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13 Ways To Slay Self Doubt



UnchainYourBrainSelf Doubt.  The Opposite Of Laughing At Your Own Jokes.

I image it’s normal.  Self-Doubt.

It chokes my heart and jacks with my head.  Self Doubt questions constrict and conflict me.

Am I smart enough?

Am I clever enough?

Am I flexible enough?

Am I old fashioned?

Am I good looking enough?

Am I lazy?

Am I boring?

Does anyone really care?

Does any of this crap really work?

If some of this crap works, which crap is it?

When it works am I dumb-lucky or good?

Will it last?

Will it end?

Am I funny?

Do I have ANY talent?

Do people like me?

Do I like myself?

Am I good enough?

I’ve learned to mask, subvert and most often, slay it.

Do you Self Doubt?

If you do, I’ll share 13 ways I slay Self-Doubt.  But first, let me set my context.


Today’s frantic pace of life is relentless.

I’ve been around along time.  Fidy-2 years, 30 years in the RE biz.

In the old days, it was semi-peaceful.  Imagine no iPhones.  No eMail.  No internet.  No Facebook.  No blogging or Tweeting.  No rush, rush Fed/Ex. No computers. No cable TV.   I don’t remember what we did with all our free time?


Today we run a frantic pace.  Choices seem unlimited.  Change and challenge is relentless.

This is the world we live in:

Click 2 Play This Video - Buckle Up

Click 2 Play This Video - Buckle Up

More Competitors.

Higher Expectations.

Steeper Learning Curves.

The Fast Eat The Slow.

More Sophistication.

More Knowledge.

More Uncertainties.

More Possibilities.

More  opportunities to Self-Doubt my ability to realize my possibilities and opportunities.

Does an inner voice ever whisper sour Self-Doubts to you?   Here’s 13 Ways I Slay-Self Doubt.  This list isn’t perfect, foolproof or complete.  I’m hoping you’ll leave what works for you in the comments – that’d be cool.

13 Ways To Slay Self Doubt

I begin by listening to my Self-Doubt self talk.  I don’t ignore it or Self-Doubt myself for Self-Doubting.  I don’t punish or berate myself.  I know Self-Doubt is my normal, and my quirky friend.

  1. I’m learning you can’t make a Cat Bark.
  2. I’m learning I can’t control outcomes that involve other people, I can only control my actions.
  3. I’m learning that giving my best IS good enough.  Some will, some won’t, so what.  Next.
  4. I’m learning when I miss my mark, I can mope, blame and make excuses, or learn, adjust and redirect.  If it’s important, I redirect.
  5. I’m learning Lincoln,  “You can please some of the people all the time and you can please all the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time”.
  6. I’m learning to discern the difference between what’s sincerely important to me and what I’ve been conditioned to think “should” be important to me.  I’m choosing “sincere”.
  7. I’m learning that some days are just crappy days.  That’s life.
  8. I’m learning that performance, weather, seasons and life all ebb and flow like Costa Rican waves.
  9. I’m learning life is not a sprint and it’s never over until I quit.  Sometimes it’s smart to quit.
  10. I’m learning that letting go means letting go, not sorta letting go or carrying it lightly.
  11. I’m learning to recognize haters and ignore them.
  12. I’m learning to enjoy The Now more.
  13. I’m learning that my self-worth is not determined by others, but by myself.

Bonus: I’m learning that my Self-Doubt can illuminate opportunities for improvement.

Hit Submit

I’m almost through writing this post.  I’ll let it sit and simmer.  I’ll tweak this and chop that.

Before I click SUBMIT, a shadow of Self-Doubt pauses my finger.  I wonder is this post any good?  Does anyone really care?  Am I a good writer?  Will this help anyone or is it just an exercise in delusional egoism?

I’ll give it another read.  Tweak, delete, add, tweak.

It’s not my best, it’s not my worst, it’s good enough. I know it’s impossible to please everyone, so I’ll please myself.


