Overcoming Doubt and Negative Beliefs to Achieve Your Dream

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  • “Doubt is usually coming from a concern of ego.”
  • Learn where doubt comes from and how to reframe it so you can release judgment and move forward with confidence.
  • “You’ve got to release those judgments to go to the next level. That baggage is too heavy for you to elevate. You’ve got to go, ‘What judgments do I need to release? What are the things I say to myself?'”
  • If you’ve struggled with overcoming doubt and negative beliefs, this episode is for you. Follow these tips so you can finally let go of self-judgments and achieve your dream!
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Doubt Wins No More Mondays
Dealing with Self-Doubt
Get Out of Your Own Way with Dave Hollis
How to Deal with Haters
How to Relieve Imposter Syndrome




[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

When you have a doubt about something, you have to teach your mind to ask questions to evaluate that to do a better job. So my doubts as a coach in the beginning: I’m too young, I haven’t trained. I got hired by an executive in a Fortune 500 company who was a COO. I’ve never been the COO of anything. How do I coach that? I got hired to work with an athlete at a high level. I’ve never even played that sport before. I had a lot of fear and doubt about me being capable in fields that I don’t know about. But that’s not what coaching was, I would find out after I got training.

Coaching isn’t about you. Coaching’s not about the coach. Coaching is about the client and the way they are thinking and approaching their goals and dreams. It has nothing to do with your background.

My ego is tied up to it and that’s usually where doubt is coming from.

Doubt is usually coming from a concern of ego.

“I don’t want to look dumb. I don’t want to be wrong. I don’t want to make a mistake that other people see. I don’t want to start small. I don’t want to be embarrassed.” That kind of thing. We’ll talk more about that as we go through big dreams, but let me share some questions you might ask next time you have a doubt. Here’s my favorite first question: Is this thought or worry? Because all doubts tend to be a thought. It’s a thought pattern. Usually the thought pattern sounds like, “What if,” followed by a negative statement. “What if she doesn’t like it? What if they make fun of me? What if I fail?”

So it’s a “What if,” followed by a negative statement. So it’s a thought pattern.

So that’s why I say, “Is this thought or worry helpful to my joy and new story?”

So my doubt is: I’m too young to do this career. Now I ask, “Is that helpful to my joy?” No. ‘Cause every time I think that, I feel like crap. That’s a good indication.

If you think something and you feel like crap, maybe that’s not the right thought.

So why are you holding onto it? If it makes you feel like crap every time you think it—”Ugh, I hate my body, I hate my body,I hate my body,” and every time you say that you feel like crap.

Maybe that is not a thought you should be hanging onto. It’s not serving you.

And when you think about the new story now, I had to think, “Oh no, the new story is, “I’m going to become a world-class coach.” Not, “I’m a dumb kid from Montana.” Raise your hand if you’re with me. My doubt was, because my thought was always, “Well, I’m just a dumb kid from Montana.” And I hope it doesn’t, for those who are Montanans in the room, I’m really painting a bad picture. I apologize. Please go there, watch “A River Runs Through It,” go fish, go hike, climb, hunt. Go support our agriculture. My best friends in the world still live in Montana so they would kill me for this whole presentation.

But for me, I felt lacking because I grew up in a small town where we didn’t have fancy stuff and no one ever talked about dreams, so for me it was a big deal. And so what I was doing was my doubts.

Are your thoughts about the old or are they about the new?

I had to go, “Wow, my doubts are about old stuff.” But if I want to grow into the new stuff, I’d better be aware of that. So I had to say, “Oh, “this thought of ‘I’m just this dumb kid from Montana’ makes me feel bad, and it’s also not part of the new story so it’s not joyous, so stop thinking that, Brendon. That’s not supportive of you.” That’s one way to process a doubt.

Another way to process a doubt is this question, “Will this belief carry me to my desired life?” ‘Cause you’re riding to your dreams, my friends, on your beliefs. Your beliefs are the magic carpet ride.

You know what I’m saying? Your beliefs are the magic carpet ride. They’re carrying you to the dream. And so you’d better know what they are.

So here’s my question to you all: You got a dream. What beliefs should you have now? Not just what they were and did they bring you joy, but what beliefs would be necessary to carry you to your dream?

I had to start believing, “Oh, in any situation with a person, I’ll dance and I’ll flow and we will figure it out together.”

