The Prescription for Self-Doubt: Watch This Video


Business icons, superstar professional athletes, billionaires — it doesn’t matter how rich or how accomplished — I’ve had them all tell me the same thing…

There are moments when you feel the world is too much. Days and even weeks when you want to (or perhaps do) pull up the covers and half-sleep in bed until nightfall, avoiding a feeling of hopelessness that seems insurmountable. Long-awaited deals fall through without warning, haters attack you without reason or fact, circumstances turn good decisions into awful realities — sometimes it just feels like the deck is stacked against you and there is nothing you can do about it.

I’ve felt the same on more than a few occasions, and more are coming.

Entrepreneurs in particular seem prone to feeling on top of the world one minute, only to feel crushed by it the next.

To this breed, I assure you all: in our species, it’s normal.

It’s an integral part of building anything remarkable, whether a business, a relationship, or a life. Expanding your sphere of comfort and abilities comes with a cost: repeated self-doubt.

I thank my mother for forwarding me the above video to put things in perspective. In your moments of self-doubt, I encourage you to watch it and meditate on all of the things you’ve done that you once considering impossible. The odds you’ve overcome, the critics you’ve proven wrong, and the small defeats that — through making you stronger and smarter — made huge victories possible later.

Get back up. Bigger and better things are waiting for you.

Related and suggested reading:
Harnessing Entrepreneurial Manic-Depression: Making the Rollercoaster Work for You
Depression: How You Label Determines How You Feel

Posted on: January 12, 2009.

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298 comments on “The Prescription for Self-Doubt: Watch This Video

  1. When I was struggling in college, the strangest thing happened. I began to see stories on the news about people like Nick who were loving life and thriving. It inspired me to keep working hard because if they could do it, so could I.


  2. Doubt makes me feel alone. But when you read posts like this, watch videos like this, and realize others have been where you are, you understand that you aren’t alone. I cry when watching that video because I have empathy, a sign that we are social animals and in “it” together. Thank you.


  3. A really well timed reminder of what’s important man. Between that and the article on entreprenurial highs/lows I’ve just gotten a lot more clarity and peace of mind!

    Good to know I’m not alone in doubting who I am and what I do at times! lol


  4. I’m watching the video and enjoying this motivational story and THEN he falls on his chest. It’s THEN his message touches your heart with the inevitability of, and the effectiveness of a well-aimed bullet. I literally had a full body chill such as I’ve never experienced, and I’m typing this though the drying tears in my eyes.

    Bravo, Blog of Author Tim Ferriss, for teaching me so about the myriad of aspects of mind, body, and soul. With all authenticity, Tim’s Blog and site has enhanced my quality of life.


  5. Whoa I’ve been in a real ditch of late – my own worst enemy, you know? I watched this and burst into a state of shuddering uncontrollable tears! It felt really good. Think I’ve been holding that back for a while. Time to get up… Thanks.


  6. I make 80k/day with my internet business, was a 2nd dan black belt in my 20’s, owned nightclubs, and Tim, even deadlifted 445. Been to over 40 Countries and my life isn’t far off this author. I’m “that” guy in bed now at 36 and have no idea how this happened. I can totally relate to this. It will never make sense to many, but what I do is just remember a time I felt great just a few years back and tell myself this moment is something that will pass…


  7. Beautiful. And this is indeed normal for us. So normal that it even starts to feel normal, so there is a steady core that holds true in the midst of the ups and downs, because God is there, great and gracious through it all, revealing his glory partly in people doing good and impossible things they were created to do — as Nick clearly shows.


  8. I have seen Nick Vujicic before and I been thinking about getting in touch with him. I help run a broadcasting company up in Canada that broadcasts programming for and about people with disabilities. Nick would be a wonderful representative.


  9. Tim,

    You hit on something I hadn’t thought about; the commonality amongst entrepreneurs to experience lack of assurance because of how much we challenge the world. No Wonder why I have to work extra hard at esteem conditioning!




  10. WoW! Thank you Tim for posting this on your Blog for people to find and read. I’m at the stage of being a start up while having been unemployeed for the past year and half and I’m now to the point were I’m be pitching my invention to a top industry leader this coming weekend. So naturally I’m scared out of my freking mind and have a ton of mental demons that thought it was a good time to visit, lucky me.
    So to quite some of the interal chatter I’ve been reading some of your post as they always have some thing positive, useful and or funny. And I’m glad I came across this one.

    Thanks again, and if you don’t mind wish me a little luck.




  11. Damn my anxiety and low self- esteem is killing me. I´ve done EVERYTHING and nothing seems to work. I popped pills, read all the books out there, I tried to work out, but I became so afraid of sparring that I had to quit even though I tried it for 2months, then I started again and it was the same shit over again, I worked out for one month then I started getting stomach cramps and people started hating me, saying what a coward I was. I quit! A year later I jumped back on the horse and worked out for 3months, I couldn’t perform so I had to quit. Nobody didn´t want to box or wrestle with me anymore. So I put the gloves on the shelf and realised that there are some things in life you can´t do anything about. It´s not easy being handicapped in the head. I´ve always been like this and it sucks. Some people are born winners, others aren´t. That guy in the clip is a winner, Ferris is a winner because it is in their heads. Too bad the book doesn´t cover psychology, but then again I don´t believe that he would know what he was talking about if it did.


  12. I remember this video when it first came out. It really pulls at the heart strings.

    But it is a great message to say to us all that life throws you some bum deals in life but it is how you pick yourself up and use them to your greatest advantages that really makes you the person you are.

    We all make many mistakes in life but as long as we learn from them and keep moving forward, life will provide some blessings along the way that will make you forget for just that split second about reality and take you to that place in your heart where everything is bliss and you feel on top of the world.

    All the best to everyone who visits the site. I hope you all achieve your goals and dreams.


  13. I’ve recently started yet another venture with the hope to make it work and found this video. I totally believe in perfect timing – and the synchronicity of inspiration. Thanks!


  14. You have no idea how much I needed to read this right now!! Thanks for this post, I spend most of my life building others up and offering support so it’s nice to get some from someone else.

    I started my adult life in a hostel for homeless teenagers and turned my life around by changing my attitude and finding success as an entrepreneur. Because of this I am no stranger to hard times and problems but it never gets any easier. Many people who didn’t know me or my past told me I was lucky which was hard to swallow considering the hardships so I decided if this is what people think is luck then I can teach anyone how to be lucky.


  15. This is a nice video.Many people are having self doubt and they should over come it!Most people who are suffering from self doubt had negative results. They should know what they really love to be.


  16. Yes, yes and yes. Thanks so much Tim. I have followed you for so long now, since I saw you talk in Sydney back in 2011 and I have admired the way you have appeared to live life to the max. I have always thought that to push and to push yourself there was to be a breaking point somewhere in there. This year has had so many ups and downs and am glad that someone like yourself goes through what I have been going through this year. Yes it is easy to sit down and be thankful for all that you have accomplished but really….it is so hard not to say…F@#$ it I’m done. Thanks again for this breath of air that I needed.


  17. Tim your are truly an inspiration! You make success easy because you know that failure comes first! Anyone can highlight their pluses, but it takes a real person to tell the world about their bad days :) Thank you for reminding me to walk down the street naked.