Wonder what I’ll write about next week?   Will it be good enough….


OK.  As I said earlier, I can use all the help I can get.  I’m certain, we’d all love to hear other ways to Slay Self Doubt. Care to share?  What works for you?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Clink-Cheers.  Thanks for reading.

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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  1. Tina McManus

    July 13, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Thanks for this post. It was like the voice in my head – with humor. Good advice.

  2. Joe Loomer

    July 13, 2009 at 8:51 am


    I like #’s 2 and 6. Although I will say that in certain situations, your actions can control the outcomes that involve other people – or at a minimum influence them.

    Number 6 – for me – ties in to the Millionaire Real Estate Agent concept of “The Big Why.” Learn what’s important to you, and use it as the foundation for everything you do. If you have your “Why?” right, everything else can feed positively off that. Your “Why” is yours to choose, it can be for love of family and a want to have an abundant life, it can be anything – a desire to earn enough money to go play golf for a year straight – wanting to hit the million dollar GCI level -doesn’t matter – it’s YOURS.

    If you get the “Why” wrong, however, you can easily end up with more self-doubt.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  3. Mike Price

    July 13, 2009 at 10:05 am

    I’ve had the opportunity to provide services to the RE industry almost half of your 30 years. I’ve been lucky enough to have you as a friend almost that entire time. Despite your tenure you say constantly what few in the industry can after 30 years..”I’m learning to…”

    I remember the day I came to your office many years ago for a meeting and saw a copy of “The Cluetrain Manifesto” on the shelf behind your desk. We’ve been swapping books since. How many of your contemporaries did you have a cup of coffee with and discuss the impact of that now classic tome? In my opinion you’ve set a standard by which the words “Continuing Education” in the real estate industry should be blown up and re-built.

    Few people in the industry have done a better job of embracing the challenges of change while respecting what can be learned from the professionals who have built strong books of traditional business. What have I learned from admiring your style of sales management? One of the best ways to overcome self-doubt is to know what you’re talking about and knowing who to turn to if you don’t.

  4. Matt Thomson

    July 13, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Don’t mean this to sound preachy, but when my self doubt creeps in (as it did prior to writing this comment) I try to remind myself that it’s not all about me. There’s a greater purpose in this life than making myself happy. I remember that Jesus called us friends, and while I was still a sinner, he cared enough to die for me despite all of my faults.
    It’s tough to get down and worry when you realize you are that important.

  5. Reuben Macias

    July 13, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Pretty basic stuff, just have to remember to stop and take a deep breath and remember the stuff. Good little article…

  6. tomferry

    July 13, 2009 at 1:31 pm


    Nicely done piece Ken … Your “#4 I’m learning when I miss my mark, I can mope, blame and make excuses, or learn, adjust and redirect. If it’s important, I redirect” was great. When things like this happen, I say: “declare it perfect” the way it is and then just move on. Self doubt is a tough critic to shake, so reminders like this are really important for us all to read.

    Also, thanks for the video share. Awesome to watch!

    Here’s to us all hitting “SUBMIT” and making things happen!


  7. renee kische

    July 13, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    This is fantastic! Just what you need on a day of “self soubt”. Thanks for the laughs

  8. Ken Brand

    July 13, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Tina – Thanks. Yeah, those voices can be pesky and our best friends, whisper, whisper.

    Joe – Great point. “Why” is the question we should be asking ourselves, daily…keeps us on track. Thanks.

    Mikey My Man – Thanks for the compliment. I’m a life long learner because real estate is pure “pay for performance”, if you’re not learning and reinventing….bad things happen….hell, bad things happen even when you reinvent like Edison. And you’re bull-eye on the money, you don’t have to know everything, but you gotta know who does or how to find them. Cheers Mike. Thanks.

    Matt – It’s not preachy – it’s passion brother. That’s an X factor. Rock On and thanks.

    Tom – Amen. Great point – Hit Submit till your fingers bleed, then hit it again. Thanks.