“We will figure it out together” became a new belief I had. We can go do anything. Anything. Talk about any subject. I know we’ll figure it out together. Not because I’m so smart, but because the two of us are better than one of us. Ah, okay, great, that’s amazing. Oh, a new belief, “I will impact the world more than anybody could in this space but first I’d better know how to impact one person.” Who wants to make a difference in the world? Raise your hands. Well, see, my belief is one day I’ll make a difference in the world, but I also have a belief, “Ah, I need to know how to make a belief with one person.” ‘Cause some of us want to change the world but we can’t change our marriage. So we got to learn the process and I had to learn the bigger belief; my belief that will carry me forward is, “We can figure it out together.”

The new belief that will carry me forward, “You know what, this isn’t going to be anxiety for me, this is going to be fun.”

When you change the frame from fear to joy, the dream gets way closer.

When you change the frame from fear to joy, the dream gets closer ’cause that joy, that’s the carpet. It says, “This is going to be fun. Now let’s get on this carpet and go to the dream.” You got to change that frame from fear to joy, and now the carpet ride is mattering.

Next up, I love this one, “Is this belief verifiable and fair?”

When you have a worry or a doubt, can you verify it? Is it just in your mind on a merry-go-round of doubt? Or is it real?

My thing was,
“I’m too young to be a coach.”
“I’m too young to write a best-selling book.”
“I’m too young to get paid.”
“I’m too young to become wealthy.”
“I’m too young to meet my love.”
“I’m too…”

I had this young thing. I said, “How is that verifiable?” ‘Cause I open up the magazines and there are young people who are rich. I see people out in the marketplace being admired and celebrated and hiring teams of younger people. I thought, “That’s not verifiable.”

Listen, your internal fears are often not market realities.

Stop basing your worries and your fears based off of what you’re concerned about, and start observing the world. Verify your concern to the world and you almost always find out, “No, you’re just trapped in some biases and fears.” That’s a big one. Is this helpful or is this too much before lunch? If you guys are here, say, “I’m here.”

This is good. Number four. Is this situation in my control? Is this situation in my control? Then it’s not a worry or a doubt. If it’s in my control, great. I can impact things. But if it’s not in my control, guess what? Let it go. If it’s not in my control, why am I concerned? Why am I freaking about it? Why am I worried about it? I can’t control if this person thinks I’m too young to work with them. I can’t control that. “So stop worrying about the young thing, Brendon, you don’t get to control that.” I mean, I guess I could show up with a fake mustache, you know. I really thought that was funnier. I did think it was good. But I could dress up older, I could appear older. But ultimately that’s their perception. I can’t control that perception, so why am I going to the meeting worrying about my age? Some of you need to reverse engineer this ’cause you think you’re too old. “Oh, I’m too old to do this new thing.” Is that verifiable and true? No. “Oh no, well, I know one person who was as old as I am and they didn’t get hired because of this and that.” I’m like, “No. One person is not called evidence.” Right? One person is a suggestive reality. But evidence verifiable, you’ve got to look at bigger picture things.

Most of your concerns about your age, your weight, your appearance—these are manifestations of ego concerns. “Oh, I don’t look like this, I don’t look like that.” I was just with a bunch of influencers and one thought, “Man, you know what, I’m not as healthy as I should be, no one’s going to listen to me about health.” I’m like, “What are you telling them about health?”

“Well, they should sleep more.” I think you can tell people to sleep more without having six-pack abs. See, his mind is inventing this thing that has nothing to do with market realities. Raise your hand if you follow what I’m talking about. If you think you’re too old, no. You have the wrong frame. Your perception is wrong. If you think you’re too ugly, if you think you’re too this or too that. Usually when you say, “I think I’m too…” Whatever that next line is, is usually incorrect. Almost always. “I think I’m too…” There’s almost nothing usually positive. Maybe some of you think you’re too extra, I don’t know, but you know. Only the young people actually got that joke so maybe you are too old. Oh my gosh.

If you have those concerns, I’m here to tell everybody in this room, I have met people who started their career in their 80’s. In their 80’s, and loved that decade of their life. In their 80’s, who wow’d people and became millionaires at the end of their life. I don’t want you to think, “Oh, well, I can’t because I’m this,” ’cause one thing I always find as a coach, you see, I was like, “I can’t go be this guy because people know me as this consultant in this company.” No one knows you. If you’re like, “Well, people know me as this, Brendon.” No one knows you—just because your neighbor knows you or that 40 people at work knows you. No one knows you.

