Don’t Talk Yourself Out of It

  • February 16, 2012 by Corbett Barr
  • 37 Comments

Admit it. There’s something you’ve been thinking about doing.

At first you were 110% committed. Nothing was going to stop you.

You had some doubts, but you decided it was worth doing.

You made plans, got excited about the potential and started taking action.

But then something happened. You encountered some early resistance.

It wasn’t as easy to make progress as you thought, and you couldn’t figure out some of the key components of your plan.

Then a bunch of questions popped in your head. “There are so many unknowns. What about X? And what about Y?” you started thinking.

And then the self doubt crept in.

Once the self doubt kicks in, you’re hanging by a thread.

Now you have a decision to make.

Are you going to talk yourself out of it again this time?

Or, are you going to buck up, believe in yourself and move forward?

How many times will you go through this cycle?

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Sean Davis February 16, 2012 at 10:20 am

Dedication is doing what you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has passed.

Understand that concept and you’ll never talk yourself out of anything again.

Easier said than done but fuck it… easy is overrated.

Corbett February 16, 2012 at 10:52 am

Easy is indeed overrated.

Paul Jun February 16, 2012 at 10:38 am

To be honest, this happened as I was listening to your webinar about starting a blog that matters.

I thought, hey, there is great info like this out there; I can find my way.

But, no. Not this time. I decided to move forward, to step up, to act as a sponge and to soak in whatever information I was about to receive.

I’m glad I signed up because I already took action in rebranding my blog. I think the direction I’m heading is going to be life-changing.

Corbett February 16, 2012 at 10:52 am

Awesome Paul, I hope you crush it. Thanks for joining the course.

Christine February 16, 2012 at 10:41 am

Oh Corbett, you always say the right things at the time when I really need them…

I’m going to keep going. I’m going to keep doing it anyway.

Thanks man!

Dave Doolin February 16, 2012 at 10:47 am

Ha!

If I eventually find the success I’m looking for, I’m going to blame it all on you, Corbett.

Corbett February 16, 2012 at 10:55 am

I’ll gladly accept that blame Dave.

Christina February 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Amen, Dave—Amen.

Mike Cook February 16, 2012 at 10:55 am

Corbett,

I really needed to hear these words today. Thank you.

Self-doubt is a bitch, but you’re right: How many times can I get excited about something and then throw in the towel?

The cycle needs to end sometime, and today is a good day for that.

Cheers,

Mike

Sean February 16, 2012 at 11:07 am

I think this cycle is part of the process, it is natural. We need to embrace these doubts, and then find our own ways to move forward.

Thanks for the post Corbett.

Vesone February 16, 2012 at 11:10 am

I know that it’s cliche…but it’s funny that I was sitting here looking at my Evernote account analyzing this “gung-ho” plan I put together for a new membership site and I’m dealing with alot of the unknowns.

I’ve been through this cycle at least 20 times before, but this message came at exactly the right time. Nothing worth building is going to be easy and resistance is what separates the men and women from the boys and girls.

I absolutely needed to hear this, thanks Corbett.

Time to get back to work.

Andre February 16, 2012 at 11:12 am

Dammit. You are in my head ;)

Self-doubt is the #1 enemy of personal progress.

Thanks for the reminder!

Janet February 16, 2012 at 11:36 am

You’ve read my mind!!

Yes, it is a cycle..

I can think of at least three things that I’ve “been thinking about doing”.

Tony Fuentes February 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

Been there, done that. I decided to believe. :)

Kimberly Houston February 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Like a couple of the other commenters said, this blog post came at just the right time! I started my newest blog a couple months ago to support the freelance writing and social media marketing I’ve already been doing for awhile now, and I’ve been all over the map with self-doubt in that time.
I really want to kick ass and have a successful blog and email list, and build a successful business, etc., and I know, intellectually and objectively, that I have the skills, smarts and resources to make that happen, but self-doubt creeps in. Other times, it’s not self-doubt, per se, but more of the low-grade unease that comes with getting out of one’s comfort zone and — gasp! — promoting one’s skills, talents and experience. Of course, getting out of your comfort zone and the unease that comes with that is the proof that you’re stretching and growing and doing some things right, so I try to keep that in mind whenever I’m experiencing fear and self-doubt! : )
The “cycle” you mention is all too familiar to me, but my motto these days is “feel the fear/self-doubt/discomfort and do it anyway.” : )

Rodrigo @ The Brave Man Blog February 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Once I learned from David DeAngelo 2 lessons to take right action

The first one was to “throw your hat over the fence”, that many people threw his hat, so if he wanted to get it back, he had to cross the fence, I did this once doing exercise, I told a friend of mine I would send him every they the evidence that I did my workout, if I failed I had to give him $50 every time I failed, so I had to do my workout every day, in the end I got pretty bad of health and had to stop xD

The other was to “jump in the cold pool”, if we try to do things little by little we can get discouraged pretty easy, the best thing to do is to jump in, go all out, so that way there is no turning back

So go all out, that is the only way to get that momentum so nothing can stop you

ALL HELL CAN’T STOP US NOW!

Kelly February 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I need more of this… I keep getting knocked back by supervisors and co-workers and my self worth just keeps getting worse and worse. I have big obstacles to overcome in addition to myself!

Haley February 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm

It’s sad, but it’s really easy to talk yourself out of following your dreams. I think we let fear convince us we’ll fail, or we don’t deserve to succeed. When it comes down to it, we just have to suck it up and push through. Otherwise, you’ll never succeed…at anything, more than likely.

