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Fear and Self-Doubt – How to Overcome Them

Fearz I Haz None - Sean Donahoe

Fear and self-doubt are natural. Even the most accomplished billionaires feel these emotions just as everyone else does. There is a major difference, however, as they don’t let them prevent them from moving forward to success and achieving their goals.

They often recognize fear and self-doubt for exactly what they are. Signs they are moving forward.

We are conditioned to stay in our comfort zones where it is nice and safe and for an entrepreneur that means stagnation and zero-growth. If we keep pushing our limits and moving outside of this comfy zone it brings back these negative “Cautionary” emotions.

Again, this is natural. What is important is how you handle them and let these emotions influence you. If you let them pull you back to your comfort zone it will cement that you will always stay there and never make progress.

I will give you an example in my own life. I have ADHD and Dyslexia. I hated writing and I was undiagnosed at school. I was just labeled the “problem child.” That negative imprint cemented that I would always be terrible at writing.

Now writing is an essential part of my everyday life. However, my mind was fraught with “I can’t do this, my grammar and spelling are terrible.” Even though we live in the age of spell checkers and grammar checkers thanks to modern technology.

The fact that I write on this blog is a major miracle for me. It is also the main reason I started doing videos instead of traditional sales letters. Instead of letting it stop me I found a way to circumvent my “problem” and move forward to success.

Determination Kicks Fear and Self-Doubt to the Curb

Now, comes the second part I wanted to discuss, determination. Fear and self-doubt are easily overcome by recognizing exactly what these emotions are, chains that are holding you back. Once you recognize this and apply determination to push yourself forwards, success will follow.

Now, I was speaking to a student the other day about this and they said to me “But… I don’t want to fail.” That is a major fear and leads to many self-doubts.

Fear of failure is one of the leading reasons people do not even try. I asked them to think back to when they were children. This is an age when we are all fearless.

Children Are Awesome and Have ZERO Fear

Think for a moment. As children we have ZERO fear. We have not learned that we cannot do anything because we are born with zero negatives that stop us trying things.

That is why as children our parents had to gate off areas of the house or “child-proof” areas because we did not know the dangers that awaited us and we would do anything we felt like.

As we grow, you can ask a child and adult the same question. “Can you play the guitar?”. A child will answer, “I don’t know” where an adult will say “No”. That is a major difference in our mindset and the effect of years of negative mindset.

Risk vs. Reward

Fear of failure is the same. If I asked you right now to speak on a stage in front of 10,000 people most people would say “Hell No!”.

However, if I said I would pay you $100,000,000 to do it most would ask “What time?” This is the risk vs. reward decision we make everyday on microscopic or major levels. The reward or pay-off allows us to overcome the “fear” that holds us back.

Entrepreneurs fail every day. I have and every other millionaire and billionaire has failed. The difference is that failure does not stop progress it merely guides it.

One of my close friends who is a multimillionaire states that he failed his way to success. Every failure is an opportunity in disguise. Successful entrepreneurs can recognize that, everyone else may miss it. If you face failure with that mindset you will see the opportunities too.

Fear and self-doubt act at “cautions” as we learn dangers and exactly where our safe-zone is. However, as entrepreneurs we take calculated risks, make decisions and push ourselves outside of that safe-zone and never let anything prevent us from succeeding…  will you?

Let me know your thoughts and if you like the image I made for this post, go ahead and share it. Just a bit of fun to illustrate my point!




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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...


  1. FEAR is real only if you don't understand it is NOTHING more than an emotional response. Don't let it rule over logic. Acknowledge the feeling and move past it.You can choose your actions.

  2. “Everything we face is an opportunity.” Those were the last words I said to the sociopath called a “Director of IT” as I was escorted out of the building.

    It was a hellish day. It was a GREAT day. 😉

    I want to add “determination and success” require a persistence that can only exist from a hunger derived from self awareness. You must be a true believer – in yourself and your vision.

    Thank you, Sean. BTW, the left ear makes the photo outstanding.

    Warm Regards,


  3. Hey Sean, I will give it a shot. I am not a writer like you and I pushed myself to give you some replay. I like the internet very much and doing businesses, but writing my blogs is still a crime for me. My fear is: not knowing what to write and now I am telling what I think. No fear at all, isn’t that amazing?

  4. We are so use to rejecting new ideas and goals, and we wonder what will I loose if I gain this. I need to judge my loses in comparison to the gains, and make an intelligent decision and win for myself and others.

  5. Like Patrick says, having a strong desire to achieve something can cause you to act…once your action has broken the inertia you realize that your fear was unfounded. Try bungee jumping 🙂 . On a slightly related note, I see that Shia LeBoeuf says he will only work on new film projects that absolutely terrify him….that’s really getting out of your comfort zone. It’s probably just a sound byte as I wouldn’t describe him as a courageous actor but it’s a sentiment that we should all try to take on board if we want to be successful entrepreneurs/business owners.

  6. Fear can very real. It can seriously affects people emotion and health well being. It can even drive people nut and crazy.

  7. Thanks for your article. I almost in the status of midst.
    You inspired me and I get motivation to keep on my own work. I guess I was let myself rest too long..so I'm just in the comfort zone as like you says.
    Thanks again Sean.

  8. Thank you for the post. I have re-published it on my blog AffiliateSuccessNews.com.

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