Stop self-doubt from killing your dreams!

To listen to the audio version of this blog, click here.

Gabby Bernstein and I hosted a fun event last week in L.A. called “An Evening of Love & Miracles” at Smashbox Studios. It was a lot of fun! :o)

During the Q&A time someone asked me, “How do I get rid of self-doubt?”

And I thought it was SUCH a powerful question. Because self-doubt is one of those things that can REALLY get in the way of our growth and our happiness. It can be a dream killer. It can be a resentment maker. It can be the reason why we die with regret.

So, it’s a valid and totally awesome question.

But here’s the TRUTH as I see it.

You can’t get rid of self-doubt. At least not all the way.

Even as I type this blog I am experiencing self-doubt. I experience self-doubt every single day of my life. I experience it as I write every blog. I experience it when I give talks, when I write my Hay House book, when I’m at the gym and even in my relationship.

Self-doubt is persuasive in my life. But I still achieve and create and do awesome things!

Why is that? Because I’ve learned that just because I think a thought doesn’t make it true. And just because I doubt myself doesn’t make it true. So, I listen to the voice of self-doubt, but I’ve given it a new meaning. I used to hear the voice of self-doubt and make it mean that I should quit. Because I BELIEVED the voice of self-doubt.

Now, I believe that when I hear the voice of self-doubt that I must be creating and when I am creating, my only job is to create. The people who get to evaluate whether what I create is worthy and valuable is YOU, the TDL Community. I don’t let my inner critic win. I fight a battle with it daily. And my only true skill has been to write on, even in the face of self-doubt. Even if I think a blog or my book sucks, I just keep writing.

Because after all, when it comes to being creative, the WORK is the most important part. Judgment of the work is not the artist’s place. Honesty is the artist’s goal. As long as the artist creates a piece of work that is an honest representation of them, then the artist has done their job and the rest is up to the whole world.

So, the message is this: you can’t stop the dream killer of self-doubt, but you CAN stop it from stopping you. By creating anyway. That’s the practice of mastery!

So, where in your life are you letting self-doubt stop you? How can you create anyway, even in the face of self-doubt? Can you focus on simply being HONEST instead of “perfect” and then let go?  As always, the action happens in the comments below; leave a comment and join the conversation! The TDL Community thrives in the comments and it’s a GREAT place to get support!



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Mastin Kipp is the CEO and Founder of The Daily Love. Follow him on Twitter here.

Take what resonates with you in this blog and leave the rest.

  • Cheryl

    So then, where does discernment come in to play? You wrote ” if I think a blog or book sucks, I just keep writing.” As an author, why would you want to put something out there that you doubt? I agree that we are our own worst critics, but that our self doubt may also be an indicator of where we aren’t putting forth our best efforts. At least, that holds true for me.

    • Leanne

      I’m paralyzed and blocked by terrible low self esteem and self doubt and fear of making a fool of myself… Yes, perfectionism, create anyway… But you need some kind of inner guide to help you decide when something is good enough, to put out into the world for it to be appreciated or pulled apart… To not have to live with shame and regret! Wait… Ok… To know your potential, what you could be capable of if you keep perfecting… To know you dont want anyone to see anything but your highest potential, standards… To not set a standard and expectations of future work too low that you ruin your chances with your ideal audience… Ok now I am sounding ridiculous to myself. Yet all those paralyzing beliefs are exactly what stops me from creating, producing and sharing anything! Um. Help? It’s horrible 🙁

    •  Great question. I believe that we can’t and should not create and judge or be discerning at the same time. I love to write, even if I think it sucks and then give it some time, come back to it and then start chopping away what I don’t like. We gotta have high standards but it’s really debilitating for me to judge my work and create at the same time. The two can’t co-exist at the same time for me to be productive and create. Hope that helps Cheryl.

  • Emma

    Love it! I experience self doubt in my professional work the time and so it takes me ages to get stuff done cause I’m always striving for perfection and doubting that what I’ve done is going to be good enough. Definitely going to start just gettng it done and letting others be the judge. Well trying anyway! Thanks for another hugely insightful and useful read. 🙂

  • Scott

    As an artist/musician, I am always trying to create. And with that, I am a perfectionist. I constantly have to remind myself that art is subjective and all I can is my best at that moment. But then again, is art ever really finished? I spend a lot of time recording and mixing songs trying to make them perfect then I catch myself and stop. I doubt my abilites all the time but I am starting to realize I need to keep pressing on through that doubt. Your blog today reminded me again of just trying to do my best, to always create,  just let it go and move on to the next project.

    •  yes Scott! One of my fav quotes “Art is never finished, only abandoned!”

  • Alice

    is the artist’s goal. As long as the artist creates a piece of work
    that is an honest representation of them, then the artist has done their
    job and the rest is up to the whole world.”Mastin, you ARE an artist!

  • Thank you, Mastin. Telling the truth about ourselves is the most powerful tool we have.

