EPISODE 82: Q & A – “How Do I Stop Doubting Myself?”
I was going to ask you if you have ever doubted yourself but instead, I’ll simply ask, “How much do you doubt yourself?”
Self-doubt is so rampant and almost universal that it’s akin to a global plague. Almost all people, all cultures around the world – people doubt themselves incessantly. It’s tragic and self-destructive.
So, given my last comment, I picked Mari’s question this week, “How do I stop doubting myself?” I knew it would be huge for a lot of people.
In this episode I talk about:
I’m grateful for Mari asking this question because when I saw it, it immediately brought up past memories about myself and I knew I could help you overcome self-doubt.
Stop working from “right-wrong, good-bad” thinking.
You're listening to episode number 82 of the Transform Your Life From the Inside Out Podcast. Now, obviously, this is a Monday Q&A episode. And this week, I'm going to actually dive into a question that I got, obviously. And that question is, "How do I stop doubting myself? If you get into self doubt, then you're going to want to listen to this episode. Keep listening.
Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start transforming your life from the inside out with this podcast. I'm widely considered the leader in subconscious transformation and I've coached super achievers all around the world for over 25 years. Here, you're going to find no rah rah motivation and no hype because this podcast is a combination of brain science, transformational psychology, and ancient wisdom all rolled into one to take your life to levels you've never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind, to feel powerful and alive, and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life, then this podcast is for you. Because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want, then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.
Stop Seeing Things as "Right" or Wrong" to Defeat Self-Doubt
Self-doubt. When I read this question that Maurice sent in, it hit me pretty hard, because I'm not one of those people that deals with a lot of self-doubt in my life at this point. But I'm going to tell you this, I could definitely relate to the question many, many years ago. I mean, I used to constantly doubt. Am I doing the right thing? Am I making the right decision? And I used to, quite literally get paralyzed by analysis. So it's a question that I know I've dealt with and I'm going to just, you know, spitball here and I would say probably 80-90% of you are also wrestling with self-doubt. So when I saw the question that Mari sent in, I'm like, okay, that's the Monday episode. I'm going to give you the answer. How to stop wrestling with it. I'm going to give you the answer at the beginning of this episode. And the truth is this. The answer is so simple that most of us miss it. We human beings, we love to overcomplicate things seriously. I remember one of my first transformational coaching programs, the group programs that I started a few years ago, this woman said, "Jim, you make everything too simple." Well, I did a little investigation and went and looked at her profile, and she was an engineer. And engineers typically make everything extremely process oriented and complex. And I said, "Well, has anyone ever told you that?" Because I'd already been coaching her for a while, so I could tell she was always in her head. And I said, "Has anyone ever told you that you make everything a lot more complex than it needs to be?" And she's like, "yeah, people have told me that." So the answer is so simple that most people miss it. But the way to stop getting into self-doubt is to stop working from right or wrong.
We human beings we're taught from early childhood that there's a right way and there's a wrong way. And there's a good way and there's a bad way. And when we work from right or wrong, or good or bad, that is an absolute fail point for most of us. And it was for me for a lot of years. That keeps me, many years ago, and probably you up until this podcast, trapped. And then what happens is you sit there, and metaphorically, you're at a stoplight, and people behind you are honking and the light turns green, and you're like, should I go left? Should I go right? Should I go left or should I go right, right, left, right, left? I don't know. I can't decide. Let me just sit here in the middle of the road and get you know, honked at and bumped and ran over and everything else. Which is what a lot of you do.
Now, I want you to take some time and I want you to consider your own doubt. And look at that. Your doubt comes from, am I going to make a good decision or a bad decision? Am I going to make a right decision or a wrong decision? And then again, you're looking left looking right, looking left looking right. And as I said earlier, that is a fail point for most of us. Now, what is doubt? Doubt, plain and simple according to definition, Merriam Webster, is a feeling of uncertainty. So look at your life. Seriously, look at your life and look at when you have uncertainty. Your uncertainty is caused because where you are, it's caused by oh my gosh, will I make a good choice or a bad choice? Because see, we all want to make what we think are good choices. I mean, no one ever says, for the most part, "Hmm nothing better to do today I think I'll make a bad choice right now."
