Shut Down the Fear of Success Pt !

Is it ok to be successful? Now and then I love to ask people this question. As a person of faith, I am always amazed how many Christians have a tough time answering that question without qualifying their answer. Many of my more secularly minded friends were less likely to try and qualify their answers. I will talk about that in another article.

Second question; How do you define success?

One of the leading fears I discovered while working on The No Fear Entrepreneur, was the fear of success. I had heard about this, and have had my challenges with this fear.

The Difference Between Fruitful and Unfruitful People

One of the significant differences between people who are fruitful and those who are unfruitful toward a goal. Any little win or small victory seems to fire them up and push them toward their goals and dreams.

People who fear success focus on their lack of success. Any slip-up or misstep seems to fuel their fear of success. They read the blackmail of fear which says something like, “You will never measure up.” This leads them to think, “See, I cannot do this, I am hopeless, I will never amount to anything.” As a result, they lay their life, hope, and dreams on the altar of fear.

While this may seem odd to many, it is a form of self-sabotage that can make things fearful. From getting hired, messing up a relationship, or missing opportunities that come your way, we can sabotage our plans.

Key Thought: Kill Fear

To kill fear, you must identify it, call it by its name, and cut off its fuel source. Rather than passively feeding the fear, you need to get crystal clear about the dream God has given you and make sure you are adding fuel to the fire of your dream!

The fear of success is very much like the fear of failure. Both prevent the individual from achieving their dreams and goals. Many people get so accustomed to this mindset that they convince themselves it is okay to never think about getting ahead in life.

Here are a few of the behaviors of Success-Fearing People:

  • You do not complete your projects at home or work.
  • You talk about what you’re going to do more than what you do.
  • You work as a chicken with its head cut off on several projects at once, not focusing intensely on any of them.
  • Your vision board has the same things on it that it did three years ago.
  • The one consistent thing you do is second-guess yourself. Distraction is your middle name.
  • You don’t think your work is ever quite good enough.
  • And the BIG giveaway –you are on the verge of “success,” and things start going wrong.

If this sounds like you, I bet you are asking, “What can I do about the fear of success?”

The above list represents the classic symptoms of someone who struggles with the fear of success. It’s not that you don’t want to be successful, because you have probably been working your tail off and spent many a night thinking, dreaming, and strategizing. The truth is, if success doesn’t come quickly to you, on an individual level you might not want to succeed or feel you deserve to. These thoughts hide in your subconscious mind and, over time, may have been put there through a variety of life experiences. The good news is, you don’t have to stay in this life-sucking, dream-stealing state. You can change.

To help alter our perspective the Scriptures offer plenty of warning about trusting in riches and the dangers of success. It speaks as often about the positive side of success and the importance of using our gifts, resources, and mind constructively for God’s glory. Psalms 1:3 (NLT) says, “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”

Did you get that last part? The Lord has ordained each of our lives for specific accomplishments. The fear of success can and will hold us back.

Action Plan:

Be ready for my next two posts, one on Wednesday and one of Friday

Check out Jeff Goin’s book Real Artist Don’t Starve, I double dog dare you to get this excellent book.

6 Traits of People Who Fear Rejection

Did you know there are at least six markers of someone who struggles with the Fear of Rejection? Here is a little self-assessment for those of us who struggle with the Fear of Rejection.

A word of caution! Read with the idea of gaining perspective that will help you grow. Please try to avoid beating yourself up if some of these feel a little close to home.

Phoniness: Many people who are afraid of rejection develop a carefully choreographed life. Fearing rejection, people will often live behind a mask. This type of angst can make an individual seem bogus and counterfeit to others and could cause a rigid unwillingness to learn from life’s challenges.

People pleasing: While it is entirely reasonable to take care of the people we love, those who fear rejection often go overboard. This type of people pleasing can lead to burnout. Worst case: People pleasing behaviors can turn into enabling the wrong actions of others.

Unassertiveness: Many individuals who fear rejection go out of their way to avoid confrontations. A common tendency for individuals who struggle with fear of rejection is to simply shoot down their needs or pretend their needs do not matter.

