Facing The Fear: Promise to Self


In the movie “The Wizard of Oz”, little Toto the dog discovers the all and powerful Oz behind the curtain.

Oz is freaked, tells them “Don’t mind the man behind the curtain!!!”

Well, I’m no Oz great and powerful, but here on this blog I pull the curtain back willingly with the intention of giving you a glimpse behind the make believe that is our social media appearances and perfect little lives, so that you catch perhaps something familiar in my vulnerability.

As the funny guy on stage, who then takes the audience to a place of authenticity and surprise with insights unexpected, here is my soul and greatest challenge, bare for your bravery to kick in where mine lacks.

On my Calendar lives a “To Do” that is so imposing, so terrifying, so Raptor, that it has crippled me for years.

Yes, I have had the same daily To Do on my calendar for years with no end in sight.

Daily I return to bed disappointed that I didn’t even try to tackle this To Do.

I feel pathetic every night I lay me down to sleep, no matter if I got a standing ovation for thousands of people in an arena, or if I landed the dream event I’d worked so hard to get.

Truth is, everything on planet earth can keep me from doing this one To Do, including easy tasks (such as scrolling social media, watching and critiquing friend’s videos to help them improve their speeches, mowing the lawn and doing the dishes) to the toughest and sometimes least interesting of tasks (like working out daily, setting up and fulfilling conference calls & podcast interviews, and even, once in a while, the challenge of writing this very blog!).



Yet none of it compares to the beast that is my daily To Do that never gets done.  Even when I’ve set aside the time, blocked off weeks on end, I can still scare myself away from this one task…

The Book.

Yes, you heard me.

Writing my Book.

I have a good 5 books in note form, ideas, recordings, strategies, launch programs, and have even sometimes counted the brilliance of it as a finished product before I’ve even written the outline.

The Book.

You’ve probably seen me talk about writing it for years.

Truth is: It’s nowhere in sight.

And then I see what my friends are doing.

Killing it!  They just published their own book!  And I’m thrilled, of course.

But then, quickly, the pang of jealousy creeps in.  Not that they have a book, but that I don’t have mine done yet.

And it hurts.

Every. Single. Day.

I have clients asking me at every event if I want to sell my book.

I have people asking me weekly online, in messages and emails, where can I buy your book.

There’s not a book.

It’s in my head.

If I die tomorrow it literally dies with me.

The Promise to Self is to face the deepest fears.

Why can’t I just write the book?



Stephen Pressfield calls it, in his masterpiece, “The War of Art”, the simple word: Resistance.

In other words, I’ll do anything BUT write my book.

That’s true, and that’s painful.

And I bet, as bummed as I am about this fact, and as embarrassing as it is to write this blog and post this truth to you, that you too have a To Do item on your calendar like I do.

Something that is so daunting, so crippling, so terrifying, you can’t face it.

Well, I have an answer for you.

This week I am facing the fear.

I actually need to get a few hours of work out of the way, in order to feel secure my business won’t go under, and then I go for a very long walk, and I listen to books written by my friends.  On Audible, I listen with the intent of having enough courage to go sit down in my office and just write even for one hour.

Truth is, this process is working.  It still makes me sick to my stomach, this attempt to write and the fear that it either won’t be a book anyone will read, or just simply that it will not be good.

That’s the whole fear.

It’s only when I get over the fear of how it will be received by some, and rejected by others, that I find the bravery to sit and write.

And once I begin writing something magical happens – I enjoy it.

And it is my favorite thing in the world to do.

Think of that!  My greatest fear is actually my favorite thing to do, and yet I am terrified to begin each and every day.

You would think I would wake up so excited to write it that I can’t sleep.

Nope.  Instead I suffer, and I sweat, and I shame myself all day into facing the fear of writing what I don’t want to die within me.

And then I have page after page and I’m happier than I’ve felt in years.

So there you have it.  My greatest fear in my business.  Not speaking to thousands of people, not wondering if and when the next gig might appear.  Nothing compares to actually sitting down and writing my book.

And I promise you, this book is hatching.  Is it great?  I have no idea.  I’m not self-editing or censoring it.  I’m just writing as if I’m clawing at a cliff I’ve wanted to climb my whole life and I’ve finally begun.  Am I slipping to my death or ascending?

Yes.  Both.  It’s bizarre.  But it’s real and it’s incredible, terrifying and exactly what I need to teach The Promise to Self.

What’s lived on your To Do list that is crushing your soul?  If you don’t have one I recommend putting it on the calendar, and doing all you can to begin to face that fear that will drive you to the next level.

I know I’ve just arrived at mine.

God Bless.


Leadership Expert * Author * Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer

The Promise: Become a Legendary Leader and discover your Signature Moves


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11 thoughts on “Facing The Fear: Promise to Self”

  1. Jason – you only know how to do “great”. So just be you … write as if you were talking … and it will be great! I’ve been religiously following your weekly emails and click the occasional video … you are so heart centered that I don’t think you can be any other way. Will everyone love your book – no … but those of us who love you will love your book – because it is an extension of you. And isn’t the book really for your kids? To pass on the lessons you’ve learned? You can’t lose! Stop worrying and finish the book for your kids. Just a thought from someone on the outside looking in. 🙂

    1. Way cool of you Bonnie to send such an encouraging note, means a lot to me. Thank you and you’re right!

  2. I can totally relate!! EXCEPT that I’m not yet a great speaker like you who has the opportunity to influence thousands of people at a time…and a standing ovation? I’m not sure engineers and contractors even know that is a thing (if I ever get good enough that they think I deserve it).
    But the book….I am TOTALLY with you!! It’s in my head, I try to write when I am long flights and I’m trapped (I bought a new ipad specifically to write my book on my trips to Japan and Thailand this year) but I just can’t seem to get it out.
    Thanks for your thoughts, thanks for being vulnerable. It gives me hope that if YOU the amazing writer that you are, who is the most consistent blogger that I know and YOU are struggling..it gives me hope 🙂 Hey maybe we should have a competition and race to see who can get their book done first. Game on?

  3. Yessss!!! My book is killing me!! A slow, painful, tortured death!! Thanks for sharing so I know I’m not the only one in this place of fear, resistance, whatever the crap is keeping me from writing it…
    I’ll join the race with you and Sydne!! How about a book accountability group?! Gah!!

  4. Once again, I appreciate your authenticity. It does help that you are inspired from above and that you are simply being a conduit of what is supposed to be out there in the world.
    I can hardly wait to read it!!!

    As the Native American saying goes…”Whenever you get there is the right time”

  5. Camille Callahan

    My book is now on Amazon. I’m getting it printed in Mexico because that’s where the “job house” is right now. Starting truly can be the challenge. I interviewed a playwright for the book (I love his story, but in the end he would not give me permission to use it). He said if you want to write, you have to do it every day, even just for 15 minutes. It’s so true. Just a little gets it going, and like you, once I start, I don’t want to quit, but starting is so hard!

    1. So true, it is so challenging. I finally finished mine and in the hands of the publisher and editors. Can’t wait to see it ready to go for myself and readers, and excited to see yours as well!

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