In neurolinguistics, NLP, neuro linguistic programming, one of the precepts is that any of us do the best we can in any given moment with the resources that we have. So let's say that somebody almost causes a car accident and they just pull out in the traffic and they almost caused an accident. Well, I don't think the person sat there and said, you know, "Hey, I think I'm going to actually almost cause an accident. I'm going to whip out in traffic right now and stop, you know, all the traffic behind me" and people hit their brakes, doesn't happen that way. The person made the best decision they could in that moment with the resources that they have, or they had in that moment. So as I just opened up, the conversation will loop when you look at your own life, when you get into doubt, seriously, look here at your own life. When you get into doubt it's because you're feeling uncertain about something. And that uncertainty is based upon, is this a good choice or is it a bad choice? And generally what we're looking for is what is the right choice? When I say the right choice,I mean, look at your own life, right? You're sitting there going, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh." And as I said, this is a fail point for most of you. And this leads to paralysis by analysis. Because we're so afraid of human beings, not of human human beings, but as human beings. We're so afraid to make a mistake. And there are many reasons for that.
We think if we make a mistake, it's going to create loss in our life. We think if we make a mistake that other people are going to judge us or it's going to, you know, it's going to set us back or something. But we attribute that to making a bad mistake, airquote "bad," and we don't make the mistake, or we don't often make decisions because we're afraid we're going to make a bad mistake, and that's going to set us back and we're going to lose and that's painful. And we move from pain to pleasure. Also, look at your own life. You know what I've noticed in myself many years ago and probably you to some degree now or many of you is that people agonize over the right choice. And then what a lot of times people do is they don't make any choice which in itself is a choice. And making no choice leads to no growth and no evolution for most of us. But what most people get into is they're looking for the right choice, but they're also looking for a better choice over a bad choice. And then what comes into play there is that we're back at good and bad again.
Notice that, and I'm being a little repetitive in this episode, notice even when I give you guys things in these episodes, and I mean this humbly and respectfully, because being with a shaman for so many years, this has been drilled in my head. And there are many things drilled in my head over the years. And when I say drilled, lessons to be learned and opportunities put in front of me. And many times we're like, "Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I get that." And then later we're like, "No, I didn't get it." But every bit of the doubt in your life comes down to, am I making a good choice or making a bad choice. And I want to make a good choice. But I doubt because I don't know which one is the better choice to make the good choice. Therefore, I make no choice, which in itself is air, quote, a "bad" choice to make no choice most of the time.
What a lot of us also don't recognize, and I learned this from Peggy Dean. Peggy was my NLP trainer for a lot of years. And she learned from Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the CO developers of NLP. And Peggy is, I guess, about 80 now, and we've been friends for a lot of years. And she's been an NLP coach of mine for 20 years. Very, very wise woman, very smart, very gifted coach at a global level. And she said to me, one day she goes, you know, "Jim, most people never stop to think that they can re-decide." Consider that for a moment. When you're looking at your choices, what most people get into, is they get into "Oh my gosh, I can't decide because I'm going to make a choice. And hopefully I'm not going to make a bad choice. Because I want to make the best possible choice." What people generally never really think about is, you know, what? If I actually make a choice, and it doesn't work out, then guess what? I can re decide my choice.
And a simple life scenario here is that many people, I don't know if it's many, but I would say a fair amount of people, they get out of a relationship and, you know, it wasn't a great relationship. And then many people will say things like "Well, you know what, I am not going I'm not going to date again. I'm not going to get back into relationship." Why? Because the person they were with prior to that wasn't a good relationship, colloquially speaking. They're like, "I'm not gonna make that decision again," but they never stopped to think, "Hey, I can even stop and re-decide how I evaluate who I want to be around, and what kind of relationship that I want to be in." So what I want to share there is that most people never recognize, and hopefully you are recognizing now that you can re-decide. You make a decision, it doesn't work out, then you know what you re-decide.