Passive aggressiveness: Uncomfortable showing off their true selves but unable to entirely shut down their needs, many people who fear rejection behave in passive-aggressive ways. They might “forget” to keep promises, complain, and work inefficiently on projects they take on.

Additionally, the fear of rejection often restrains a person from going after their dreams. Putting yourself out there is a frightening experience for anyone, but if you have a fear of rejection, you may feel immobilized, frozen in place. You may feel safer staying in the harbor than leaving for the open sea. If a person chooses to give in to the fear of rejection, it will stop them from approaching their full potential.

As the fear of rejection spins its web around you, it can lead to behaviors that make you seem insecure, ineffective and overwhelmed. You might sweat, shake, fight, avoid eye contact, and even lose the ability to effectively communicate. While people react to these behaviors in a broad variety of ways, below are some of the common reactions.

Rejection: Ironically, the fear of rejection often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. A 2009 study at the University of Florida demonstrated that confidence is nearly as important as intelligence in determining our income level! As a rule of thumb, the lack of self-confidence connected to the fear of rejection makes an individual more likely to be rejected.

When it comes to rejection, many of us blame themselves or others immediately.

Regardless of your background or gender, how you handle rejection is much more important than the rejection itself.

Friday, I will reveal four things you can do to help you deal with the fear of rejection.

Here is a bit of ancient wisdom that is an antidote to the Fear of Rejection.

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. “     Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Action Plan:

First, identify you “go to” way of coping with the Fear of Rejection

Second, take action to push back on it

Excerpt from my Amazon #1 Best Selling Book, The No Fear Entrepreneur.

(c) 2018 John Thurman

How to Overcome the Fear of Failure

deposit photos


Did you know one of the most powerful ways we can push back the fear of failure is to read about and observe how others have overcome this game-stopping fear, glean the lessons they learned, and apply them to our life as appropriate?

Did you know?

Michael Jordan missed more than half of the shots he took. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter author’s story is legendary. She wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the first book of the series) as a struggling single welfare mom and had twelve rejections from publishers. Her first book eventually sold for the equivalent of $4,000.00. She says, “Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure which often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing… Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began diverting all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.”Today, based on her book sales and incredible film series she is now worth over $1 billion dollars.

• Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade and lost every public election he entered until being elected Prime Minister of Great Britain at age 62. “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm…Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Charlize Theron. When Theron was 15, she witnessed her mother shoot her alcoholic father in an act of self-defense. Instead of letting the trauma immobilize her ambition, Theron channeled her energy into making a name for herself. She would eventually become one of the most respected and talented actresses, becoming the first South African actress to win an Academy Award.

Stephenie Meyer. Before the Twilight series broke sales records, she faced the failure of rejection—multiple times. Meyer wrote fifteen letters to various literary agents and received fourteen rejections. Fortunately, one agent took her on and eight publishers bid on the rights to publish her wildly successful series which turned into a highly popular movie franchise.

Vera Wang’s path to becoming the successful designer she is today was by no means conventional. First, Wang, who was a competitive skater in her youth, failed to make the 1968 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team. To the benefit of the fashion industry, this loss of a dream prompted her to take a job as an assistant at Vogue in 1971, where she was eventually promoted to senior fashion editor within a year—at age 23! After fifteen years with the magazine, Wang was passed over for the editor-in-chief position. But she ended up where she needed to be and has become one of the leading fashion designers of all time.

None of these people would have made history if they had chosen to be frozen by failure.

I do not know anyone who enjoys failing. For some people, the fear of failing can present such an overwhelming psychological menace that their incentive to avoid failure exceeds their motivation to succeed. This very personal and intimidating fear of failure causes them to unintentionally sabotage their chances of success in a broad variety of ways.

Here are some practical things you can begin doing today to face your fear of failure!

Stay focused on your “Why.”

To overcome the fear of failure, set your focus on the goal, dream, or outcome that you want to create. The more you focus on the end in mind, the less power you will give fear.

