3 Ways to Overcome the Defeating Force of Doubt

Oct 11, 2017

Doubts is one of the most effective – and overwhelming – obstacles you’ll ever face on the path to writer’s life.

If you doubt your ability to succeed… or your systems… you’ll never have the fire, courage, and motivation to move forward.

Stuck. Stopped. Frozen. Distracted.

Those are the fruits of doubts.

So, how do you overcome?

I think this little story will help…

The Dreaded Cold Call

Sitting in front of my phone, I could feel a cold, ugly dread spreading through my body.

It wasn’t fear.

I’d talked to people before. I’d done face to face sales before.

Shoot, I’d wandered around the streets of Holland trying to sale a practically godless people to believe in Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon.

I knew all about rejection and a tough sell!

So it wasn’t fear.

It was doubt.

I doubted a few things…

  • I’d never been a copywriter and wasn’t sure my copy was good enough…
  • I had never used the call script that was in front of me and wasn’t sure it would get anyone to say, “yes”…
  • I’d been told by a zillion (and one) people that cold-calling was dead and useless…
  • I’d burned through half a dozen other business ideas and plans and wondered if I was really going to see this one through

All of this was in my mind as I stared at the phone.

The more I thought about it, the bigger and uglier the cold, dreadful feeling got. I thought I was going to vomit.

Then something interesting happened…

I was sitting in my office at the front of the house. Somewhere in the house, the children started playing, making a wild rumpus noise, like children do.

My mind shifted from my doubts to the sounds of my children.

In that moment, I realized WHY I was doing all of this.

It wasn’t for me.

It was for them.

Then another thought came to me…

What if I just ignored my doubts and got started anyway?

How would I start? What’s the first, smallest step I could take?

I could look at the phone number and dial it.


No harm or pain in dialing a number.

So I did.

Then I said hello and asked for marketing director by name.

Then I went through my script.

The guy told me “No” and I hung up… still alive and breathing :).

The next call was easier… and the next easier… until eventually, I was a cold-calling rock star, able to close clients in a single bound (well… sorta…).

What happened here?

How did I go from cold, clammy, and doubtful… to confident, happy, and effective?

The answer lies in three simple steps.

You can take these steps quickly and easily anytime you feel doubt…

First, change your focus.

Doubt is almost always caused by an unhealthy focus on self.

I’m not good enough.

I can’t do it.

What if they don’t like me?


Notice that all of those statements of doubt are self-centered.

But, copywriting is not about you.

It is about your client and their customers.

If you’re doing copywriting just for your own personal gain… and not in an effort to serve others… then I’m afraid you’ll find it very hard to overcome your doubts.

The reason is that you’ll never be perfect. There will always be something you can find about yourself that will cause you to doubt.

Ever notice how people that are always worried about their health are always getting sick?

Whatever you give attention to will grow bigger.

Focus on your doubts and weaknesses and they will get bigger.

So, turn the tables…

Focus on others.

How can you best serve your client?

What are their needs?

What cool trips, toys, and fun surprises can you provide for loved ones once you’re a master copywriter?


See how that works?

Shift your focus and you’ll find that your doubts will fly away.

Second, break it down to micro-steps.

I like to call this a “high definition action plan”.

My goal was to get clients.

My method was cold calling.

But, to say, “I’m going to call and close clients”, was too big and scary.

So, I broke it down…

  1. Find the phone number…
  2. Pick up the phone…
  3. Dial the number…
  4. Say hello…
  5. Ask for the prospect…
  6. Read the script…
  7. Set reminder to follow up…

I find that when I have micro-steps to take, I gain great confidence.

Read that list of 7 action items I just listed. Do any of those seem unreasonable or scary? Don’t they seem easy?

Yes – they are easy.

All combined, those equal “land clients with cold-calling”… See how I took something scary and made it easy?

Micros-steps. If you doubt your ability to do something, just break it down into tiny parts.

You can do anything with micro steps.

Third, begin at once.

When I was a wee little boy, my brother stuck me on a huge, creaky, wooden roller-coaster.

I had no idea what I was in for.

He love it. I hated it. Hit my face on the front of the car and got a bloody nose.

It made me terrified of roller coasters.

As a teenager, I went on a ground date to an amusement park called Lagoon. There was a ride called, Colossus. It was huge and had a couple of loops in it.

My date wanted to ride it. Being too proud to look like a coward, I closed my eyes and stepped in line.

That one simple act put me on a path toward riding the Colossus.

I did ride it… can’t say I enjoyed it… but I did like the feeling of overcoming my fears.

It happened because I took action. I stepped into the line. I began.

If you’re stuck and have doubts, just ignore those and begin.

Focus on others… have a high-definition plan… and take micro steps

That’s the path to greater confidence.

Is Your Plan Right?

As you create your high-definition plan, how can you know that your plan is effective and will work?

Doing something is always better than doing nothing at all… but your something might not be very effective.

The answer is to stand on the shoulders of giants.

In other words, don’t learn exclusively from your own mistakes… don’t focus on your own wisdom.

Part of taking the focus off yourself is to accept the fact that you don’t have all the answers.

Inside The Winner’s Edge, copywriters like you are taking my best plans and procedures and quickly using them to shortcut the learning curve. This brings success much, much faster.

And, it means much greater confidence. You know, from step one, that you’re on the right path and that your actions will have a high chance of creating results.

That’s a great feeling! Discover it for yourself by exploring The Winner’s Edge.

Share Your Confidence!

I’ve told you a few of my stories and experiences… now I’d like to hear yours.

Comment below or post your thoughts on Facebook.

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