It’s my favorite story of my time on American Idol, still to this day, was that clip of Ryan Seacrest. It’s still the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. I love this clip, you’ve got to see it on the internet. So this clip—there’s this little girl, she’s this tall. Her dream her whole life was to be on American Idol. She’s an American Samoan girl and she comes to America Idol with her two big brothers. Two big, Samoan dudes. I mean big. I mean they walked in the room and it shook. I mean just big guys. And so they’re escorting their sister to her biggest dream of her life. She’s dreamed about it her whole life. So I’m watching this clip and I’m trying to figure out what they’re doing with the producers because they keep showing her and she’s talking about this, “dream of my life, my dream of life” and she’s going over to the rehearsal area and she’s talking about, “dream of my life, dream of life,” and then she comes in and she’s in front of Randy and Paula and Simon, and she’s so nervous and then she starts talking.

And as they’re talking, having a conversation, they’re cutting out to—there’s Ryan Seacrest standing there between two big, Samoan men. And they keep cutting back to just Ryan standing between these two big guys. And I’m like, “Why are they doing this cut?” I couldn’t figure it out. And then she sings and she smashes, she’s so amazing. She gets a standing ovation, Paula’s crying, it’s like this great thing. And this is her whole dream, she must have been talking about it her whole dang life. The brothers came with him, and then they panned back out and Ryan’s like this. And the big Samoan brother looks down to Ryan Seacrest, the host of the show, at the time the biggest show on the planet, and the show that was his sister’s dream. And he looks down at Ryan Seacrest like, “So, who are you?” No one knows you. No one knows you. “Oh, but Brendon, I can’t become a coach ’cause they knew me when I was a therapist, or I was a consultant or I was a manager.” No one knows you.

You can all go home and reinvent today.

Can I get an amen on a Friday?

You can all go reinvent. It’s just the story you’re saying, “Oh, well, I was.” No, no. No one knows you. I’ve been with the biggest influencers in the world all around the world and we’ll walk in and you’d think they’re going to just get mobbed. Outside of their world or their universe, they’re not even known. I was with one of the top five YouTubers on the planet the other day, and we went and had lunch and I kept thinking, “This person is totally going to get recognized, this is totally going to happen.” No one knew. A girl sat next to us, sort of had this conversation and says to the person, “I think I recognize you.” And he says, “Oh, that’s cool.” And she goes, “Did you go to my school with so and so?” And he’s like, “Oh, no, I didn’t.” He’s like, butt-hurt. No one knows you.

You can pivot whenever you want.

That is in your control. Other people’s opinion of you, their perception of your old story, that’s not in your control. Forget about that, take the helm of your dream. Everyone say, “I own my dream.”

Oh my goodness. Number five, what judgment can be released now? Who found some release in this room at HPX last night, ladies and gentlemen? Listen, you’ve got to let go of the judgment. I had to let go of the judgment, “I’m not capable.” I think that is the biggest judgment you have in your life.

“I’m not capable.”
“I’m not worthy.
“I’m not deserving.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not pretty.
“I’m not…”

Like these, “I’m not” underline.

You’ve got to release those judgments to go to the next level. That baggage is too heavy for you to elevate. You’ve got to go, “What judgments do I need to release? What is it? What are the things I say to myself?”

And we did some of that last night, but I want to encourage you to keep doing it. You’ve got to let it go. I thought, “I’m not capable. I’m not somebody who can work with famous people.” I said that to myself one time—my first fancy client. I was mortified for days worrying about it.

And then I said, “That’s a judgment about me they haven’t even made yet.” And here I am stopping before I even get to play on the field. You go to the game. You get in the game. You get dirty, you get knocked down, but you get in the game. You get in the game and you don’t judge yourself until the game is over.

Until the fourth quarter, clock hits zero, zero, zero. You don’t get to judge yourself before the end of the game. You get in the game. You play the game full out. I said, “I’ve got to let this judgment go. Because I’m worried about their judgment, I’m stopping myself.” It didn’t make any sense. It didn’t make any sense at all.

Six, I love this one. You guys know I love the role model mindset. What would make me a role model now? You know what would make you a role model now? Starting when you’re uncertain. You know what would make you a role model now? Going forward despite the hurts. You know what would make you a role model now? Standing up for what you believe in sooner than later. You know what would make you a role model now? Speaking up for other people. You know what would make you a role model now? Getting the education you need now, not seven years from now.

