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

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with over 400 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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314 Replies to “The Prescription for Self-Doubt: Watch This Video”

  1. @Amy: So Tim really does have assistants, eh? 🙂

    @Tim: Amazing video. The world is not always fair, and we have to make the best of it. Some of us are better at it than others, but I think the best approach to take is to try and improve a little each day. Keep getting back up.

  2. Just thank you, Tim.

    This one was wonderful, and moved me to tears.

    I think it is powerful in that it succeeds in turning (somehow) the “energy” stored in the feeling of hopelessness in something different.

    I am certain that hopelessness is something we DO, actively, I mean.

    Well, I often propose to myself that, when I am hopeless, since I am already “doing” something, I could just switch track and try out something more worthwhile.

    My 2 cents…

    Greetings and congratulations from Italy

    Angelo

  3. Brian commented on a speaker who spoke about the subject of self pity. I would like to add to that fear, anger, bitterness and other emotional thought. They are all destructive in nature and usually dwell on situations that can’t be changed. Not only does emotional thought thwart logical thought and hinder true joy, it prevents one from finding other rewarding opportunities. Once your mind stops thinking with logic, you’ve had it. Not only does your own life become a wreck but your relationships become caustic, sometimes planting the seeds of destructive emotional thought in others.

  4. I watched this and found inspiration from it. I am a 40 yr old single Mom of twins and I just lost my job. I’ve had cervical cancer and breast cancer,I was raped by their father after our divorce,while the boys watched and it just never seemed to stop raining on my parade. Also, who would have guessed how expensive cancer would be! As you raise your children you wish to always see them look at you with pride. I had lost my strength to get up and do my best every day and spent so much time boo-hooing. I went to the store one afternoon, looking for something at the book store to help me find my way again. I looked and cried, yes in public. It just all seemed so unrealistic and out of my reach. I picked up Tim’s book because I have spent the last 10 years working 50-65 hours a week, missing my boys at football and so on…the title got me. I sincerely will apply what is in this book to improve the my lifestyle and to see pride in the eyes of my boys. What a great life it would be to attend every football game before they are out of highschool.

    Thanks Tim

    Wish me luck and really, really believe.

  5. Great post Tim. Thanks for sharing this! I am truly amazed at what you accomplish when you just put your mind to it. I mean no limbs yet he continues with life! I love it! He is very inspiring. This is reminds me of a great saying..”Stop stressing about what you don’t have and start appreciating what you do have!”

    Thanks again

  6. What a great video that you have posted. I ended up posting it on some other blogs and it has touched so many people in the last couple of weeks it’s unbelievable. This individual is a true testament that obstacles can either stop you or motivate you. He has such a strong faith in god after all these trials and tribulations, what an unbelievable inspiration.

  7. Great vid Tim. Wasn’t aware of him at all – very uplifting. I recently did an interview with Sean Stephenson. It was a superb experience. He’s a similarly afflicted man, but with an extraordinary outlook and attitude towards life.

    Stephen Nash.

  8. Thank you for posted this vidio, Tim.

    It’s a really great vidio, about one person.

    And even he has no arms and no legs. It would be very very uncomfortable.

    And I’m thanks to god to make me out of this incredible world.

    And thank you Tim, to posted this great vidio. I learned a lot.

  9. Well Tim I have had quite a few trials and I feel like giving up sometimes but now and again someone like Nick and yourself turn up and hay presto am goin to keep going even stronger.

    Thanks Nick.

  10. I was actually sitting in bed feeling sorry for myself while reading this, stressed about some business stuff. I’ve been here pretty much all day, and you and this video are putting me back on my feet.

    As Ever, Thanks,

    Sean

  11. Tim,

    Thank you for this inspiration. I am an entrepreneur going through a season of battling depression and self-doubt, brought on by the financial hardships of the current economy. This video was as good as any of the therapy or medication I’ve received. I too, can get up.

  12. Thanks Tim!

    I was right in the middle of my pity party, after having lost the last 15 years of my life savings on that crazy stock market. I was feeling pretty crappy. After just watching the video, specially the 1st clip, I felt much better. I’m ready to take on the world again. This last defeat will make my next victory so much sweeter.

    Réal

  13. My six yr. old daughter and I just watched this video together. I was crying as we watched. We left London with two suitcases and my laptop, no money, just plane tickets back to the USA, to leave her abusive father. I thought our life was destroyed, but there is hope in the future isn’t there. I can see it now. Now matter how Fate knocks you down, there is hope and we must find happiness in what we have.