  • Shari

    All of your posts are brilliant and insightful Mastin, but this one hit a home run!  Understanding that even the most successful encounter self-doubt but continue to bust through it should be the best inspiration for anyone!  I know it is for me!  Keep changing the world with your words.  You ROCK!

  • Focusing on creating HONEST work is a really helpful intention. Thank you for sharing your insight, Mastin.
    Looking forward to hearing you at the Ignite Conference. 

  • Andrea

    This is a really great post, thank you! 

  • I find that all the poor choices I have ever made were based on fear and self-doubt. I still struggle with it. My fear is that despite what I do to move forward, it won’t do me any good, that it’s too late for me to have a happy life.

  • Maya Northen

    I have always been a perfectionist and ridiculously hard on myself. I’m working now on doubting myself less just because something isn’t perfect, or exactly as I’d planned. Excellent post, as always! 

    •  thanks Maya! Me, too – we are all works in progress in this department!

  • Carmelvalleyite

    Your post today hit home.  As I age I notice I’m losing the push to achieve that I once had, and I believe it stems from self-doubt creeping in.  The world is changing so quickly and I feel as if I’m standing still.  I hear a whoosh and the day is almost over and here I stand, in the same place.  Your daily posts are remarkable.  Hard to see you having self doubt because you’re SO GOOD at what you do.   When doubt creeps in, know that you are helping so many of us make it through the day.

  • Carrie_B

    Fantastic post, Mastin. I was experiencing a lot of self doubt earlier in the week but I decided to feel it in my body and let it move through me. Staying open physically and emotionally worked so much better than wrestling with the fear intellectually. 

  • LOVED THIS ENTRY TODAY.  It hits home. I am reminded by my mentor that our turning point is when we DOUBT our DOUBT. Lately, what has also been working for me is a quote from Mother Teresa, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” Throughout my day ,I am seeing the difference I am making by aligning myself with who I REALLY AM (100% Love). Who we all really are.  My friends, family, and community are noticing. I see that I am making a difference whether it be my dental patients, my hairdresser, my blog followers, parents, cancer thrivers, or even in the TDL community. I notice that I still feel as if I am not enough. This is my work in the HERE AND NOW. Every moment, I can make the choice to…CHOOSE LOVE, CHOOSE LOVE, and CHOOSE LOVE.  WE ARE ALL ENOUGH even in seemingly ‘small things!’  Keep it up Mastin- you are changing lives. 

  • Yasmin Hormozi

    i loved this post. Self doubt gives the true self the opportunity to truly dig deep and reach past the doubt, and into the space of creation. 

  • Fantastic!  Yes, thank you for this ” just because I think a thought doesn’t make it true.”  This is a great reminder!  I have been having tons of self-doubt starting a new job that comes with a very different client population for me.  I even texted my boyfriend today after a bleh assessment session- “I am incompetent.”  But I really have to check the accuracy of this thought.  When I think about it, there is no evidence to back this statement up!  It’s a cognitive distortion – overgeneralizing, black and white thinking, and mislabeling to be specific.  PLUS I have to remember to be gentle with myself as I become acclimated to a brand new environment. 
    Thanks for this, Mastin,
    Love and light,

  • R Jasvinder

    Thank you Masten for bringing a deeper understanding to my problems of self doubt. What a wonderful solution! I have always found self doubt hindering and it has often prevented me from doing. I will follow your wise words and do honestly!

  • This is another great post. Self-doubt is something that I deal with all the time. I think it’s even stronger when I am vulnerable such as when I am creating. When I write, I do it from the heart and it makes me more nervous that someone won’t love it like I do. I look at self-doubt as a protection. But, instead of letting it stop me, I channel it. I use it to make sure that I do my best work. I used it to edit and help me to create my work. As it gets better, I feel less self-doubt and more confidence. Self-doubt never goes away, but I love what you said that it is an indicator that you are creating. When it comes down to it, I will push through my self-doubt and do it anyway. Thank you for this post. As an artist, this was a masterpiece. 

  • Melania1226

    I always receive your emails, but I never visit the blog or comment. Today I felt the need to comment and thank you for this message, it came RIGHT ON TIME! I am starting a new venture and today is the first day. All day I’ve been doubting myself and questioning what I was doing and even considered canceling tonight and moving it to next week; But after reading your post I know what I need to do and I will start my new venture today as planned. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Catt

    Mastin this is great! What I loved most about this idea is that you gave a replacement thought: honesty (and a great replacement at that!)

    Thanks Mastin! Learning to be honest because while I don’t think I ever tried to be perfect, I always tried to be pretty close to a bulletproof indestructible superhuman.


  • Spot on Mastin!!  In creating I often stop myself before the creation comes to fruition by making myself believe there is simply no way I can achieve it.  Thanks for this, as always with your daily emails, it’s right on time. 

  • Jeff Stafford

    This was meant for me to read today – as I face the fear in teaching my emotional tank of self doubt took up all the space for the rational thoughts I know to be true.  One thing that allowed me to not QUIT is the power of community.  I got to gather with like minded souls changing the face for how leadership is taught to college students.  Not only was it validating, but I left KNOWING this is what I’m to be doing in the world.  Thanks for posting this today of all day!