Recognize avoidance patterns, self-sabotaging, and push forward. Once you shift your mindset from being a victim to an overcomer who is in pursuit of your dreams, you are moving forward. When fear holds you, you tend to either avoid or waste time on the mundane things of life.

“Never, never, never quit!”

This famous line comes from Winston Churchill in the early days of World War II.

Churchill was the Prime Minister of England at the time. In those dark days, England was being bombed on a daily basis and civilians were dying throughout the island nation. It was in this context that the following short speech was made on BBC in October of 1941:
Never give in—never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. ~Winston Churchill

One of the keys to winning at anything you do is to be persistent— to never quit.

“Where there is no vision, people perish.” Taken from Proverbs 29:18, this passage points to the truth that if we have no vision, no path, no idea where we want to go, we will never arrive. To push back fear you have to be crystal clear about what your goal or dream is.

Trust Your Dream!

If you believe that the Lord has given you a dream or desire to do something, just do it. If He gave you the dream, He will provide the tools to fulfill it. The secret? You have to open the toolbox and get to work.

Break Your Dreams into Bite-Sized Portions.

To succeed at anything from weight loss to increase your personal productivity, you have to figure out what your goal is and what steps you will have to take to make it happen.

Have a long-term view, realizing that there will be ups and downs. A can-do attitude helps us never give up on the dreams that God has placed in our hearts. Focus allows us to recharge, reinvest, and reinvent ourselves by melting down our fear.

Share Your Dreams and Your Fears.

In my work as a Crisis Response Specialist, I tell people that one of the keys to moving through a traumatic event is to remember that “Pain shared is pain divided; Joy shared is joy multiplied” (LTC David Grossman). When we do this with our trusted friends we will find the courage, faith, and support to push through the fear and go after our God-sized dream.

Patience, Faith, and Friends are Our Best Allies.

Choose to shift into a “growth mindset.” Dr. Carol Dweck, the author of Mindset, spent her life researching the origins of mindsets, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes. Her findings give us two options—a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.

A “fixed mindset” is one in which you believe you are born with a particular set of talents, abilities, and intelligence—all of which are unchangeable. Some people with a fixed mindset may find it harder to experience life change and growth. As a result, a fixed-mindset person fails to develop his abilities and is more likely to give up or become distracted and feel depressed when he fails to make the grade in his own eyes.

A person with a growth mindset begins in a different place. When you have a growth mindset you see yourself and others as more flexible, adaptable, and hopeful. Way down inside, you know the potential for growth and development. With the right motivation, effort, moral compass, and concentration you believe you can become better at almost anything. A person who has a growth mindset doesn’t take failure personally. That individual tends to see failure as an opportunity for growth. If one path doesn’t work, then the person will try another.

As a Christian therapist, I believe the Bible continually teaches the benefit of being growth-minded. I believe God is active in time, space, and history and that He has an active, life-fulfilling plan for each of us. The Bible gives us truth, hope, and stories of those who have gone before us and have found such purpose.
You can overcome the fear of failure by understanding those old triggers and turning them from energy-sapping vampires into life-motivating power that will help you accomplish your dreams.
May you experience His comfort, grace, and strength as your face your fear of failure.
Excerpt from John Thurman’s #1 Amazon Bestselling Book, The No Fear Entrepreneur.

How to Overcome Fear of Failure Part 1


Failure can stir up feelings of disappointment, anger, sadness, regret, frustration, disappointment, and confusion.

Underneath this fear is a deeper fear of shame. People who have a fear of failure are motivated to avoid failing, not because they cannot manage the underlying emotions of disappointment, anger, and frustration that accompany such experiences, but because failing makes them feel a profound sense of shame.

Indicators for Fear of Failure

1. You worry about your ability to go after your dreams.

2. You worry about what others think of you.

3. You feel if people knew you they would reject you.

4. You consistently live in a world of lowered expectation.

5. Once you have experienced failure at something, you have difficulty imagining what you could have done differently.

6. You often get last minute headaches, stomach aches, or other distressing physical symptoms which keep you from finishing the task at hand.