  14. The upbeat video ironically reminded me of the following sour passage from Martin Amis’s novel THE INFORMATION (about a failed novelist’s bitterness toward his friend’s success). The lines are his internal musings about his failed life: “Like the lady who was of course still there between the mortar board and the prosthetic legs (and what a moving acceptance speech she gave), like the laughing athlete who, after the mishap in the car park, awoke to find himself running a network of charities from his padded rack, Richard had to see whether the experience of disappointment was going to make him bitter or better. And it made him bitter. He was sorry: there was nothing he could do about it. He wasn’t up to better.”

  15. I have just realised your reason for this post; a little behind the 8 Ball, but that it was in response to the post about you, Tim 4 days earlier by PT. I’ve only just looked at her blog this week, have realised the woman is a totally amusing nut-job, and wondering how much more rope she needs to hang herself with! Amazing isn’t it that someone who talks about valuing connections could be so cruel. Sad….

  16. hola Tim!

    se que puedes hablar mi idioma así que lo uso (my english such jaja) bueno muy buen vídeo justo ahora estoy un momento de mi vida muy malo y por cosa de dios lo veo y me doy cuenta de lo tonto y afortunado que e sido y que seré muchas gracias por tan buen post . soy un fanático de tu pagina la reviso todos los días llevo 3 semanas revisándola.

    Eres una muy buena aspiración, me encantaría leer tu libro pero en Chile no lo encuentro (y lo busco mucho). ojala que en unos de tus tantos viajes puedas venir a chile encantado te invitaría unos tragos para hablar y te mostraría este largo y muy angosto país .Chile tiene mucho que mostrarte de eso estoy seguro!.

    muy respetuosamente me despido CHIAO!

  17. Thanks Tim.

    Nick in this video has helped me once again remember the importance of ‘putting things into perspective’. I have been fortunate to see Nick interviewed on Australian ’60 Minutes’ TV. Again, simply inspiring.

    Richard Wiseman wrote a book titled, ‘Luck Factor’ and one of the four factors for good luck is to turn bad luck and misfortune around.

    This video and Nick’s attitude is a living, breathing example of that luck factor in action.

    Have gained much from your own book Tim, thanks.

    Michael

  18. I became even more depressed after watching this video.

    I just do not see why someone should be happy just for theck of it. It may be true that I have my health and I accomplished some things. But past success is no indication of present satisfaction or future happiness.

    It gets sort of annoying to have people to tell me to be happy with what I already have. I am bored with what I have. I want to accomplish new things and do more without putting in a ton of work and sacrificing.

    I am not like others. I do not want to work hard to gain more. I would love for someone to give me what I want. Working hard for something does not make me appreciate it more. I actually feel a sense of dissapointment and ambivalence when I wait and work.

    Life is too short for me to lie and tell myself to be happy with what I have. I would be happier with more!

  19. Hey Tim,

    Eliminate self-doubt by asking yourself if the situation sparking it will matter in a week/month/year.

    Sometimes we’re so caught up in the details that we forget to look at the big picture. It’s like logging into Analytics and only looking at yesterday’s data rather than the month’s.

    Shit happens, and when it does, self-doubt automatically starts to creep in. We can swat it in its initial stage, before it spreads too much, by putting the situation in perspective. Will this thing matter in a month or year? Does it change my big goal? Most likely it won’t. Once that is realized, the negative situation is externalized. It becomes simply a weed that we can pull out and proceed to work on our garden.

    Awesome video, thanks to you and your mom,

    Oleg

  20. It’s cool that he has a mental construct that gives him such power – Christianity in his in case. I don’t share the construct but I say: whatever works. Mine is hate, which serves equally to get one out of bed and through the day.

  21. Thank you for this. I am experiencing what you call a “crisis of meaning” stage in my development and after watching this I realize that I have been making too many ‘stay down’ choices lately. This has been a big help, thank you again.

  22. Amazing video. I tweeted this morning about some guy I saw last night on #undercoverboss that had been on dialysis for 19 years and he wound up firing the “undercover boss” the CEO of Waste Management because the CEO wasn’t performing as well as the manager that went to dialysis 3 days a week. My tweet said something about how I wasn’t going to let the cold and me being sleepy get in the way of my workout this morning and I had a fantastic workout very early today. Then I got a DM (direct message) on Twitter from @monkchips who is someone I admire a great deal and he posted the link to this video for me to look at. What an amazing message Brian!!! Your authentic message was spectacular. I’ll keep a window open on my PC for when I need a little bit o’ that to keep me going. You’re a rock star in my book. 🙂

    Julie Fogg

  23. Tim…thank you for your insights!..as always you provide a huge perspective shift – and a perfect virtual kick in the seat of the pants.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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…

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

    Thanks

    RC

  33. 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.

    Cheers,

    Julia

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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!

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.