker. So one of the first things that I did remember when that lady came up to me and said, "Did you get your check yet?" And I wasn't a paid speaker yet and I wasn't on the corporate circuit, the first thing I did was boy oh boy did I change that website, and it said, speaker, you know, and then I learned a simple trick, this is a great trick if you're really nervous about asking for what you want, what's your budget? Because then you know kind of what the budget is, and I was consistently underselling myself, and so if you hear that the budget is $5, but you want $10,000, you also know what you're walking into. If you hear the budget's $15,000, thank God you didn't say 10, right? So, it's a great question. There's only kind of one solution for, like there's a couple things I want you to do. Number one, on whatever website, social media, whatever, the first thing that you're going to write is documentary filmmaker. The second thing that you're going to do is, you're going to catch yourself when you're not sharing your work. The third thing that you're going to do because I think it's a volume thing for you, that you need to be busy, and so I'd rather see you have a couple projects that kind of get you busy so that you really see yourself doing the work, then jump your price, see if that makes sense-- It does, but I have this book, really I feel has, would do well in helping people. Okay. So, the fact that I have kept it just local and haven't really been like the force behind it, to get it out there further, that's kind of why I came here today, like to really figure out why I'm not doing that-- Why do you think you're not doing it? I don't know, because the book is about somebody else, so it's like it-- But, but, hold on. What are you not, what are you not doing, like there are things, what could you be doing that would get the book out there in a bigger way, let's come up with three things. Tell me three things you could do to get the book out there in a bigger way. Be actively trying every week to reach certain amount of people that could actually give it some kind of life. Okay, what else could you be doing? Trying to get speaking engagements. Yup, what else could you be doing? Probably social media stuff. Yup, definitely. You could also record an audiobook. Right, I wrote that down. Go to Amazon, yes do that. And I didn't get the whole thing so I have to get-- And so what happens is, you know, this is that knowledge trap again, you know what to do, but you decide not to because I guarantee you know you come, we all do this, this isn't just you, you're helping everybody kind of see how this manifests itself, you see what you want, and then you start to convince yourself not to do it. You know I just have a question though, which is the thing that is your real, the real project, like if we were to take this chapter and say this chapter is about X, is it about the book, or is it about the documentary film stuff, because the creating is your heart work, the selling is the head work. So which piece-- I don't have problems creating, so, I would say that I'm not going to be fearful of going forward when the time is right in my life, that I can get out there and make some kind of film, and do some kind of project. I jump into those. Okay. My problem is getting it out there, like doing what I intended to do with it, 'cause like somebody over here said earlier, that they feel like their goal is to help people, help others, and with the story that I wrote, there is definitely that in there, it's about an incredible human being, and she inspires people, and she's gone now, she passed away, but that, I think that's the thing, I think I need to get that out there, because I think it could be a tremendous help to people. Okay so then here's what I want you to do. I do want you to change your website and say, documentary filmmaker. I do want you to adjust your thinking. It's not about you, it's about the work. So think about your work like the models that you used to promote okay, and just go through the motions on that, with the head. The other thing I want you to do is I want you to, so super important business lesson here with creative products: they take time. And yes, we see the celebrities and we see the huge social media influencers drop something and boom it blows up. But behind every big thing that takes off, there's usually six years of hard work that nobody sees behind it. I'm seven in! Yes okay, so you're due! You're due! And so one of the things that I really believe, is that it's critical for you to know kind of what you want, but to give up your timeline about it. Okay. And to really shrink your daily expectations, and then in the end when we talk about kind of the five habits that we're going to, the five habits that I want you guys to start using every morning, I'm going to show you a couple journaling practices that will help you make progress based on science every day on a project like this. 'Cause it's not about making a big splash, it's about these tiny little things that you're doing every day that has you see yourself be in action around the book, and I promise you, within a month, it will be less about the book getting out there, because you will see that you are getting out there, and that lifts that blanket that we put on ourselves, does that make sense? Hm-mmm. Anything else? Yeah, how do I lose the next 30 pounds I have to lose? (audience laughs) What do you have to do? Stop eating ice cream. Okay, but hold on, do you want to? No! Okay, well then, what else do you have to do? Exercise. See-- I don't want to do that either though. (audience laughs) You know, I'm going to ask you a question and I mean it. Do you, are you actually committed to losing the weight? Or are you, do you have a habit of beating the shit out of yourself? No, well... I'm serious about this, because there's a lot of people that say they want to lose weight, and really what the issue is, is learning to love yourself where you're at first before you deprive yourself of ice cream. You should be exercising, because of the impact it has hold on a second, because of the impact it has on your brain, you should be exercising because of the impact it has on your mental health, you 100% should be doing that. Now you're looking at somebody who absolutely hates to exercise. I only break a sweat if somebody's screaming at me, or I'm being chased, that's it, and so I know that about myself. I don't ever expect to like it. I don't like unloading the dishwasher, I still have to do it. I don't like picking up the dog poop in the lawn. I still have to do it. And so for you, there's two pieces. One is, what is it that you really, not what should you do, what do you feel guilted into doing, what would make you feel proud and as a representation of who you really are, and then it's about figuring out the plan, and you know look, any diet works, they just stink, right? Every exercise plan will make you healthier, it's just tough to push yourself to do it. I tell myself every day, when I look in the mirror and see that I'm not who I used to be, weight-wise, I tell myself every day, tomorrow's the day that I start. Yeah just like me when I was lying in bed, tomorrow, I'm going to get up on time. Tomorrow-- And then I get the craving to go in the refrigerator and take out the Haagen-Dasz, or ice cream-- That's stress. Yeah. That's stress. See, what's happening, this is really fascinating, because we procrastinate at work because we're stressed, so we blow off work as a way to relieve ourselves of the stress that we're feeling in other areas of our life, it's like a little smoking break for your brain. (audience laughs) And there's a connection between not being in action in ways that are meaningful to you, and the stress, and the overeating that is making you not feel good about yourself. And I believe, that if you were to get in action in a meaningful way every day, around the book, and around how you talk about what you do for a living, and you were to just start with doing a walk every morning for 10 minutes, that's it. Because what happens is, if you five four three two one push yourself out the door for 10 minutes, even though it's raining, c'mon, that's an excuse you use, right, you see yourself being the kind of person that takes action no matter what, and that's evidence of who you're becoming. Yeah, makes sense. Awesome. Thank you. (audience applauds) You're welcome. So what are you going to do when you leave here, 'cause talk is cheap, what are you going to do? I am going to schedule every day, something to do to get the book where it needs to be, probably starting with speaking engagements, and gonna get up every day and walk, and I'm going to have to five four three two something with ice cream. (audience laughs) Or walk a little longer and have some ice cream, seriously. You can figure it out, you really can, and it all starts with the willingness to kind of see it and to try it, so absolutely awesome. Thank you. Very proud-- Thank you so much. Everybody online is like, "What's her book, what's her book, I wanna," Will you please repeat the title? What is it what is it what is it? It's called A Wondrous Journey: A Small Book With Big Lessons, and it's on Amazon, and-- A Wondrous Journey-- A Small Book With Big Lessons-- Like make sure on the break, he gets the right link to post up there, okay? Okay okay, wow. Isn't that cool? Now see what happens when you doubt? Yeah, take action! Yes, take action, excellent. Come to California. Excellent, excellent okay. Thank you. So here's the thing. Waiting, if you're waiting to do something, do it now, okay? Don't set a deadline, don't do it within 24 hours, 'cause we know that within five seconds, self-doubt will kick back in. And, what do you have to do, you don't have to go for the walk, maybe write down when you're going to do it. Just take one small action forward, because what happens is, it breaks that habit of overthinking. That's what happens in your mind, is that just, you catch yourself waiting, so you're recognizing the trap, it's an action that you're taking, move forward right now. The next one, overthinking. If you're somebody that gets paralyzed by choice, do I pick this one, do I do that one, where do I start, should I do a documentary on this, should I write a book on that, should I price this way, should I price that way, there is no right answer. Call somebody you love or trust, and ask them, and make them choose. And then stick with it for a week, because we can't trust you to make the decision. Because you've got a habit of hesitating, and the way that you hesitate, is you paralyze yourself, by trying to figure out the right decision. So if you feel stuck, if you feel you know, like you're always noodling everything, the smallest things, delegate the decision to someone else, you're going to hate it, because you're giving up control, and that's a safety mechanism, and then move forward. Try it for just a week, like nothing in life is permanent, seriously, nothing in life, except, honestly except for when you die, nothing in life is permanent, you can change anything at any time, you can change your thinking patterns, you can change your behavior, you can change who you hang out with, you always are in control. And you know if you want your work to be perfect, good is gold. I guarantee you, there's got to be 15 spelling mistakes in this thing, truly. I'm sure there are, Mandy's like "Uh huh, yup, keep scrolling," 'cause there's one on that screen probably. Is there? So these are things that you can do but again, the real goal is in catching yourself. Catching that you're hesitating. What does it feel like, you're really busy but you're shrinking, you know you're really busy but you're stalling, you're paralyzed, if those are the words that you use a lot to describe where you're at, you're paralyzed, you're stuck, you're overwhelmed, you're a perfectionist, God I love you 'cause so am I, it's, this is the trap.