  9. Erion Shehaj

    July 13, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    YES! This post is good enough plus a bag of Sunchips worth of overflowing eloquence.

    I find that sometimes the best way to slay self doubt is to lean on your foundation: family and friends.

  10. Ken Brand

    July 14, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Reuben – Check. It seems it’s all about the basics. Focus on those and the rest clicks into place. thanks.

    Rene – Thanks:-)

    Erion – I’m with you. You gotta have a strong core and Sun Chips. Cheers.

  11. Brandie Young

    July 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    If you were a woman “Does this make me look fat” would be near the top of the list…
    Sad, but true, for some reason we find it easier to believe our doubts than the accolades others offer.
    Thanks for this post. It was very good. It was very helpful. You rock! xo

  12. Carolyn G-Tu

    July 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Ken this is a very good list and one likely many of us stuggle with – I’m with Brandi it is too easy to believe our doubts instead of focusing on our strengths. Many times we are too close to things and that is where friends and family can help us see the bigger picture.

  13. Ken Brand

    July 15, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Brandie – Too true. SD runs wide and deep. Thanks for the compliment. Cheers.

    Carolyn – Thanks. Encouragement from friends and family is a beautiful thing. Not everyone has that, sadly, some have friends & family who start and fuel the Self Doubt conversation. Uggg.

  14. Missy Caulk

    July 17, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Ken, I had seen that video before but it was well worth to watch again.

    Honestly I don’t have a lot of self doubt, but when I first started writing on AG I did. Benn and I had a nice chat and he told me to “go for it”. I needed that encouragement and now I just let it fly.

    Family and friends are great resources when you are listening to the lil Devil in your mind.

  15. Atlanta Real Estate

    October 6, 2009 at 10:17 pm


    Great post. I like #7.

    Ever see this version:


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Business Marketing

Jack of all trades vs. specialized expert – which are you?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It may feel tough to decide if you want to be a jack of all trades or have an area of expertise at work. There are reasons to decide either route.



jack of all trades learning

When mulling over your career trajectory, you might ask yourself if you should be a jack of all trades or a specific expert. Well, it’s important to think about where you started. When you were eight years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? Teacher? Doctor? Lawyer? Video Game Developer? Those are common answers when you are eight years old as they are based on professionals that you probably interact with regularly (ok, maybe not lawyers but you may have watched LA Law, Law & Order or Suits and maybe played some video games – nod to Atari, Nintendo and Sega).

We eventually chose what areas of work to gain skills in and/or what major to pursue in college. To shed some light on what has changed in the last couple of decades:

Business, Engineering, Healthcare and Technology job titles have grown immensely in the last 20 years. For example, here are 9 job titles that didn’t exist 20 years ago in Business:

  1. Online Community Manager
  2. Virtual Assistant
  3. Digital Marketing Expert
  4. SEO Specialist
  5. App Developer
  6. Web Analyst
  7. Blogger
  8. Social Media Manager
  9. UX Designer

We know that job opportunities have grown to include new technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, consumer-generated content, instant gratification, gig economy and freelance, as well as many super-secret products and services that may be focused on the B2B market, government and/or military that we average consumers may not know about.

According to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics after doing a survey of baby boomers, the average number of jobs in a lifetime is 12. That number is likely on the rise with generations after the Baby Boomers. Many people are moving away from hometowns and cousins they have grown up with.

The Balance Careers suggests that our careers and number of jobs we hold also vary throughout our lifetimes and our race is even a factor. “A worker’s age impacted the number of jobs that they held in any period. Workers held an average of 5.7 jobs during the six-year period when they were 18 to 24 years old. However, the number of jobs held declined with age. Workers had an average of 4.5 jobs when they were 25 to 34 years old, and 2.9 jobs when they were 35 to 44 years old. During the most established phase of many workers’ careers, ages 45 to 52, they held only an average of 1.9 jobs.”