7. Failure makes you doubt your abilities and how smart or capable you are.

So, with all this knowledge, what are practical ways to overcome the fear of failure?

Always remember: regrets are worse than failures. Jack Canfield says it well, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

I love how the scriptures, though thousands of years old speak truth today. If you struggle with fear of failure take a moment and reflect on one of my favorite verses of sacred text.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. 2 Timothy 1:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Action Plan:

Stay tuned, in the next three posts I will give you some examples of people you know who overcame the fear of failure, and the third post will show you some tools and tips that I have used to deal with this nagging issue in my own life.

Go to my website and sign up for my newletter and receive a free chapter of my #1 Amazon Best Selling Book, The No Fear Entrepreneur.


4 Tactics That Will Kill Fear!

Self-observation can be a great use of your time if it leads to positive things and not into self-flagellation.

I’ve spent a significant portion of my working life guiding people through self-observation. In that time, I have discovered far too many people on the edge of a breakthrough in their personal life, their relationships, or their business but who squander the opportunity by over-focusing on self-doubt and fear. The thing that surprises me to this day is that many times they are completely unaware of how their self-talk defeats them. Here is how it usually happens. People say they want something very badly, that they want to change, and theoretically, they would do almost anything to make the change and get what they want.

But when it comes time to turn the key, to take the step, it is an entirely different story. For many, when it is time to take action, they get cold feet and either pause or back out and fail to do what they need to do to get the results they want. Why? The usual suspect is the inner self-doubting voice that has them questioning every move they make in experiencing the changes they want to engage.

Would you like to learn practical, concrete ways to push back fear? Here are four methods you can implement to press fear back.

1. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

My wife Angie is no fan of heights. She would do almost anything legally to avoid heights. However, my wife is a strong woman who does not like to admit defeat. She is involved with an excellent direct service company called Premier Designs Jewelry, and in the year of her sixtieth birthday, she had qualified for a free Caribbean cruise.

One evening, as we were preparing for the journey and looking at different adventures and excursions, she said, “I want to go tandem parasailing at Grand Cayman.” I was surprised and yet readily agreed. She went on to say, “I know I need to take action to push back the fear, so let’s do this. I am also going to tell some of my close girlfriends what my plan is. That way, I will have positive peer pressure that will hopefully keep me from chickening out.”

The day came, and with tons of encouragement, we hopped on the boat and headed out. After watching some other couples take the ride, it was our turn. The air was warm; the breeze was gentle as we slipped into the harness. Within a few seconds, we were gently lifted off the deck, and the winch began to unwind. After a minute or two, we were soaring 400 feet above the water. As we floated, talked, and took it all in, it was inspiring to see the radiance in Angie’s face as we looked down on our cruise ship from our airy, highly-harnessed perch in our parasail.

When we landed on the deck of the boat, a couple of our friends gave Angie hugs and high-fives. When all of us returned to the ship that evening, Angie’s accountability partners and friends were overjoyed at what she had done and listened intently to her story.

When you feel the fear, call it what it is, and face it, friends will come alongside to pray with you, encourage you, and walk with you.

All of us experience fear from time to time. What separates people who discover success in their lives and those who give permission for fear to hold them back is the willingness to act in spite of the fear.

2. Make no apologies—no excuses.

As a young cadet at Georgia Military College in the late 60’s, I came under the influence of a seasoned warrior, Command Sergeant Major Scott, one of our military instructors. He was quite a character, soft-spoken but a veteran of WWII, the Korean Conflict, the Dominican Republic Action, and two tours in Viet Nam. When he spoke, everybody listened because of the respect we had for this leader. He was full of pithy quotes, and one I remember to this day is: “Men if you are looking for an excuse, anyone will do. Just remember you are accountable for the decisions you make.” I have to admit, as a young man, it didn’t make much sense at the time, but over the years, I have come to appreciate the wisdom he shared.

