Overcoming “Who Am I”

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  • “Self-doubt is actually a signal for you to go, learn, and act.”
  • Anytime you start a new endeavor in which you are seeking a dream, you may experience self-doubt. In this episode, learn four tips that will empower you to use your self-doubt as a tool to guide you.
  • “You’re never going to mentally get over it. What’s going to happen is you’re going to take action and that action is going to give you more MOMENTUM.”
  • Watch the video to get the full training.
  • When you hear yourself asking, “Who am I to do this?” use these four tips to break through that doubt and move forward with greater confidence and momentum!
  • To start practicing these tips to overcome self-doubt, complete the worksheet for this training here.
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Dealing with Self-Doubt
How to Relieve Imposter Syndrome
How to Stop Making Excuses
How to Believe in Yourself
I’m Discouraged, What Should I Do?





[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.)

Have you ever heard that self-doubt in your mind where you’re like, “Who am I to want this?” Or, “Who am I to deserve this?” You know, “Who am I to start my business? Who am I to be giving advice? Who am I to be posting? Who am I to start my dream? Who am I to want to be happier? Who am I to want a raise?”

We all have that. When you start any new endeavor in which you are seeking a dream, there’s going to be that self-doubt and that specific phrase, “Well, who am I to lead others? Who am I to earn more money? Who am I to be able to try to manage or build or earn this?”

So I want to talk about: how do you deal with that? I’ve got four big ideas for you right here in this video today.

1. Self-Doubt is a Signal

The first thing is when you hear that “who am I?” realize that’s a self-doubt type of conversation, and that’s not bad. I know a lot of people in my space will just obliterate that and have confidence and courage and overcome it, but I’m like, “Listen, self-doubt is a good thing.” I know that’s going to sound completely crazy, but listen. Self-doubt is intended to be a signal for you to either learn or take action. Self-doubt only becomes a negative thing when you have the self-doubt or the self-talk that is kind of negative and you stop.

The difference often between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful people have goals and dreams, but so do unsuccessful people. And the difference is that often, a successful person says, “I don’t know how to do that, or who am I to do that?” And they go, “Oh, I better go learn and figure that out and get at it, so I can deserve to have it,” where an unsuccessful mindset would say, “Well, who am I, and I guess I shouldn’t,” and they stop.

It’s the stopping that makes self-doubt a bad thing.

Because self-doubt is actually a signal for you to go, learn, and act.

You should try to immediately shift to that mindset; every time I have self-doubt, I don’t think, “Oh, woe is me,” or, “I’m stupid or insufficient.” I go, “Wow my mind is signaling. It is telling me, ‘Get at it, kid.’ Learn here.” And that’s a positive thing.

I also want you to adopt the mindset that says, “You know what, I’ve got to have that builder mindset.” The builder mindset is, “Oh, I will build into the person who deserves to have that. I will build into that.” Rule number one, that we’re going to talk about today, is you’ve got to have consistent action. When you have that, “Who am I to do something,” mindset, know that no one is deserving who does not act towards a thing that they want to deserve.

So if you’re thinking, “Who am I to do this?” I’d say, “Get at it. Show up everyday, work towards it, earn that right.”

Because maybe it’s true. Maybe your mind is saying, “Who am I to do this? I don’t deserve this yet.” Now, there’s the part that could be a self-worth issue. You might think, “Oh gosh, Brendon, I just don’t feel like I’m worth it or I’m valuable.” It’s a self-esteem issue, so make sure you’re watching my other videos or trainings on my YouTube channel for that kind of stuff—like dealing with self-doubt specifically. I want to tell you this: You’re never going to mentally get over it. What’s going to happen is you’re going to take action and that action is going to give you more momentum and that momentum is going to give you more confidence. As you get more confidence, you try more things, achieve more things, and all of a sudden one day you’re like, “Hey, I deserve this!”

What you have to do is realize you’ll only ever think, “Who am I to deserve this,” when you take consistent action.

2. Develop Greater Competency

The second big idea is the “who am I to do this?” thought is the cue to develop competency.

What you need to do as soon as you’re asking, “Who am I to start this dream?” you need to say, “We better learn about this and understand it better because we don’t have expertise yet.” It’s not that you have to be the world’s number one expert, but it’s your brain thinking, “Why don’t we do some reading on this? Why don’t we find a mentor, listen to a few podcasts, go to a few seminars or training events, where I can develop competency so I understand exactly what I’m supposed to do?” I will tell you this: I can always tell the people who are going to stop or fail when they say, “Who am I to do this?”