Spatch Merlin February 16, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Yeah! I always wanted to do something. It’s been haunting me for weeks now and I always tell myself to do it when ‘I have the time already.’ It’s almost a month and I kept on answering the same response. I guess I need to do it, like be committed to it and get rid of the things like, ‘ What about the process?’ and ‘It might turn out bad?’ Thanks for the motivation Corbett!

Spatch Merlin
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Dan Sumner February 17, 2012 at 2:31 am

Hey Corbett,

I think we have all been in the situation at one point or another in any kind of situation.

When our mind see’s a hurdle then self doubt kicks in.

I find good planning and tackling the hardest part first works for me.

Dan

Rasheed Hooda February 17, 2012 at 6:06 am

I have always said, and believed, that whatever you need will always be there when you need it.

Your post and the comments that follow came for me today, just when I needed it.

I am scheduled to deliver a speech next week. Self doubts were starting to creep in. I have been there before. How many more times am I going to go through the cycle? Good question, I thought.

Then I started reading the comments, and it dawned on, there are people who need to hear what I have to say. That is why I have been called to do the job. So often we don’t give ourselves credit for who we are and what we’ve been called to do that we start doubting ourselves. Hanging out with right people is so important.

I am glad I hang out with you. Thank You.

Rasheed

Deonne Kahler February 17, 2012 at 7:26 am

Yes! When self-doubt starts creeping in, I ask myself one question: What’s the worst-case scenario if I keep going? If there’s a possibility of great outcomes, and what I’m doing won’t kill me (ha), then keep going!

Earn on the Road February 17, 2012 at 7:49 am

You know, I have a slightly different take on this.

I think dropping the ball on certain things you care about is a natural part of progression. The question isn’t necessarily “can you maintain 100% commitment,” but whether or not you’ll pick up the ball again.

I’ve tried to learn Salsa at least 3 different times now. Each time, I was 110% committed to starting. Then I dropped the ball.

I’ve recently begun learning it again. This time, with even more commitment than before.

I’ve found that a lot of skills I have that are important to me, I didn’t necessarily learn because I was 110% committed. I learned them because I didn’t give up and beat myself up for dropping the ball. I just picked up the ball and tried again.

World Nomad February 19, 2012 at 5:41 am

Nice one =) I prefer to do it DIRECTLY if possible, if it’s something I can just JUMP INTO. Of course this technique will not work with a long term project.

bax February 23, 2012 at 11:05 am

I guess we all go through the cycle as many times as we need.

Stuart February 24, 2012 at 2:38 am

Hi Corbett,

I have a post coming out later today which discusses this very topic! My take is, if we keep talking ourselves out of what we want to do, we’re going to end up in the same position and situation that we found ourselves in before the idea struck us. The only different is, we’ll be a little more frustrated that yet another chance passed us by. The idea has been and gone, and we did nothing. Again.

We have to do SOMETHING. We can’t go on like this. Without action, there is stagnation, and stagnation means a slow death. So slow, that no-one even notices whether you’re alive or dead on the inside any more.

inteltranslation February 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I really appreciate your honesty in sharing your journey. I’m currently posting anonymously because I’m still working 9-5. I have being inspired by people like you to start my online business in offering services in language translation and proofreading.

Thank You!

Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Nerd #2 March 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I’ve been doing this with boxing for the longest time. I’ve proven to myself I’ve got a natural talent to walk people down in the ring. I’ve proven to myself I can take a punch. But I keep being a wuss and talking myself out of pursuing competition.

And until I take this chance to live on the edge wide open, I’ll always feel like I’m cheating my one my current deep purposes.

Thank you Corbett for reminding me to stop cheating myself and everyone around me by stifling what will make my soul sing.

Craig March 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Ahh the resistance is strong! Self doubt/Self-sabotage is your greatest enemy.

Natural Tim actually wrote a blog article yesterday about self doubt over on his new blog, which you can check out from the link in my name if you like, he’s got some great free content on there.

Corbett, I think you may actually know Tim, from what he’s said? He’s a great bloke.

Cheers

ticotina March 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm

ugh. yes. doing everything we can not to give in to the doubt, lol

Anna March 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Does it also apply to when you have been thinking of calling a guy you dated to tell him you still love him? And you were so confident, so sure of it and so excited but then you started feeling chicken so it eventually didn’t happen…?

Corbett March 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Hehe, I’m no dating expert. Maybe someone else here can give you advice?

My take: what do you have to lose? Is rejection worse than forever wondering what could have been?

Mark Wardell March 15, 2012 at 2:08 am

I Always find that talking it through with friends / colleagues helps to remove the doubt. If you have a good idea and a plan other people tend to get enthusiastic about it when you explain it to them, this helps push you past any doubt that you have.

Will April 17, 2012 at 5:00 am

Corbett,

I’ve been working on my blog (it’s almost setup and ready to go live) for the last few months after quitting my job at the beginning of 2012.

I’ve hit some resistance recently and your insights are dead on. Self doubt is creeping in, I’m thinking about all the lost income from my job, and I find myself thinking that blogging is definitely harder than it seemed at first!

But I am just going to buck up, believe in myself, and move forward!

Will

Corbett April 17, 2012 at 9:07 am

That’s what I like to hear Will. Now set a date to come back here and report on how it went, good or bad.

Izmael Arkin April 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I am really glad I read this article. I was just getting a case of the “self-doubts” last night. I guess it is a natural part of the process. The problem is when I let it take me over. Got to keep on movin’ forward.

ralph@cantankerousoldcoots April 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I’m sitting on the most ambitious project yet. It was exciting and as I get closer to making it real, all the questions keep slowing me down. Sometimes I think that I would rather be a failure with imagination than a success with a flawed product. Crazy.

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