In order to decide what you want to be, may we suggest asking yourself these questions:

  • Should you work to be an expert or a jack of all trades?
  • Where are you are at in your career and how have your skills progressed?
  • Are you happy focusing in on one area or do you find yourself bored easily?
  • What are your largest priorities today (Work? Family? Health? Caring for an aging parent or young children?)

If you take the Gallup CliftonStrengths test and are able to read the details about your top five strengths, Gallup suggests that it’s better to double down and grown your strengths versus trying to overcompensate on your weaknesses.

The thing is, usually if you work at a startup, small business or new division, you are often wearing many hats and it can force you to be a jack of all trades. If you are at a larger organization which equals more resources, there may be clearer lines of your job roles and responsibilities versus “the other departments”. This is where it seems there are skills that none of us can avoid. According to LinkedIn Learning, the top five soft skills in demand from 2020 are:

  1. Creativity
  2. Persuasion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Emotional Intelligence

The top 10 hard skills are:

  1. Blockchain
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Analytical Reasoning
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. UX Design
  6. Business Analysis
  7. Affiliate Marketing
  8. Sales
  9. Scientific Computing
  10. Video Production

There will be some folks that dive deep into certain areas that are super fascinating to them and they want to know everything about – as well as the excitement of becoming an “expert”. There are some folks that like to constantly evolve and try new things but not dig too deep and have a brief awareness of more areas. It looks safe to say that we all need to be flexible and adaptable.

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Business Marketing

Coworkers are not your ‘family’ [unpopular opinion]

(MARKETING) “I just want you to think of us as family,” they say. If this were true, I could fire my uncle for always bringing up “that” topic on Thanksgiving…



family coworkers

The well-known season 10 opener of “Undercover Boss” featured Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar. Brandon Landry, owner, went to the Lafayette location where he worked undercover with Jessica Comeaux, an assistant manager. Comeaux came across as a dedicated employee of the company, and she was given a well-deserved reward for her work. But I rolled my eyes as the show described the team as a “family.” I take offense at combining business and family, unless you’re really family. Why shouldn’t this work dynamic be used?

Employers don’t have loyalty to employees.

One of the biggest reasons work isn’t family is that loyalty doesn’t go both ways. Employers who act as though employees are family wouldn’t hesitate to fire someone if it came down to it. In most families, you support each other during tough times, but that wouldn’t be the case in a business. If you’ve ever thought that you can’t ask for a raise or vacation, you’ve probably bought into the theory that “work is a family.” No, work is a contract.

Would the roles be okay if the genders were reversed?

At Walks-Ons, Comeaux is referred to as “Mama Jess,” by “some of the girls.” I have to wonder how that would come across if Comeaux were a man being called “Daddy Jess” by younger team members? See any problem with that? What happens when the boss is a 30-year-old and the employee is senior? Using family terminology to describe work relationships is just wrong.

Families’ roles are complex.

You’ll spend over 2,000 hours with your co-workers every year. It’s human nature to want to belong. But when you think of your job like a family, you may bring dysfunction into the workplace.

What if you never had a mom, or if your dad was abusive? Professional relationships don’t need the added complexity of “family” norms. Seeing your boss as “mom” or “dad” completely skews the roles of boss/employee. When your mom asks you to do more, it’s hard to say no. If your “work mom or dad” wants you to stay late, it’s going to be hard to set boundaries when you buy into the bogus theory that work is family. Stop thinking of work this way.

Check your business culture to make sure that your team has healthy boundaries and teamwork. Having a great work culture doesn’t have to mean you think of your team as family. It means that you appreciate your team, let them have good work-life balance and understand professionalism.

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Business Marketing

These tools customize your Zoom calls with your company’s branding

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Zoom appears to be here to stay. Here are the tools you need to add or update your Zoom background to a more professional – or even branded – background.



Zoom call on computer, but there's more options to customize.

If you haven’t had to deal with Zoom in 2021, you may be an essential worker or retired altogether. For the rest of us, Zoom became the go-to online chat platform around mid-March. For several reasons, and despite several security concerns, Zoom quickly pushed past all online video chat competitors in the early COVID-19 lockdown days.