What makes you a role model now is when you take appropriate action for yourself. And what makes you a role model is when people see you do that over and over, they recognize that it’s true to your spirit and your integrity. And then they can count on you.

They go, “You know what, she’s going to show up. She will show up, she will work on herself because she’s always done that, she cares.” And that’s what’s going to make you a role model. Almost all the role models we look at, like Jamie. You heard how many times she doubted herself in that story. Did you hear her keep telling that? She kept doubting and doubting and doubting but she kept going and going and going. And you proceeding through doubt is one of the fundamental reasons we look up to you. If I had the blessing of coaching or knowing each of you, there is no question the reason I would admire you so much is that you’re still here, you’re still in the game, you’re still working on yourself, you’re still getting the education you need, you’re still open to learning. You are still in the hunt, you are still going after it, you are still believing, you are still here. You’re a role model for being in this room. ‘Cause a lot of people, they could work on themselves, but they don’t. But you do. And that’s why I have such reverence for this group because I know this is my tribe. I always tell my coaches, I’m like, “You’re my peers. We do the same thing. We want to impact people’s lives in a positive way, that’s a beautiful thing.”

You might not know it yet, ’cause you’ve judged yourself in the past, but some of you inspired people in these groups of five here. You have inspired and lifted others and you’ve made a difference here even if you didn’t know that. So turn to the person, left, right, shake ’em and say, “Thank you for your service.”

Number seven, this is my favorite one. Every time I have a worry or concern, I might work through this framework. Do you guys like this framework?

I will tell you, if you will ask these questions, you will unlock a whole, new mindset. These are types of things for like four, five years of my life, these were printed next to my computer ’cause I was a worry wort. Any worriers in the room? I was like, “Oh my god, these thoughts are so lame and I’m not happy.” So I had to reprogram myself with these questions. I would ask them over and over and over. My very favorite one is that last question.

“So what’s the next right action of integrity?”

Yes, I’m sad, and what’s the next right action of integrity? Yes, they cheated, and what’s the next right action of integrity? Yes, it didn’t work out, and what’s the next right action of integrity? No matter what happened, it’s what’s next. No matter what happened, it’s what’s next. What challenges people and hurts people is when it’s, “This happened,” period. Ellipse, period, ellipse, period, ellipse, period, ellipse, period, ellipse, period, ellipse. And 10 years went by and then they took the next right action of integrity.

That’s where pain is. The time between what happened and your next right action of integrity. The longer that space, the bigger the pain.

The longer the space, the bigger the pain. So we got to go, “Okay, whatever happened, got it.” No one’s discounting what happened. It was hard, it was brutal, it sucked, you didn’t want it, you didn’t ask for it. Damn them, dang it, that sucks. And what’s the next right action of integrity for you now? What would be good for you now? What would you be proud of now? And I had to think of that, too, because in my life as a coach, I was like, “But I’m not perfect yet.” Right? That stuff of, “Who am I? Who am I to try to inspire people?” You look at that stage up there, I know some of you go, “Oh, I’d love to be on that stage,” but I know simultaneously your brain goes, “Well, who am I? Why would they listen to me?” Because you’re you. They’ll listen to you because you’re you. They’ll listen to you because you’re you. The next right action of integrity is to take the stage of your life and communicate well. To take the next action well. To decide what you stand for and do it because people respect individuals and authenticity. It didn’t matter that Jamie at the end of her story you find out she made a billion dollars. You loved her in the first six minutes. See, is this true, yes?

Audience: Yes.


Listen, we think it’s the ending that gives us credibility. It’s the being and relating that gives us the credibility. To be who you are and relate with other people well, to take action integrity over and over and over, it starts to sit on you and people see it.

And when you’re a person of integrity, and you sit with someone and coach with them, everything changes. That’s what I had to learn. I said the next right action of integrity is to stop waiting and stop telling myself, “This old thing,” or, “I’m not perfect or this didn’t happen,” the next right action of integrity is to start coaching. That’s not for everybody, I’m sharing. That’s my dream, that’s my mission, that’s my impact. I’d love for you to all be involved one day, I’ll invite you in, I’ll tell you all about it. But at the end of the day, you would have your dream and when you have questions about yourself, you’re going to go back to this slide.