While some call them “reasons,” people stop themselves all the time using rationalizations and excuses. The top reasons, particularly in the direct sales business, go something like this: “I don’t have time;” I don’t know anybody;” My friends and I are too busy.” This list goes on.

As Command Sergeant Major Scott said, “When looking for an excuse, anyone will do.”

People will use excuses like a trap door or an ejection seat—an escape usually based on self-doubt.

One of the ways to have more of what you want and what God wants in your life is to push back fear and self-doubt. To do this, you will need to hone the skill of developing a “no excuses” approach.

So, how bad do you want to change? You can either have “reasons” or life-changing results. The choice is always yours.

3. Be willing to move outside of your comfort zone.

I have to admit, I honestly admire the wild success of Taylor Swift, but I would never want to be a former boyfriend. In an interview a couple of years ago she was asked about another famous singer who consistently pushed her comfort zone.

Swift said, “One element of Madonna’s career that really takes center stage is how many times she’s reinvented herself. It is easier to stay in one look, one comfort zone, one musical style. It is exciting to me to see someone whose only predictable quality is being unpredictable.”

Here are some other quotes that will help you think about this:

Taylor Swift:

“You have people come into your life shockingly and surprisingly. You have losses you never thought you’d experience. You have rejection, and you have to learn how to deal with that and how to get up the next day and go on with it.”
“I think fearless is having fears but jumping anyway.”

Joel Olsteen:

“I want to challenge you today to get out of your comfort zone. You have so much incredible potential on the inside. God has put gifts and talents in you (that) you probably don’t know anything about.”

Bruce Wilkerson

“It’s when you begin to think about going to your dream that your dream is always outside your comfort zone. It is always just beyond what you have ever done.”

Adventurer Bear Grylls:

“Adventure should be 80 percent ‘I think it is manageable,’ but it’s good to have 20 percent where you are just outside of your comfort zone. Still safe, but outside your comfort zone.”

Let’s face it, most of us avoid discomfort with a passion. If you want to progress in your personal life, your relationships, and your business, you will have to become more familiar with being out of your comfort zone—for a short time. Will it be scary? Yes, but it will not kill you, and it may even make you a better person.

The key question is—are you willing to exchange short-term discomfort for a better life, richer relationships, and a more successful enterprise? If the answer is yes, are you willing to push back the self-doubt and move beyond your comfort zone?

Yes? Here is some great news: blessing, joy, and opportunities will increase. So get ready!

4. Just do it!

The biggest difference between daydreaming and having a big dream in action!

Wishful thinking will never get you there. You must engage, take a risk, lean into the self-doubt and fear.

You have to “rise from the doubts and fears and walk.” This is the place where the phrase “If it is to be, it is up to me,” kicks in. This is the “grown-up” location where you declare to yourself that you are solely responsible for your life, and you accept the fact you cannot blame others for the choices you have made. Time and time again, this is the place where our negative self-talk, which fuels self-doubt and fear, causes us to question everything and keeps us from taking action. I call it decision constipation. This fear and self-doubt are at the bottom of self-sabotage.

Getting a higher and wider vantage point around moving forward with your life starts with a decision. Once you have made that decision, it is time to get down to work and make it happen.

My pastor, Todd Cook, of Sagebrush Community Church in Albuquerque recently introduced a song by Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum, in his introduction he shared the following story.

Scott recently had to carry a tough burden of her own, having experienced a miscarriage. As a result of working through the pain of the loss, she made peace with it in the months ahead and penned the poignant tune, “Thy Will.” The song appears on a gospel album she recorded with her family called Love Remains, which was released in July 2016.

This was not Hillary Scott’s first challenge.

Did you know that before she joined Lady Antebellum, she auditioned twice for American Idol but failed to make it to the judges’ round? After those two failed attempts she, along with Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, founded Lady Antebellum and the rest is chart-making history.

Grit, tenacity, resilience, no matter how you label it you can choose to move through fear and become a more intentional, purpose-filled person. The key? Have a Why and a Dream that is more powerful than your fears.

