How to overcome self-doubt & develop a greatness mindset

In this podcast (episode #463) and blog, I talk to lifestyle entrepreneur, high-performance business coach, keynote speaker, and best-selling author Lewis Howes about his amazing new book The Greatness Mindset, what greatness is, what sacrifices are required to be great, and so much more!

Lewis Howes is a New York Times Bestselling author of the hit books The School of Greatness and The Mask of Masculinity. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men's National Handball Team athlete. He hosts the top-100 ranked Apple Podcasts show, The School of Greatness, which has over 500 million downloads and over 1,300 episodes since it launched in 2013. 

Lewis was recognized by The White House and President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under 30. He has been featured on Ellen, The Today Show, The New York Times, People, Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Men's Health, and other major media outlets. 

In The Greatness Mindset: Unlock the Power of Your Mind and Live Your Best Life Today, Lewis reveals how you can rewrite your past to propel yourself into a powerful and abundant future using raw and revealing personal stories, science-backed strategies from industry-leading experts, and The Secrets Of Some Of The Greatest Minds In The World. He talks in depth about: 

  • Clearly defining a meaningful mission to enhance your purpose 
  • Identifying the root causes of self-doubt and conquering the fears that hold you back
  • Transforming your mind to end self-sabotaging thoughts and live a rich life
  • Manifesting your greatness to make the maximum positive impact on those around you

Lewis wrote this book because he believes that self-doubt is the killer of dreams. It prevents us from taking action, going after what we want, pursuing our dreams, and developing a sense of connection with the people we care about. It causes us to hold back our uniqueness, gifts, generosity talents, love, and everything we have to give to the world. 

Underneath this self-doubt, there is a sense of insecurity. This is generally related to three main fears: the fear of failure, the fear of success (or the fear of leaving something behind, the weight of success or what comes with maintaining success) and the fear of judgment (or the need to be liked and please other people). Each of these fears can cripple our dreams and keep us stuck in life. They cause us to hold back our gifts and love and rob us of our joy in life. It causes us to not act

At the center of all these fears is the belief that “I am not enough”. Whether that is smart enough, rich enough, pretty enough, skilled enough, old enough, and so on, this belief holds us back, and we do not act courageously, openly or generously in pursuit of our dreams and goals. It shrinks us down and keeps us trapped.  

At the root of self-doubt are the memories we have created meaning behind—the memories we have used to write the narrative that tells us we are not enough. To unwire these memories and create a new narrative, we have to go on a journey of healing: a journey of growth and creating new meaning through reprocessing the past. When we reconceptualize the past, we can live more courageously in the present and pursue our dreams and goals. We can pursue greatness! 

Of course, this is not an overnight process. It takes time; this is a lifelong journey of growing, learning and living. And yes, it’s can be painful facing the past. But it is worth it! The ability to look back and change the way what has happened to us affects us in the present and the future is beautiful AND powerful. It means that we are the authors of our own greatness!

If we don’t face our past, the shame of our traumas can hold us back, making it very hard for us to find the courage to change and be who we want to be. However, when we finally decide to face our past and start dealing with our traumas, our lives and relationships can transform in ways we never imagined possible! 

Indeed, this is why Lewis wrote The Greatness Mindset: to help people overcome these fears and self-doubts and live their best life every day. Mindset is key here: even if we achieve our dreams or are incredibly successful, if we have not prepared ourselves mentally for success, we can still fall into traps of self-doubt and fear that hold us back, especially when we tie our self-worth to things going well. 

If we cannot face ourselves internally, it will be incredibly hard for us to achieve greatness. At its core, greatness is discovering our unique talents and gifts, pursuing our dreams, and making a positive impact on the people around us to the best of our abilities. This is not the same as success. Success is often seen as something that makes us look good as individuals, and thus has a selfish element to it. Greatness, on the other hand, is about pursuing your goals and dreams in the service of others: inspiring, empowering and elevating other people and helping them grow. It never leaves you feeling like enough is not enough. It is about “we,” not just about “me”.  

This journey starts with the question “Who am I?” Part of answering this question may include letting go of an old identity as we ask ourselves who we want to be and who we are becoming every day in pursuit of our goals and dreams. In fact, based on how we answer this question, we can see what needs to change in our minds to achieve what we want to achieve—we can see that we need to develop a greatness mindset that helps us pursue our mission.  

Developing this new mindset, a greatness mindset, requires looking back at the past, creating new meaning, and mending the memories that are holding us back and keeping us in a powerless identity. As mentioned above, this is a journey: it doesn’t happen overnight, and sometimes it may feel like we are going one step forward and two steps back. Not every day will be a perfect day, and we will still face challenges, but we will have a clear direction and mission to keep us going forward. True greatness is a lifelong journey

Having a community supporting us as we go on this journey is key to its success. It is incredibly hard to do anything alone consistently. However, when we have support and accountability, we are more likely to show up and give more effort. It helps us cultivate an environment of self-love, peace and harmony that leads to abundance and greatness.  

For more on developing a greatness mindset, listen to my podcast with Lewis (episode #463) and check out his amazing work. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).    

You can now also join me on Patreon for exclusive, ad-free content! Sign up for a membership level that suits you, and receive access to ad-free exclusive bonus podcasts!        

My latest ad-free podcasts on Patreon include: 

Podcast 462: How to Make Stress Good for You: Part 3 

Podcast 461: The Unique Connection Between Your Mind, Mental Health, and Muscles

Podcast 460: How to Make Stress Good for You Part 2 

This podcast is sponsored by:   

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Podcast Highlights

3:50 Lewis’s amazing new book on greatness 

4:30 Self-doubt is the killer of dreams 

7:25 Three fears that hold us back in life

13:30 Why our memories are so powerful 

21:00 Why we need to prepare for success mentally 

23:20 What greatness is  

30:00 Competition versus enhancement  

38:25 Mindsets & identity 

50:15 Greatness is a lifelong journey 

52:40 The power of community  

Switch On Your Brain LLC. is providing this podcast as a public service. Reference to any specific viewpoint or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by our organization. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact   

This podcast and blog are for educational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional. 

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