“Doubt.” This word doesn’t seem to dangerous. It keeps us from diving into anything without considering the consequences. It can be a healthy way to weigh variables and some would even say it’s okay to doubt. However self-doubt can be downright dangerous. It can lead to anxiety, fear, and stress. In fact, doubt and fear are synonyms of each other. This is such an important talk here at BASE by Pros. It allows athletes the ability to express the “what if’s”. However, there is truly a simple solution to combat these self doubts. Ask yourself, “What do you have control of?”

In my own personal life, doubt reared its ugly head the more and more I thought about my future. I heard myself saying, “I have to make this team,” or “I need to have a good year to earn this contract.” So much of my mind was always focused on the future, which I thought was okay! Goals exist in the future, right? I realize looking back on my career in the MLB that I didn’t believe my work ethic, routines, and process, which were in the present, would allow me to accomplish these things. I love these exercises we have created for our athletes and I wish I would have discovered this sooner.

Brent LillibridgeDream Big,

~ Brent Lillibridge


“What do you have control of?”

This brings every person back to the present and focus on only the things we have control over. Examples in baseball are obvious to this exercise.

  • • I can’t throw strikes
  • • I can’t get the big hit
  • • Colleges aren’t going to see me
  • • Good routine, focus on the target
  • • Swinging at my pitch
  • • Working out, training, being prepared

Doubt, worry, anxiety and FEAR all operate in one place: the “FUTURE!” We are focusing on something that hasn’t happened yet. A “PAST” experience of failure might also trigger this doubt, but then again it moves towards the “future” because you are then wishing it wouldn’t happen again. Here is an exercise we do with our athletes and we encourage you to do the same.


  • • Passing the test
  • • Making the team
  • • Getting a hit
  • • Being the best player on the field
  • • All the work was for nothing

We then place each one of these in a column based off where it sits in time:

Passing the test
Making the team
Getting a hit
Being the best player on the field
All the work was for nothing

Since 99% of all doubt comes from a future state, we have to constantly be reminded:


We must train and teach athletes and ourselves to always ask this question in moments of doubt, worry, anxiety, and fear. When we are present, we are free! This allows us to take calculated risks, be creative, and be optimistic for our future! We have to retrain ourselves to draw out the negative emotions and address the root cause of them.

In a study of risk taking, participants who were fearful consistently made judgments and choices that were relatively pessimistic and amplified their perception of risk in a given situation. In contrast, happy or angry participants were more likely to disregard risk by making relatively optimistic judgments and choices (Lerner and Keltner, 2001). Similarly, individuals who are trait fearful–those who tend to have personality characteristics that are dominated by the emotion of fear–will avoid taking risks that are generally perceived by others as relatively benign (Sylvers, et al., 2011). Thus, awareness of your emotions and considering how they might influence your decision-making in a given situation is important in your approach to life, your work, and your goals. Certainly, such is the case of fear in all of its complexity.

Final Thoughts

“Kill the snake of doubt in your soul. Crush the worms of fear in your heart and mountains will move out of your way.”
~ Kate Seredy

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