I also want to point out that and it's just part of the cultural vernacular, and colloquial words, but I do use words like good and bad. Oh, that's a bad decision. That's a good decision. And really, what I look at is I definitely think and I definitely know there are better choices to be made at times. I mean, obviously, there are better choices that we can make at times. I mean, you know, for example, a salad might be a better choice than a hamburger, and the list goes on for this concept, but what I really want you to understand is that good and bad, there's objective. "Oh, that's a good choice. That's a bad choice. That's a good thing or that's a bad thing." And we learn it.
Let me just go here for a second. I call it one of the original lies, good and bad. We learn it, at least in the West and in Europe and Australia. For those people that are you know, born in the families that celebrate Christmas. You know, as a kid, if you think back and maybe, right now, actually, I'm recording this the day after Christmas. And if you have kids, you might have done the same thing with your kids. But this was done to you. We're told as kids and again, I call it one of the original lies. We're told as kids that you know what, if you're good, Santa Claus is going to bring you whatever you want, or x, y, z or the fire truck or the dollar, whatever. But you know what Santa is making a list and are you good or are you bad? And we're taught as children that we are either good or bad. And it's completely subjective, literally completely subjective because if you look at the concepts of good and bad, there are social norms. What might be good in one society is bad and another. There are religious, moral, subjective evaluations about what's good and bad. There are cultural and ethical concerns about you know what is good and bad. Yet, what I want you to notice is they're all subjective. They're all subjective and relative to where you learned the good and bad from.
To give you an example here is, you know, people say that you shouldn't talk about sex and politics and religion. But let's very briefly and generally talk about at least, you know, religion, and politics to a small degree and not about partisanship or any of that. But if you look at, for example, a person that's devoutly religious for whatever religion they want, and somebody that's non religious. The religious person could say it's bad to throw away a holy book, to throw it the trash, of any any religion. And you know what? They could say, "You throw the Holy Book away, oh my gosh, that is bad!" But then on the flip side, if you have, maybe somebody that's an atheist or even somebody that's anti-religious, they could say, "You know what, it's good to throw away that holy book for that particular religion." Notice what happened is that a holy book is being thrown away. But two different people have two different interpretations of good and bad about it.
Many years ago, I was told, it came to my attention in a very strong way, I was told, and I'm still guys, I still have my lessons. I'm still learning. I'm still on the planet as well. Yet I was told to stop working from good and bad and right and wrong. And that does not mean, let's be very clear. That does not mean that you go out and you take your keys and you scratch somebody's car because there is no air quote, "good or bad." I mean, when I work from is a much bigger place, is what I do in the world and what I put out with an open heart is what what comes back to me, and I want more to come back to me, so I do my best air quote here, to be the "best" possible person that I can be. Am I perfect? Nope. But you know what I do my best to be the best possible person. And even notice, as I explain this, I have to actually qualify in some way by even using the word best possible.
Now, so we talked about religion, there's subjective, good and bad, but let's look at politics. Here in the United States split right down the middle, almost, Donald Trump got elected in 2016 via the Electoral College. There are some people that say that is very, very bad. There are some people that say that's very, very good. But notice, it is what it is to the subjective holder of that belief system. Richard bandler, one of the co-developers of NLP neuro linguistic programming used to say there are no failures, only outcomes. Now personally, let me share with you where I work from, because I've got to make decisions on a daily basis as well. I run a multiple seven-figure business. I have employees, we impact a lot of people, we affect a lot of people. And there are times we can make better decisions about things. There are times times we've made decisions. And I'm like, okay, we could have made a different decision. But anyone on my team will tell you that they've never seen me get into, "Oh my gosh, that was a bad decision to do that." And we haven't really had any what I call failures in the business or major setbacks. Let me put it that way.
But where I work from is this. I make my decisions and then I evaluate my outcomes. And then I look at do I like the outcome? And does it advance me and does it progress me? Or do I not like the outcome? And guess what, if I don't like the outcome and it didn't advance me or you know, create progress or evolution in my life or my business, then what I can do is I can say, "Okay, how can I re-decide?" And then what I do is I make a different decision. Many years ago, and you've heard that I live between Dallas, Texas and Sedona, Arizona. For many years, I've been wanting to escape the concrete jungle here in Dallas, Texas. I mean, I think there's 6 million people here in the Metroplex. And for a few years, we were looking at homes in either Asheville, North Carolina, Boulder, Colorado, and then actually, most recently, Sedona, Arizona, and we bought a house here. And I spend actually probably 70% of my time in Sedona. When we were looking at Asheville, many years ago, I was talking to my partner and I said, "Well, you know, what if we don't like it." And then what dawned on me is, well, you know what, you pick up and you move, because see if we moved to Asheville, and then we didn't like it, then my thought would be okay, well, that is a bad decision to move to Asheville. But I didn't go there. Where I simply went to is okay, so if you move and you don't like it, guess what, you move there, move back away, move move to somewhere else that you want to be.