Here is a piece of ancient literature that will comfort you.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NLT

I think this song by Zach Williams says it all.


Quit living in denial, acknowledge your fear, and with God’s help move through it.

4 Actions You Can Take Overcome Fear


“Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them,” Brendan Francis.

Here are some steps I adapted from The Art of Manliness: 29 Days to a Better Man: Conquer Fear.

Change Your Perspective On Fear

Fear is only negative if you think it is. Fear is a natural process that if left unchecked will cause us to live timid, restricted lives. Truthfully, in life, there is zero growth without risk. Instead of pushing back fear as an all-consuming, nerve-racking experience, see it as an adventure, a journey that will take you out of your comfort zone and into a whole new life and bring a sense of joy and adventure. If you have ever conquered a fear, you know it can be exhilarating. So why don’t you try and scare yourself just a little today? You might like the outcome.

Adjust Your Perspective On Risk

The honest taproot for many of our fears is the fear of trying something and failing. What if I get rejected? What if I fail? Well, you could, but you will never know until you try. If you don’t take the risk, you will never know, and you are guaranteed to fail.

This might be uncomfortable for you, but my mission is to challenge you. In making such a decision, you are leaving out the possible long-term risk, a risk that could be far greater than a risk to your ego. The long-term risk is the danger of living an entirely average life. The risk is looking back on your life in 10, 20, or 30 years and feeling your stomach turn with regret and remorse.

The primary reason we miss opportunities God sends our way is fear. It is sad to say that when you miss a chance because of your fear, you will never get that moment back again.

Maybe it is time for you to update your risk criteria.

Act with Courage

Teddy Roosevelt put it this way: “There were all kinds of things of which I was afraid of at first, ranging from grizzly bears to ‘mean’ horses and gun-fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be scared.”

Think about some of the men and women of the Bible who acted courageously: Ruth, Esther, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Gideon, David. And how about other historical figures?

SFC Leigh Ann Hester, Silver Star, American Hero.

I doubt you have heard of this hero. Sergeant now Sergeant First Class Leigh Ann Hester was the first female to win the Silver Star in the Iraq War. This was later upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross. Here is an excerpt from the citation:

After insurgents hit the convoy with a barrage of fire from machine guns, AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, Hester “maneuvered her team through the kill zone into a flanking position where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M203 rounds,” according to the Army citation accompanying the Silver Star.

“She then cleared two trenches with her squad leader where she engaged and eliminated three AIF [anti-Iraqi forces] with her M4 rifle. Her actions saved the lives of numerous convoy members,” the citation stated.

Here are other, more well-known people who overcame fear and became world renown in their field:

Colbie Caillat, Singer.

This artist is one of my personal favorites. I enjoy her style, attitude, and lyrics. She is a two-time Grammy winner with over six million albums and 10 million single sales to her credit. Also, she was a two-time loser on [the television show] American Idol.

Reflecting back, she said, “I was shy, I was nervous. I didn’t look the greatest. I wasn’t ready for it. I was glad when I auditioned, and they said ‘no.’“

Kill Fear With Faith-Filled, Logical Thought Processes

Fear is usually a function of lack of confidence and low self- esteem. Many people are afraid because they think they will fail. But if they do it anyway—if they try to overcome their fear instead of letting their fear limit them—they find they can do it. Fear should not keep us from working.

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear;What can mere man do to me? Psalm 118:6 (NKJV)

Think on this as we begin the freedom-from-fear journey together. Fear receives way too much airplay. Fear is the big bad boogeyman that grows by negative, contemplative thoughts that are re-runs of painful past events.

Fear is primarily mismanagement of our mental capacities.

Action Plan

Be sure to check out the final installment of how to overcome fear coming this weekend.

Fear and Public Speaking

In a recent survey published in my new book, The No Fear Entrepreneur, I found that of those who completed the project, 64.4% stated that fear of public speaking was one of their primary fears.

Why on earth would an individual feel such a deep, gut-wrenching, and sometimes almost incomprehensible fear of public speaking? Before we trivialize this fear, that individual who fears public speaking may fear the loss of identity that attaches to performing poorly, and that is very deeply rooted in our core survival needs.

