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What Is Self-Doubt

Lesson 7 from: How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence

Mel Robbins

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Lesson Info

7. What Is Self-Doubt

Self-doubt causes you to undervalue yourself and negatively affects your life and career. But self-doubt is a learned behavior and can be changed.

Lesson Info

What Is Self-Doubt

Understanding self-doubt. First of all, it's a learned behavior. It's a learned behavior. You don't come out of the womb doubting yourself. In fact, if you look at any kid, I'm sure somebody's done a study of how many times kids actually fall down before they are able to stand up. They just keep going, keep going, keep going. We teach them to doubt themselves. You were taught to doubt yourself. You were, whether it was from school or from parents or from siblings or bullies or whatever, you were taught to doubt yourself. You were happily going through life and then you started to worry about what people thought or you had somebody that was hypercritical and then you realized, oh, I gotta gut check myself. We experienced with our son where he went to camp and there was a bully. It was a disastrous situation, but I'm not gonna go there 'cause you don't wanna hear that sob story of mine. But he was bullied for three weeks straight and the kid that I dropped off who was exuberant and full ...

of life, the kid that I got handed back after three weeks was like a shell of a human being. And what he said is that he got picked on all day long. It started out as like the butt of the joke and kind of making fun of him and then it's a pile on in terms of that and then they started screwing around with his stuff. What he internalized is, I can't be myself. If I'm myself I get that. And because he's stuck in a cabin with these kids you can't hide like you can as an adult. And that is a really good explanation for what we do and how we learn. You have a couple things that happen to you and you start to internalize that, oh, I just better shut up. Oh, I just better shrink. Oh, nobody wants to hear what I have to say. Oh, people like that, act like this. And so you learn this and when you repeat any behavior it becomes a habit. Let me show you what happens. So remember, we're gonna continue to build here. We started by talking about how you can't control the feelings that might rise up, right? You can't control, like if I call on you and you have the quick nerves, you can't control that, it's totally natural. You can't control what's gonna necessarily happen in your life and business. So you're gonna have feelings that rise up. These feelings trigger you to think. That's an action. You start to overthink in reaction to being afraid that you're gonna fail. Right there, I'm just relaxing. You overthink for the good stuff, but don't overthink for the bad stuff. Like my reactions, the Hector moment. I didn't overthink (mumbles). I just did it. And when it's good stuff is when I overthink. Because you doubt yourself. You're getting triggered by the fear and by the doubt. This is an action. I want you to understand self-doubt is not a feeling, it is the actions that you take in response to these whole array of normal feelings that we have. It impacts how much you sell or whether or not you sell. It impacts how you talk to people. It impacts whether or not you put your work out there. It impacts what you price things at. So what happens is you overthink, then you start to doubt yourself and now you're stuck in this loop. And when I explain the signs of habit loops and how they get encoded in your brain, this is gonna make so much sense and be so liberating because this is the trap that we're all in. You get triggered by your feelings and then you choose an action that keeps you trapped and keeps you trapped in self-doubt. If you're nervous, same thing happens doesn't it? If you're feeling unsure, the same thing happens. If you feel like a fake, the same thing happens. All triggered by these feelings that are perfectly normal. If you feel overwhelmed you start to overthink. If you're afraid of getting rejected. Maybe you had a horrible breakup. Maybe you lost somebody that you love and now you're terrified of rejection. The second that you sense it's coming, start overthinking. And here's the good news. Any behavior that you repeat and you'll repeat that stuff all the time, so do I. It's a habit and we can change it. So how does self-doubt affect your life? We've kind of talked about that. Let me tell you how it's affected my career. Number one, I spoke for free for three years. So after that (mumbles) talk went crazy, people started calling and asking me if I would speak and it never even occurred to me to charge because I was just so interested in sharing the idea about the fact that you can change anything with five second decisions and I was so busy researching the science because I had so many people writing me that I thought this was a great opportunity to explore it with a live audience and learn more and see how people are using it. So I had this experience and you guys are gonna love this. I think everyone of you is gonna relate to it. At the time I had just started with CNN and Mandy and I had launched our first company which was a little content aggregator. It was like a BuzzFeed for moms, which we eventually sold. What happened is I gave a talk and it was at a huge women's conference. I think there were 10,000 women that attended this. Was it in Pennsylvania? I don't remember, Texas, somewhere like that. There were these main speakers. Hilary Clinton was a main speaker and this incredible principal from Philadelphia was a main speaker and a noble prize winner was a main speaker in the big room with 10,000 people and then I was one of the speakers and I'll never forget this 'cause I had the biggest breakout room of my life to date. It was 2,000 people. So I go, I give the speech. It goes totally fine. I leave. I'm sitting at the train station to catch a train home from Philadelphia to Boston and a woman comes up to me and she walks up to me and she goes, oh, oh, your Mel Robbins, right? I said, yeah, yeah, yeah. She said I was in your session. She said it was fantastic and then she goes, you know I was a speaker too. I was on a panel in the morning. She says, can I ask you a question? And I said sure. And she says, did you get your check yet? And I said check? You got paid for that? And she says, you didn't? And she said, oh I'm sorry and she starts backing up going I just assumed 'cause you were in the big room. And it was this really interesting moment where I thought first of all, you are such a freaking idiot number one. Number two, it never even occurred to me. And then I started to look into the business and I think a lot of you totally undervalue yourself especially because it's art, especially because you're a creator, especially because it's deeply personal. You will not get what you don't ask for. You just won't. And so a lot of what I'm also talking about comes from figuring out, how do I build a business then in something totally different? How do I price myself so that I'm not paid like a chick? How do I position myself so that I build the kind of trajectory that I want? So everything is figure outtable and then from there it's about you trying and you pushing yourself and you catching yourself when you have these Hector moments. I spoke for free for three years. I waited to start doing courses for almost two years 'cause I was convinced, oh I gotta have a PhD, I gotta have a certification, I gotta do this, I gotta do that, I gotta do the other thing. I actually was nervous about whether or not I could record my own audio book, but in my gut as a creator I knew why the hell would I give anybody rights to something I can record myself? Why would I do that? If you're thinking about doing a book, number one sever all audio rights from any deals that you do. That's number one. And number two, record it yourself. Seriously, you can upload it to Amazon through ACX and get 40% of the royalties yourself. The world has changed so much that it's also so cool that you're here because this next chapter is also about you taking control and being smart about the decisions you're making as business people. I have been actively talking myself out of doing live events, actively. You're not ready. Nobody will show up. What are you crazy? Where would you have it? What the hell would you talk about? Live events, what? How many of you are talking yourself out of stuff right now? Yes, absolutely. That is how self-doubt impacts your life.

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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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