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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?

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Am I old fashioned?

Am I good looking enough?

Am I lazy?

Am I boring?

Does anyone really care?

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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?

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Am I funny?

Do I have ANY talent?

Do people like me?

Do I like myself?

Am I good enough?

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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.

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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.

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The Fast Eat The Slow.

More Sophistication.

More Knowledge.

More Uncertainties.

More Possibilities.

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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?

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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….


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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.

Written By

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.



  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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