One of my clients many years ago, let me share this and in terms of personal things for people. One of my clients, he was a very, very successful mortgage broker. And he was in an extremely dysfunctional, unhealthy marriage by any stretch of the imagination. I mean, I could say he was in a bad marriage. And I think by anybody stretch the imagination, even though we say good and bad can be subjective. It could be a good marriage if he wanted to be married, or could be a bad marriage if he wanted to be married to a partner who didn't show any affection, any love or any care or concern. But anyway, I've never told my clients and anybody in coaching will tell you, they'll say, "Jim, should I get a divorce?" I never say yes or no, because I don't know that answer. I don't have the personal power to see people's karma. So I will say, "I don't know that answer yet." I'll do things to guide them to more clarity. And he even told me that they were in an extraordinarily destructive, unhealthy relationship, and both people did not care about the other. They simply stayed together for their daughter, which by the way is all the wrong reasons to stay together and research demonstrates that. But anyway, so he didn't care for his wife at all. But he thought that if he got a divorce, that would be bad. And he even said that it'd be bad for money reasons. And it'd be bad because he couldn't see his daughter on a daily basis. And, you know, when I look at that, I even asked him one day, I said, and bear with me through this story. I said, "What's going to happen in your life if you get a divorce?" That's what I do. I ask questions. And you might even recognize that here on the podcast is I ask questions. And I said, "Where's your life going to be a year from now?" And he said, "Well, I don't know." And I did a podcast on where I'm going to go next. I said, "What's going to happen in your life, is that in a year from now is whatever you're 100% responsible for choosing in your life and making happen." And the way that I look at it is getting a divorce, from his interpretation could be bad about money, or it could be let's use good money. He could actually even make more money because now he's not living in a toxic home environment, he's more productive at work, and he can make even more money. So when I looked at his divorce, it was neither good or bad. It was simply what was he going to be 100% responsible for making happen and how was he going to be responsible for his own ways of being? So as you can see, clearly, what serves as well is to get away from the right or wrong or the good or bad thinking.
I also want to point out here is that I when I'm making decisions, I do not also just throw darts. And there are so many places in life we can apply this to, so I want to speak generally here. But the way that I look at it is I calculate when I'm making a decision. I calculate and then I make a decision with the amount of information and the best possible information that I have at hand and on hand and in any given moment. And that's all that I can do. And then once I make a decision, I have to be 100% responsible for, okay, what are the outcomes of this decision. And if I do not get the outcome that I want, then I go back to that word I used a little earlier, and I re-decide. And I make a new and different decision. So just being transparent here with you guys is that literally, I used to get into good and bad thinking, and probably even to a larger degree than what I even recognize or even am aware of. And it used to be something that would stop me for many, many years. Here at my company, my project manager, she's actually not project manager but Director of Operations Nikki, when we first started working together, a lot of times when I make a decision and she knows this, is that I will wait for spiritual guidance. Literally, I'll get quiet. I'll sit with it, I'll give it to dream time, I will what I call "toss it to spirit." I will ask my brother in law, the shaman. But many times, I will actually I'll wait for guidance before I make a decision. And when I'm clear on the guidance, and I know that I'm hearing it properly. But I told Nikki long ago, and this is how we operate, that if a decision on something has to be made, and if I don't make that decision within 24 hours, then you know what, you have full authority to make the decision, however you think it can best be made to grow the business. And that's not because I would just sit and get caught in paralysis by analysis. I mean, I have a lot of things on my plate, and a lot of things to do, and a lot of things that are going on in my life. And we're growing very, very quickly here in the company, and our global reach, and unexpected ways. And I really enjoy that. I think that's great. But I told her I said if you ask me for an answer on something that we have to make an answer on, and I don't give you an answer within 24 hours, then I give you complete power to make that decision. Regardless of whether I think it's a, airquote, good decision or a bad decision, you make that decision.