Whether for boozy virtual happy hours, online classes for school or enrichment, business meetings, trivia nights, book clubs, or professional conferences, odds are if you are working or in school, you have been on a Zoom call recently. Many of us have been on weekly, if not daily, Zoom calls.

If you are the techy type, you’ve likely set up a cool Zoom background of a local landmark or a popular spot, a library, or a tropical beach. Comic-con types and movie buffs created appropriate backgrounds to flex their awesome nerdiness and technical smarts.

Many people have held off creating such an individualized background for our virtual meetings for one of any number of reasons. Perhaps it never occurred to them, or maybe they aren’t super comfortable with all things techy. Many people have been holding out hope of returning to their offices, thus seeing no need to rock the boat. I’m here to tell you, though, it’s time. While I, too, hope that we get the pandemic under control, I am realistic enough to see that working or studying from home will continue to be a reality for many people for some time.

Two cool, free tools we’ve found that can help you make your personal Zoom screen look super professional and even branded for business or personal affairs are Canva and HiHello. While each platform has a paid component, creating a Zoom background screen for either application is fairly simple and free.

Here’s how:

Canva is the online design website that made would-be graphic designers out of so many people, especially social media types. It’s fairly user-friendly with lots of tutorials and templates, and the extremely useful capabilities of uploading your own logo and saving your brand colors.

Using Canva, first create your free account with your email. It functions better if you create an account, although you can play around with some of the tools without signing up. The fastest way from Point A to Point B here is to use the search box and search for “Zoom backgrounds.” You now can choose any one of their Zoom background templates, from galaxy to rainbows and unicorn to library books or conference rooms. Choose an inspirational quote if you’d like (but really, please don’t). Download the .jpg or .png, save it, and you can upload it to Zoom.

To create a branded Zoom background in Canva, it will take slightly more work. It was a pain in the butt for me, because I had this vision of a backdrop with my logo repeated, like you see as a backdrop at, you know, SXSW or the Grammys or something. Reach for the stars, right?

OK, the issue with this was that I had to individually add, resize, and place each of the 9 logos I ended up with. I figured out the best way to size them uniformly (I resized one and copied/pasted, instead of adding the original size each time (maybe you’re thinking “Duh,” but it took me a few failed experiments to figure out that was the fastest way to do it).

Once you have your 9 loaded in the middle of the page, start moving them around to place them. I chose 9, because the guiding lines in Canva allow me to ensure I have placed them correctly, in the top left corner, middle left against the margin that pops up, and bottom left. Same scenario for the center row.

Magical guide lines pop up when you have the logo centered perfectly, so I did top, middle, and bottom like that, and repeated for the right hand margin. Then I flipped them, because they were showing up in my view on Zoom as backward. That may mean they are now backward to people on my call; I will need to test that out! Basically, Canva is easy to use, but perhaps my design aspirations made it tricky to figure out.

Good luck and God bless if you choose more than 9 logos to organize. Oh, and if you are REALLY smart, you will add one logo to a solid color or an austere, professionally appropriate photo background and call it a day, for the love of Mary. That would look cool and be easy.

HiHello is an app you can download to scan and keep business cards and create your own, free, handy dandy digital business card. It comes in the form of a scannable QR code you can share with anyone. Plus, you can make a Zoom background with it, which is super cool! It takes about five minutes to set up, truly! It works great!

The Zoom background has your name, the company name, and your position on one side and the QR code on the other. The QR code pulls up a photo, your name, title, phone number, and email address. It’s so nifty! And the process was super easy and intuitive. Now, If I took my logo page from Canva and made that the background for my HiHello virtual Zoom screen, I would be branded out the wazoo.

Remember there are technical requirements if you want to use HiHello on a Mac. For example, if you have a mac with a dual core processor, it requires a QUAD. However, on a PC, it was really simple.

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