In trying to understand the roots to this type of fear as well as some of the irrational spaces that this fear can take us in our heads, I discovered that Gavin De Becker had provided some vital understanding to this common, deep fear.

Here is what he said in his book, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence.

For all social animals, from ants to antelopes, identity is the pass card to inclusion, and inclusion is the key to survival. If a baby loses its identity as the child of his or her parents, a possible outcome is abandonment. For a human infant, that means death. As adults, without our identity as a member of the tribe or village, community or culture, a likely outcome is banishment and death. So the fear of getting up and addressing five hundred people at the annual convention of professionals in your field is not just the fear of embarrassment—it is linked to the fear of being perceived as incompetent, which is connected to the fear of loss of employment, loss of home, loss of family, your ability to contribute to society, your value, in short, your identity and your life. Linking an unwarranted fear to its ultimate terrible destination usually helps alleviate that fear. Though you may find that public speaking can connect to death, you’ll see that it would be a long and unlikely trip.”  Gavin De Becker.

Doesn’t that rock the way you might be thinking about the fear of public speaking. In my opinion, he captures the essence of how far irrational thinking can take a person if it goes unchecked.

De Becker’s insight has cause me to think and at the same time has re-affirmed my understanding that irrational, unfounded fears can stop you dead in your tracks.


Action Plan:

With that in mind, rather than give you an “Steps to Overcoming the Fear of Public of Public Speaking,” I would like for you to offer some solutions. Here is the question, What are some ways that a person can overcome their fear of public speaking?

I am looking forward to your wisdom through your comments.






Six Steps to Getting Unstuck


One foot in front of the other
All that we have is each other
One foot in front of the other

Walk the Moon

Have you ever felt stuck?

You started off the year with new goals and refreshed dreams somewhere along the way you became distracted, bogged down, and may be disengaged.

I have experienced seasons like that in my life. It wasn’t like I intended to get stuck or drift off course, but it happened.

If this sounds familiar you have only three choices:

  1. Live in denial and pretend like everything is fine.
  2. Quit, give up on the goal, the dream, the vision.
  3. Re-engage, begin to move forward again.

It’s funny how life will send you little reminders if you are paying attention. A few weeks ago I was on the road to a speaking event with the leadership team of the Gila National Forest in Southern New Mexico when some great lyrics caught my attention. It was a song by the group Walk the Moon titled One Foot in Front of the Other.

The lead vocalist, Nick Petricca in a Rolling Stone interview noted, “The song is about starting out into the unknown, being faced with uncertainty and what could be an uncertain future and to take the first step anyway.”

Petricca’s words remind me of the words about faith in the New Testament book of Hebrews 13:1, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is evidence of things we cannot see.” NLT

The resonating theme to me in this catchy tune is the theme that one has to keep moving forward, taking one step at a time, one step in front of the other.

I believe that this is one of the key components of resilience which is the ability to resist the manifestations of clinical distress, impairment, or dysfunction that are often associated with acute stress, upsetting life events, and personal trauma.

So is it time to get unstuck? Is it time to refocus? Is it time to use your resilience muscle?

If you are sick and tired of being stuck and you don’t want to live in denial or give up, I have some excellent news for you! I have six things that you can begin doing as soon as you finish this article that will give you some energy to start moving forward again.

  1. Quit staring in the rearview mirror of your life. Quit focusing on the past, let go of it. If you need help with this, see your spiritual leader or get therapy.
  2. Don’t be distracted by the bugs on your windshield, change your perspective.
  3. Begin by taking baby steps. Avoid you little inner perfectionist voice and take action.
  4. Consider your purpose on this planet. Hint: It’s not your job, it’s that thing that makes you tick, your passion.
  5. Believe in yourself. You are a unique person that is fearfully and wonderfully made. You have a unique blend of talents and gifts. Rather than doubting yourself, I want to you make a gratitude list, once you finish this article. In that list, I want to you write down some of this gifts and abilities and be grateful for them. Refuse to sabotage yourself with deep-seated fears and false beliefs.
  6. Change your thinking patterns, and you will change your life and outcomes. Incidentally, I have a free twenty-minute online course that you can sign up for today. It will give you the secret to managing your thought life in such a way as to improve your health, relationships, and business outcome.

