Overcoming self-doubt is part of the journey to growth. Embracing it and learning to grow through it is the key. I was at an event where Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, was talking about her journey to success. She was asked, “what is something you still struggle with today?” She answered it, and it blew me away. The self-made billionaire still has self-doubt. We talked about it, and I share with you how she overcomes the negative self-talk. In this episode, we talk about overcoming self-doubt.
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Overcoming Self-doubt: The Transcript
A few weeks ago, I had a chance to be in the room with Sarah Blakely. Now this is something that I had wanted to do for ages. I put it on a vision board if you will, not an actual vision board but I wanted to hangout with and connect with the legends inside of business right now and Sarah Blakely was one of the women I had put on the list about three years ago that I would be interviewing for my podcast.
Now I haven’t interviewed her yet for the podcast but that moment with her was pretty amazing because earlier in the day when we were talking, she had been asked by her husband, Jesse, what is something you still struggle with? And she’s a self-made billionaire and if you don’t know who Sarah Blakely is, she’s the founder of Spanx, sole owner, never taken investments and so she is quote, unquote, self-made billionaire and Jesse asked her this question.
What do you still struggle with after all your success? And what she said really took me aback. She said, “Self-doubt.” And she went on to talk about how self-negative talk or negative talk is really the number one challenge in success and I was so moved by this that when we had a chance to have a few words with each other and exchange, I just wanted to thank her but also ask her how does she get over it? How does she actually create more confidence and trust in who she is and that was the key.
Now my name is Gene Hammet, you may not have heard me before or maybe you’ve heard me many, many times but I work and study hypergrowth companies. I want to understand what makes companies grow so fast and what I’m figuring out is it’s not about a focus on the numbers but it’s about a focus on the people. Leadership that makes people feel like owners. And I could go deep into this but I want to talk just for a moment more about overcoming self-doubt. Self-doubt is something that we’ve all struggled with.
I know I’ve struggled with it in my journey and it’s something that I have continued to struggle with no matter how successful I am and to watch and listen from Sarah Blakely about her experience with self-doubt and how she gets over it, it really does take you back and say this is a journey that we’re all on together. Am I worthy? Am I enough? All those things are going to be prevalent in our lives. When do you let go of it? I don’t know the answer to that. I’m still dealing with it day in and day out as I grow my business, as I get bigger stages, as I put out more content, as I write my next book or plan that, all of those things play into the doubt, that inner critic.
I wrote in this book, The Trap of Success, I’m holding up here if you’re watching on video, if you’re not, The Trap of Success is the book that I published last year about this same time and one of the things I wrote in there was this concept of your inner critic is an asshole. I say that with a full smile because I know it’s raw language, it’s probably not the taste for many of you, for some of you, you’re probably laughing right now but your inner critic knows exactly what to say to stop you and we’ve got to understand when that is coming in and how you’re going to move forward and the choices you have in front of you.
One way you can actually increase confidence and trust is by really connecting to who you are, your core identity. That’s easier said than done. I work with clients on this, I’ve got an exercise I run them through and I’ll share it with you today but it’s something that it’s very difficult to do by yourself. It’s very difficult to enroll your friend or spouse to help you, it takes someone who’s actually had some experience with these type of exercises but I want to give it to you because my mission here is not to hold anything back, to give you all that I can through videos, through audio, through the podcast, through everything I have so that I can help you and serve you.
Now some of you may want to work with me at some point in time, that’s great, some of you may just want to continue to consume this and maybe share it out and with the world, that’s fine too. All of this is in service of you. So Sarah Blakely said the one way she gets over self-doubt is she creates time to think. She creates time to really process what’s going on and how she wants to move forward with intention. And the way she does it specifically is she thinks in the car so she would jump in the car and she would think. She also loves to flood her mind with positive thoughts. Wayne Dyer came up in that conversation of someone she listens to. She listens to many other people but she floods her mind with this and then she’s also made up in her mind that she is going to welcome being underestimated in the world and if any doubt comes up, she really is going to step into that, lean into it with courage.
So how do I increase my confidence? How do I increase my trust in myself? Well I take clients through this exercise. It’s called a future pacing exercise and it’s really about connecting to your future self and I know this seems a little squishy and soft for many of you but imagine if you could sit down with the three years older version of you that has everything that you want. In money, in experiences, in vacations, in family life in health, in spirituality, in mental clarity, what it is, imagine you’re sitting down with that person and you were able to ask them a series of questions. What would they respond back to you? As to what triggered the difference in where they are, where you are now and where they are now because it’s the future self, right, that future pacing.
What triggered the difference? What belief triggered that difference? I say the belief because I want you to really think about this, what is one core thing that happened that changed everything? You could probably look back on your life now and see where you had those inflection points in life but could you train yourself to have a conversation with your future self, this future pacing exercise, so that you could get to the core of it. I know when I’ve done this, it’s been game changing, it’s been something that really allowed me to connect to who I am and what I did with it next was what I’m gonna ask you to do.
Once you identify what that issue is in future pacing, then you want to flood your soul in it. You want to flood your conscious mind and your subconscious mind with it. And the only way I know to do that is to really spend some time to be with that thought. Spend some time on that one single thought and how do you get it to really rush over your body and take over the natural way of being and break from the status quo, that is the key.
That is the key to you actually overcoming self-doubt and increasing your confidence and trusting yourself. I share this with you knowing that it might not be completely complete but I don’t want to hold back something. It’s a very odd thing to do this yourself so here’s my suggestion to you. If you want to go a little bit further with this exercise, I will actually do it for you at no cost. I’d love to be able to pour into you. It takes us about 20 minutes or so maybe 30 on the outside but if you’re listening this far in, that means you’ve probably been listening for a long time to my podcast or you really connected with this message and you want some additional help.
So just email me at email@example.com and I will be able to set up a time with you so that we can do future pacing, we can talk about how you get yourself to really flood those thoughts in and what do you do with it from there? And there’s no pitch inside this, this is just a chance for me to give to you this simple exercise. I can’t put it in a video, I can’t put it into something where you can just listen to it over and over and over. I want to do it in the moment with you so I can only do it with a few people so don’t sit around and wait. If you are listening to this, it doesn’t matter when it comes out, reach out to me, we’ll see if we can fit it into the schedule. So it’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
All right that’s my peace today. If you want to overcome self-doubt and you want to make sure that you really understand that critical infliction point and the belief that you must hold in order to get to the new future and then you must take time to flood yourself with it. Now all that comes with just this gloriousness and this abundance of knowing who you are and that is the key to you moving forward without that self doubt.
Alright my name’s Gene Hammett, I work with hypergrowth companies, I’d love to help you if you think you are the leader, you want to create leaders in your company to grow fast, then make sure you reach out to me. Keep listening here at leaders in the trenches and as always, lead with courage and I’ll see you next time.
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