What To Do When Doubt Creeps In?

It happens EVERY time I have a big idea. I’m super pumped, super excited, ready to take on the world with my new idea and nothing can stop me. And then one person makes a comment – or suddenly one little issue creeps up – or I get distracted by a cute pair of shoes – and suddenly doubt creeps in. Yes, even a motivational speaker who talks about flying above your comfort zone, deals with doubts.

So in case you have a really big, really great idea, but the doubt is creeping in – here is my advice:

1. Understand that it is normal to doubt. Fear is a normal reaction to stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something different. So be aware that this is just part of the process.

2. Get to the root of what you are afraid of. The excuse in front of you is probably just a mask for a deeper fear. Face it and speak it.

3. Step away for a minute. It’s okay to go think about something else. Take a break. Go focus on another project. When I do this, I find that eventually I get excited again about my idea again.

4. Be aware that consistent doubt might be a sign that your idea needs some work. Doesn’t mean you have to scrap the whole idea – but perhaps your intuitive gut is sending you a valid warning. Take more time to look at it from all angles.

5. Walk through that “what if it doesn’t work” scenario. Can you handle the ramifications if this great idea doesn’t land where you need it to?

6. Go find affirmation for your great idea. Remember those people who got excited about it? Go find them again. Ditch that toxic naysayer (who might just be jealous that you are acting on your dreams and they aren’t) and go find someone who will remind you that you are brilliant.

7. Be worried if you don’t doubt. If you don’t have any fears or anxieties about this next great idea – then perhaps it’s too safe. Perhaps it is a sign that you have chosen something in your comfort zone.

8. Now jump anyway. Fear never goes away. Jump in spite of it.




Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
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Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. Good stuff, Kelly!  I don’t know if Susan Jeffers was every a motivational speaker or not, but her book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway is the stuff motivational speakers talk about all the time. Your number 8 reminded me of that.   

  2. Thanks Linda! I’ll buy the book. I guess doubt will always be a part of this motivational speaker’s make up. :)

  3. Kelly, my bulletin board is getting crowded with all of your wonderful blog lists!  Thanks for sharing your excellent advice.


  1. […] Speaker Kelly Swanson wrote a really cool blog about what to do when doubt creeps in.  And since NO ONE is exempt from creeping doubts, including […]

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