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Ratings and Reviews

Michal Levi

Let me start by saying I bought a book of hers and could not get through it. I just tuned in live today out of curiosity.. with low expectations. BUT WOW. THIS WAS FANTASTIC! As someone who teaches professionally (and has won teaching awards), I have to say I was in AWE of what a great teacher she was. Also, while she is not a licensed therapist, which some have complained about, she is so gifted in this area. WOW she has a talent! Watching her with individuals from the audience was moving, informative and inspirational! UTTERLY AWESOME! Truly glad I took the time just in case there was any value to it. THERE WAS IN FACT A LOT OF VALUE! Thanks Mel! Hey, I may even try to pick up that book of yours again. BRAVO!

Go2 Norway

Wow! The science-behind-typical-human-behaviors that fuel self-doubt AND clear ways to understand how to acknowledge those, and move into confidence-through-action. Easy and interesting ways to remember the points! Marvelous presenter skills -- a real model, and inspiration. Actual coaching sessions within the class to make it real. Mel is totally herself, and vulnerabilities become her strength in real-time, which class participants also lived out in real-time as well. Very memorable. And, the explanation of anxiety as a high energy state matching excitement more than calm was significant, as well as the myths about confidence (such as confidence is not about a personality; rather, action). Well organized, made sense, and I will integrate multiple parts daily! THANKS, MEL!!!

Wild Flower Murals

I'm training to be a life coach and have been a public muralist for years. I've been researching creativity, self initiated empowerment and positive psychology from various angles for many years- in hopes to make it accessible to many. I initially came across Mel's book and was wholly impressed by how effective yet simple the 5-4-3-2-1 book was. I am so glad I took this course, it is the best of the best of the best!!!

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