A former felon tells you how to overcome self-doubt

Dr B J Davis, a former felon, shares his powerful story of a miraculous transformation in which he overcame self-doubt and went on to obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology

For years, he had been told that “once an addict, always an addict, once a criminal, always a criminal, once a loser, always a loser”. But one day, BJ Davis realised that was only true if you believed it. He saw that self-doubt can be crippling and can lead you to make terrible choices.

Self-doubt makes you opt for misery even when joy is available to you. It fills you with emptiness when fulfillment is your birthright. And it fools you into favouring bondage over freedom. And Dr Davis can say this with authority because he’s been there, done that.

Overcoming self-doubt

In a moment of brutal honesty, this ex-convict made a difficult but pro-life choice of going back to study after leaving prison for the second time. It was during his college that he had a transformational realisation that made him begin to believe in his abilities for the first time. That was the turning point. “In 2006 only seven years after I walked off the yards at Corcoran state prison, I walked across the stage, and I was conferred my doctorate in clinical psychology,” he says in this talk at the Sacramento edition of TEDx.

Like Davis, you too can learn to overcome your self-doubt. Watch this hard-hitting talk presented in a gentle manner by a man who will make you believe in yourself.

About B J Davis

Dr. Davis is the Director of Strategies for Change, a substance abuse and mental health treatment agency. He is also the author of the movie “What is Recovery?”

In addition to his doctorate, Davis has a dual BA in philosophy and religion, and masters’ degrees in psychology and counseling. Aside from working at Strategies, he is a Professor in the Forensic and Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program and consultant to the Sacramento Aids Housing Alliance. It is his history that allows Dr. Davis to speak with authority. A recovering drug addict, Davis spent time in State and Federal prisons, until he found people who believed in him, then a reason to believe in himself. Rather than drugs he depended on praise, and used that to become a director, a doctor, and a mentor. He now uses his unique background in addiction, recovery, and counselling to encourage others to believe in themselves.


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