What To Do When Doubt Comes Calling (Uninvited)

I was trying to think today about how to best serve you.

What could be most useful for you?

And most relevant?

The thought that came to mind is what to do if you are going along swimmingly and then all of a sudden DOUBT starts to bubble up. 

Sadly, if left unaddressed, doubt can start to fester, leading to a downward spiral – generally speeding up as it goes – and then spinning into other parts of your life that you thought you were on top of.

What do you? 

THAT is what we will continue to explore today. 

The number 1 thing to do 

In my experience this is the number one thing to do.

It’s pretty simple. 

It is … (drum roll please) … realize that E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E has doubts.


One of the things that causes our doubts to grow (often exponentially) is thinking that it is unique to us

That there something wrong with us. 

That we are the only person who is feeling doubt, and everyone else has sh#t together a lot more than us. 

I can assure you from dealing with myself for a bunch of decades, coaching for the last 16 years and dealing with 1000’s of people personally and professionally, I am yet to meet a single person who does not experience doubt. 

Even the highest performers I have worked with, which includes world-class athletes, successful business owners and the super rich. 

The difference with the highest performers is they overcome their doubts more quickly than the average person. 

Which takes us to how they might do that.   

Back to Basics

As the subtitle suggests, one of the ways to overcome doubts is to focus on the basics. 

To go back to our most basic ‘drills’ (or rituals). 

To ground ourselves with known drills, which we know make a difference to our state of being.

You might be doing or aiming for some big things (a project for example), and major doubt starts popping up. In order to deal with these doubts, you might focus on your basic rituals and daily practices until the doubts start to atrophy (because you are taking attention and energy away from them, plus not feeding them).

It might be the boxer who is feeling significant doubt about an up-coming fight, deciding to re-focus on basic drills on a punching bag (which is easy to do and he knows delivers results), until the doubts start to lessen.

Another example of ‘getting back to basics’ is committing to your morning rituals (especially movement and mindfulness).

The reason they work (outside of the direct benefits of enhanced health and vitality) is because they make us feel a certain way

Even before we do them, we know that there is a high probability we will feel a ‘certain’ way when we do them.

This feeling of ‘certainty’ about a future result is the OPPOSITE of feeling doubtful. 

Doubt lives in the realm of uncertainty, so if we do known drills and rituals, that make us feel a certain way, then we are reducing our doubts. 

And increasing our sense of certainty and our ability to influence our mental state.

Reach out (to the right people) 

Sometimes shame or embarrassment might hold us back from reaching out to others. 

But like I said right at the start, we have ALL struggled with doubt at different times in our lives.

So don’t hold back on reaching out.

And don’t wait too long before reaching out.

Often when we reach out, that person can relate to a similar personal experience and may have some useful suggestions to share.

Not reaching out, because you are embarrassed by what someone may think of you (especially if you have been vocal about being able to handle things yourself), is not a good enough reason. 

Don’t suffer because of pride. 

Remember EVERYONE has had their fair share of doubts too.  

My last thought 

I was just about to wrap up when this thought came to mind…

It is sort of like the idea of getting back to basics, but another angle that might serve you.

The idea is to take smaller steps

Expand your timeline (which is one of the Tips in my 18 Ways book). 

Put your left foot, then your right foot, then your left foot…etc..

You don’t even need to have a belief that you can reach the final goal. 

You just need to believe that if you take the next few steps in the right direction, you will eventually build up enough momentum to leave doubt further and further behind. 

Small steps. 

Sort of like that tortoise when it was racing the hare.

In Summary

You, like me, are guaranteed to have doubts in your life. 

You are not alone, broken, or missing something. 

It is inevitable if you want to stretch yourself in life.

Safe = less potential doubt in your life. 

But it is also pretty dull. 

Uncertainty leads to a higher likelihood of doubt.

But doing the basics, taking small stepschecking in on reality (e.g. acknowledging that EVERYONE feels doubt at times), practicing daily rituals, and reaching out to the right people for help, will make doubt lose its power over you.  

My Parting word

Doubt is inevitable when you stretch yourself. 

When you decide you would like ‘more’ or something ‘different’ to what exists in your life now, you are bound to step into the unknown and then meet its unwelcome friend called ‘doubt’.

So make peace with it. 

You might even use a line like: “Even though I am feeling a wee bit of doubt showing up, I am now choosing to (insert your basic tasks to undertake), so I can (insert your reason or ‘Why’).”

And rather than being afraid of doubt, laugh at it. 

Make fun of it. 

Shine the light on it.

And maybe even reframe doubt to this: 

“The fact that I am feeling some doubt, is AWESOME feedback that I am giving life a red hot go.”

(Or words to that effect ;-))

And for the record, as I check in on myself – right now – I do have a few of my own unwelcome doubts percolating.

So I guess that also means I am having a RED HOT GO of my life right now too. 

How about you?

Have an illuminating day, and an even-though-I-may-have-some-doubts-I-am-doing-well kinda week.

Take care,


PS: Have you read or listened to this book yet? 18 Ways We Make Life WAY Harder Than It Needs To Be

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