#58 – Self Doubt and Fear of Failure with ACT expert Dr Russ Harris

Russ Harris, is a world-renowned trainer of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), and the author of the international best-selling self-help book ‘The Happiness Trap.’ In this episode we chat about the universal human experience of self-doubt and fear of failure.  Russ generously shares with us his personal experiences, and gives us ideas on how to live with them if they're holding you back from living a rich, full and meaningful life!!

So a bit more on Russ.  Russ’s background is in medicine. As a GP he became increasingly interested in the psychological aspects of health and wellbeing, and increasingly disenchanted with writing prescriptions. Ultimately this interest led to a total career change, from GP to therapist and coach.

Since 2005, Russ has run over 600 two-day workshops and provided ACT training for over 30,000 health professionals, including therapists, coaches, counsellors, doctors, and psychologists. He has authored three ACT textbooks (ACT Made Simple, Getting Unstuck in ACT, ACT Questions & Answers), and four ACT-based self-help books (The Happiness Trap, The Reality Slap, The Confidence Gap and ACT with Love). He has also co-authored two self-help books (The Weight Escape and The Happiness Trap Pocketbook). The Happiness Trap is now the most widely-translated ACT book in the world, with over 600,000 copies sold worldwide and editions in over 30 languages.

Suggested Resources

ACT Made Simple Facebook group

ACT Mindfully – Workshops with Russ Harris 

Amy Felman


  1. Rebekah on March 20, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Amy –
    Thankyou so so very much for interviewing Russ and creating this podcast. It really has changed the way I think about myself as a nearly registered psychologist. Russ is so inspirational and has played a huge role in my own developement and self relfection. Thank you!

  2. I M on April 10, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Does anyone know the actual cited study about self-doubt and self-compassion mentioned at 12.25?


  3. E on April 22, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    It’s refreshing to hear that Russ Harris experiences self-doubt and fear of failure, both in his personal and professional life. When I have watched his demonstration videos, I’ve often wondered how he proceeds with such ease and almost wish that my clients had him instead of me!

    I’ve hardly heard master therapists talk about their self-doubt in their interpersonal roles. I struggle much more in my role as a parent than as a therapist. Sometimes I think that going into psychology was negatively reinforcing – it helped me escape negative feelings about my perceived lack of effectiveness as a parent! On the other hand, psychology has helped me tremendously to be a more understanding parent. ACT, in particular, has helped me step back and defuse from all the negative thoughts/feelings triggered by a child’s challenging behaviours and situations.

    So thank you for the interview.

  4. Michelle on June 16, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Loved, loved, loved this session! Thank you both for your honesty, it’s just so refreshing & speaks to me. It’s definitely a podcast that I will put on repeat on many times!!

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