Don’t Let The Doubters Grind You Down

As humans, we can either be driven on or driven down by those who doubt us.

Unfortunately, if we’re not careful, we can allow doubts to paralyze and keep us from doing what we need to do.

Fortunately, we have the ability to channel doubts to do great things.

I’m no different. I am a very confident person, in general, but sometimes I am gripped with doubt. However, as corny as it may seem, remembering famous quotes or lines from movies actually helps me overcome the doubts of others (and even my own doubts).

I love cheesy sports movies. I can’t help it really; I like cheesy movies and I love sports. Put the two together and I’ll sit and watch them all on a rainy Saturday afternoon. One of my favorite cheesy sports movies is The Legend of Bagger Vance.

WARNING: Movie Spoilers ahead

Set in the early 1930s, Will Smith plays a mysterious, just-passing-through-town golf caddy. While a great caddy, Bagger’s greatest attribute is how he understands the mind – of golfers and people. With this ability, Bagger helps Rannulph Junuh (played by Matt Damon) become a better golfer and a better person, while leaving Junuh’s past doubts behind.

Junuh, a once-great golfer and Savannah, GA favorite son, is a WWI veteran who is a shell of his former self – as a golfer and as a human being. After some coaxing from his former girlfriend – and some mental and physical adjustments – Junuh begins to play golf again after discovering his “authentic swing.” (It is clear that when Bagger uses the phrase “authentic swing,” it is not meant just for playing golf but for pursuing what impact capitalists call a “Righteous Path“.) Junuh begins to be who he once was, until his mental focus moves from the present to the doubts and the heaviness of the past.

In the midst of what is nothing short of a “break down,” Bagger calmly talks Junuh through his doubts and fears, reminds him of his “authentic swing” and tells Junuh to “do what you were born to do.” Junuh takes his advice to heart and makes an incredible golf shot and goes on to finish the round the way a lead character in a cheesy sports movie would.

But there’s real life application to this story.

Most business owners and entrepreneurs go through similar times of personal doubt. It matters not whether the pressure is from within or without because that doubt is real and it can be paralyzing. As a business owner, it would be great to have a “caddy” with us that can help and provide advice on daily “shots” and situations to help us overcome the doubts and the doubters.

Because we often don’t, we have to remind ourselves how to use the doubts and doubters to drive us on rather than down.

One of my favorite quotes to help me overcome my doubters is a quasi-Latin phrase:

“Illigitimi non carborundum”

You may have heard or seen this before. It’s not a real Latin phrase: it’s close, but it’s been “Americanized.” The phrase is loosely translated to mean:

“Don’t let the doubters* grind you down.”

When I feel the pressure of the doubts and doubters, I remind myself to not let them get me down because my goals are bigger than their doubts.

Also, it’s good to remember that my family, my business partners, and my clients/customers/patients are counting on me.

I’m going to continue to pursue a Righteous Path, do what I was born to do, and I’m not going to let the doubters grind me down.

For Impact and Profit!



*There are a couple of other words that can be substituted for “doubters” that, for all intents and purposes, are used in the same context.

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