And you know who it is? It’s the person who doesn’t have a learning plan. When someone says, “Oh, who am I to do this?” and they don’t have a map of what they need to learn and they haven’t written down the top five skills they need to learn to be able to do it, they stop. They think, “I’m just not good enough,” and they start blaming their identity, their personality, or their past, versus saying, “I’m not good enough because I don’t know how yet. Let me develop some skills here.” And that’s critical.

I want you to know that was true for me. I thought at the beginning of my career, “Who am I to be a writer? I’ve never written a book before, I’ve never taken a writing class, I’ve never been to a writer’s workshop. Why would a publisher want to publish me?” I couldn’t think my way through that. I had to first take consistent action and write, so I wrote my book. Second, I had to learn: How do you become a published author? So I had to go to seminars and conferences on how to publish and market a book.

I had to start developing competency in the area I wanted to be in. Later on I would become a Certified High Performance Coach—somebody who’s in an elite level in the life coaching or business coaching field; I said, “I don’t know how to do that so I better start coaching immediately so I can develop the competency to continuously get better and become world-class.”

That builder mindset thinks, “I know I’m not there yet, but the only way I’m ever going to get there is if I learn and do and learn and do.” So, if you find yourself stopping, next time you say, “Who am I to— ?”

I want you to immediately sit down and ask, “What skills would I need to learn to be able to do that, become that, and deserve that?”

3. Show Up With Congruence

The third big idea, which I think is so important, is the question: “Who am I to do this?” This often triggers something in our mindset about congruence.

Many people always tell me, “But Brendon, I want to become an influencer. I want to become an inspiration,” and I reply, “Are you inspired a lot?”

And they say, “Well, no…”

I say, “Then what you’re going to feel like is a phony.”

Your brain is just going, “Hey, let’s be honest,” and when your brain is saying to be honest, that’s something to listen to. So, if your brain is asking, “Who am I to be an influencer? Who am I to be a leader?” it’s saying you have not yet been showing up congruently here.

Congruence requires two things.

Number one: it requires you to have the identity vision. You need to ask yourself, “Who am I? Who do I want to become?”

Really focus on being clear about your identity.

Second thing is that you need to act and practice what you preach every single day.
When I was starting life coaching, I’d already achieved a lot of peace and joy in my life along with deep connections. Yet, I hadn’t earned what I felt like I had to earn. I felt like I needed to be a really high earning coach to have real experience with other people and then I realized: Coaching is really about other people, not about me. It’s about helping them.

I want to be as successful as I can become and each day I’m doing things to move towards that. So when I tell a client, “This is an opportunity for you to become the best of who you are,” I’m congruent because I’m also trying to do that. As I became more congruent in my life, more motivated, practicing better habits, developing better relationships, earning more, making a greater difference, being absolutely disciplined and focused—and all these things that we talk about in personal development—it was easier for me to not only perceive myself as a good coach, but ultimately start seeing myself as becoming world-class. Your congruence, whether you’ve been showing up as who you say you are, is really the thing that is often triggering that mindset that’s saying, “Who I am is because I haven’t been showing up yet.”

So the job? Show up, my friend.

4. Do Not Compare Yourself to Other People

Last big, important idea is: Do not compare yourself to other people. When you ask, “Who am I to do this,” it’s often easy to look at the most successful people in the world and think, “But I’m not like that.”

When I became an author, I would look at these people who had six or seven New York Times Bestselling books and think, “Who am I to do it?” You think “she’s amazing and all over the media” or, “he’s amazing and has sold millions of copies of books, look at his fancy background,” and you start comparing your background to their current levels of success, when neither of them are the relevant factor.

The relevant factor is: Are you doing the work, practicing what you preach, being consistent, and adding value right now?

That’s what it’s about. Don’t compare yourself. Ask, “Am I working my hardest in the moment and really giving my all?” That’s the question.

Not giving your all to be like her, but giving your all to be you each day. Your mind wants to know that you are showing up as your best. It hates when you go through the motions. It hates when you fake it because you’re comparing yourself to him or her and you’re trying to be like them.

What it loves is knowing that you lived this day as your authentic self. When you do that, your mind knows it. It starts saying, “I don’t need to compare myself to other people.” Everyday, compare yourself to yesterday. Ask yourself, “How was I yesterday? Am I showing up congruently today? Am I learning today? Am I taking consistent action today?”

And all of a sudden, when you consistently take action and create a learning map, you’re developing competency, knowledge, skills, and abilities.

When you are congruent with how you think of yourself and how you actually show up, and when you don’t compare anymore and you live your life giving your absolute best, guess what happens? That little question of, “Who am I?” starts to go away and you start to say, “I’m here, let’s go.”