Call to action:

Pick two of these and begin moving forward.

Sign up for my 20 minutes “Brain Tricks” Class

If you need to, talk to a professional. It might be your pastor, a therapist, or even me. I do offer Life Management Consultations.

Feel free to leave a comment, or sign up for my by clicking the banner at the top.

Be Blessed,


Recalibrate or Stagnate: The Choice is Yours!

How are those New Year’s resolutions going? In the interest of full disclosure, I am at about 60%, which, at least for me is not too bad.

The New Year is a time when so many of us consider making some changes in our lives; some people are looking to make some small changes others are looking to recalibrate, to reinvent themselves.

On the downside 80% of us will abandon most of those resolutions by mid-February, but what about the 20% that do keep them. So what are some ways to maintain those decisions, to recalibrate?

Resolution makers who have a measure of success move from thinking about making some changes to doing what it takes to make them hold. They intentionally move from a contemplative stage to an action stage.

Most of us have excellent ideas, ideas that will work. It might be to write a book, start a business, make some personal changes, or to suggest some changes in the workplace. The issue is that most of used a pretty lousy job of doing what it takes to execute those ideas. I know in my life, this has been an area of struggle.

I recently read an excellent article on by John Manshi titled, Only Three Ways to Reinvent Yourself.
He says, “When you are looking to reinvent yourself, you need to realize that you only have two choices, change or die. I will not be physical death, but the death of a vision, or the end of a dream.”

Manshi discusses three types of reinvention, recalibration and they are the reactive reinvention, the proactive reinvention, and the reflective reinvention.

In my personal and professional life, I have experienced all three of these. Some of these recalibration phases were very difficult resulting in job loss, a dynamic loss of income and some short-term personal challenges. Other recalibration phases have led to positive, kinetic changes in my life, business, and marriage. I hope that some of my life experience, as well as my years of working as a professional counselor, will give you some insight and tools to help you make the changes, rekindled the dreams and move forward.

In this series, I am going to show you how each of the recalibration strategies work and how you can take this information and continue to make the positive changes in your life, your business and your relationship.

So, what will you choose to do? Will you choose to stagnate or recalibrate?

Let me give you a personal invitation to join my email list to follow me in this series.

Renew Your Vision, Revive Your Mind #4


Stop Making it All About You
By John Thurman

You can look at any of the photos of me on this website and see that I am not bald, but am follically challenged. As a matter of fact, my wife says, “You are not bald, you are just a solar powered love machine. Well, isn’t that a unique response?

One of the reasons that I am this way is because, sometimes I tend get tripped up on this particular stinking thing style. When I do, I slap myself on the forehead and go duh. That is why am balding.

This next one can be tough, but I believe you can push it back.

Me, Me, Me

The third trap is believing you are the only cause of every problem you encounter. I see many of my counseling client get stuck in this trap. Each one believes he or she is the sole problem in every relationship. Everything that goes wrong is his or her fault. 

Some people are so Me, Me, Me that they blame themselves for a bus accident in Bangladesh. They think if they had prayed more or harder or better, then the crash would not have happened.

A person who turns every event inward sucks the life out of those around him or her. However, this is contrary to everything the apostle Paul teaches in Ephesians 2:1-13 (NLT).

This Scripture passage shows us a proven way out of the stinking thinking trap of thinking that everything is our fault. The key verse for overcoming this trap is verse 10: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” The challenge for a growing believer is to realize this truth and to be active in allowing it to transform his or her life.

If you believe you are the sole cause of every problem you’ve ever encountered, the action step is to look outside yourself. Ask yourself how others and/or circumstances may have contributed to the situation. (c) 

(c) 2014 John Thurman