So stop doubting yourself. How to do that is what I want you to do is I want you to notice where you're doubting. And I want you to notice that all of your doubting is about metrics and subjective values. Meaning when I say metrics, is it good, better, or best? Because many of you are looking for a good decision, a better decision or right decision. And like the best possible decision and some people might even say the perfect decision. And when I say metrics, what I mean by that is degrees. It's all a decision, but you're looking for degrees good, better, best or perfect. And notice when you get into your doubting, there is a significant if not almost 100% dose of that good, better, best, perfect decision, or the right or wrong. And I pretty much guarantee you, you look at any area of your life where you're doubting yourself and it's because you're in good better, best,perfect or you're into good or bad or you're into right or wrong.
What I want to point out also is if you look at your life, look at where you doubt yourself. Do you doubt yourself about your skillset whether it be at work or you know artistry or painting or coding or writing copy or whatever it is. And notice that you're in the good, better, best. Look at dating. Look at relationships. You're definitely in the good, better, best. Am I good enough for her? Is she good enough for me? I want something better. The grass is always greener on the other side. Or when it comes to looks, do I look the best that I can look? Or are there better looking people than me? Which then we get into comparison. Look at money good, better, best. I mean you categorize your entire life, most of you, when it comes to money by good better and best.
Let me share with you, I really wish that you guys could could see a transparency meter in my brain and literally be like a little needle you see on the recording equipment and you could tell whether I'm telling the truth or not. Well, I can't help you if I don't tell the truth and be, you know, as honest, just be 100% honest. But where I work from is I'm being completely honest when I say, "Oh, yeah, I used to be the good, better, best, the self doubt the right or wrong, good or bad all that they used to be me." That's not me anymore. Where I am today is I make the best possible decision that I can with the information that I have at hand. And then what I tell people a metaphor that I love, is it's like a bow and arrow. Once the arrow has been released from the bow, it has to fly its course. Once I make a decision, I let the arrow, I let the decision fly it's course. And then if I like the decision, and I like the outcome, then guess what? I keep doing it and if I don't, I stop doing it.
But there's a phrase that I use a lot and it's really a powerful phrase when you can get your mind around this and many of you probably use this phrase. But the phrase that I say, a lot, I say this phrase a lot is you know what it is what it is. And I love that phrase, because it means I don't have to go into the good or bad. It's not bad that it happened. It's not good that it happened, it just is that it happened. So, self-doubt and how to stop it. Get out of the right or wrong thinking and that your transformational takeaway this week. Personally I do what I do, and then whatever's going to happen is going to happen. I reevaluate, or I evaluate and then I decide or we decide, but literally get off the right or wrong, good, better, best thinking. Because that always will proceed the self-doubt and it will throw you automatically right into self-doubt. And I don't have to tell you, you already know that is a broken strategy that keeps many of you trapped for many, many years. Okay, so that wraps up today's episode and next episode on Wednesday is a really, really in my interpretation, a really powerful episode. And the title of that episode is this, and I've learned this multiple places over the years and I have found it to be extraordinarily evident in my life. But the next episode is titled, "You speak your life into existence." You speak your life into existence. Okay, I'll catch you ever on that episode. And thank you for listening to this one and sharing. All right, make it a good day today. Actually make it a great day to day bye bye.
Thank you for listening to this entire podcast. If you're the kind of person who likes to help others, then share this with your friends and family. You know, if you found value, they will too. So please share via your social media channels. Also, if you have questions, I'm here to assist. You can email me questions to email@example.com and I may even use your question for a future podcast episode. Also, if you want transformational content like this daily, connect with me on Instagram, my Instagram name is @iamjimfortin. Finally I do have a personal request. I believe that we're all here to help others and to grow and evolve ourselves. Together, you and I, let's help more people. If you would, please leave a review on iTunes and a good one by the way. I'd be grateful and through your assistance together, we can transform more lives. Thanks for listening.