  • Self-doubt is a sign that you are on the right way!

  • What an awesome re-frame!  My take on it is this: recognize the doubt, notice that it’s separate from ourselves, and keep moving toward our goals… so empowering! 

  • Ballet4ky

    I have been doubting myself recently, and wonder if I am ever going to be good enough to become a nurse. I am stressed out like all nursing students are, but sometimes the smallest mistake will bother me and slowly takes over my mind… down hill from there. I love this work when I am learning at the hospital, but when I don’t do things correctly, I freak out and I can’t stop thinking about it for the rest of the day, or even the rest of the week sometimes. I want to learn to stop this obsession about wanting to  be perfect… and will start to be honest instead. Thanks for the advice and will keep on working on it. 

  • Fatsani

    Pray to God

  • Hi Mastin
    Your posting is spot! Thanks so much for sharing and for your incredible commitment to TDL (for years now!), you never fail to give which is inspirational in itself regardless of perfection or otherwise…this has been such a timely message for me and I will take heed!
    Have a GREAT weekend!
    Fiona 🙂

  • Oh boy, haven’t I been here quite a few times.  As of today I am still in the process of building my jewelry line but slacked off in the past few months due to doubt.  I even made a post about it called, Easier said? Although at times it may feel like it is is easier said then done to stay focused and not doubt yourself, I realize success will come to you if you just believe.  Another major aspect is having a great support system.  My husband supports my ideas and pushes me even when I don’t feel like being pushed. These steps are needed because without that extra push the job will not get done and we must remember that there is no one else who will do it for us.  I constantly remind myself, do you want to leave this earth with regrets? The answer is H.. No!

  • Healinglightyogini

     This hit home for me too, and I so relate to carmelvalleite’s comment.  I’ve never blogged before and as I start to write I am thinking “Hmmm , how do I start writing a comment on a blog, I want to make sure I do this right…”  And so it goes. I recently left my husband,and I can honestly say that one of the main reasons I left was because of his self doubt. He was so crazy jealous and controlling that he finally pushed me and my daughter  (two of the most loyal people on the planet) out of his life. Now I sit in my little apartment, my head spinning, trying to figure out which way I go from here. 
    Thank you Mastin, your emails give me strength.

  • nlucin

    I feel an awful lot like Melania1226’s first sentence.  Anyway, in reference to this post, I think you skipped over a huge part of self-doubt.  That is, where it originates from.  Not all self-doubt is of our own creation, it is a learned part of us that unfortunately is, more often than not, left on repeat.  It is extremely important to realize where that doubt stems from.  Once this happens, we can take the necessary steps to hush that voice and realize that it is not ourselves who are afraid.  Rather, it is someone else who’s had some influence on us that instilled this in our brains.

    I can say this confidently as I continually overcome an enormous hurdle in my life.  I live a life of fearlessness and excitement, although it was not always so easy to do so.  Hesitation was an unwelcome guest for quite some time.  It took a long time to realize how much that negative voice in my head affected me and my decisions.  It wasn’t until I took a road trip with my twin that I realized that negative voice in my head was not mine at all.  It was my Father’s.

    My Father’s constant questioning of my own decisions -from childhood to this very day- had affected my ability to truly think for myself.  This is not say he is a bad person, just has a different thought pattern than I do.  Somehow, over the years, his thought process buried itself in my subconscious.  For the longest time, I would stress about making decisions, not realizing that I had the answer all along.  My answer.  At times it felt debilitating…and for what purpose?  Had I not thought with that “other voice”, I would have simply been done with whatever needed to be dealt with.

    It has been a wonderful two years since I had that realization and am constantly hushing that voice (very seldom) when it creeps in again.  I encourage everyone to look deeper at the issue and figure out where their negative voice truly comes from.  Once that is acknowledged, only then can it be hushed and can you move forward without hesitation.

    Just to be clear, I have no negative feelings towards my Father about this because in reality it was not his fault.  Considering this is a blog about Love, it should be noted that I love my Father for looking out for me in whatever way he knew how.  I have simply learned that he can have his reservations about my decisions and question them to no end on his own.  However, they are ultimately my decisions and mine alone.

    Keep up the great work Mastin and good luck to everyone on their journeys through this crazy thing we call life!

  • Tmc

    First time reading your blog. Just happened upon it by using Google to try to find passages dealing with self-doubt. And while your blog did not use scripture I found that some of what you said about getting rid of “self-doubt” is in fact relative in the bible and so I am reminded that we can receive God’s blessings in some of the most unexpected forms. So to you I say thank you. You have blessed me today

  • Carissa Terry

    This is a great post! Thank you for helping me re-frame self-doubt in a way that is empowering. This will change my life. Thank you! I’m so glad that I found you from Tom Bilyeu at Impact Theory.