How to get past your fears!

Some people say to face your fears.  I disagree.  I say to look PAST your fears.

If you face your fears, that means you focus on them.  If you focus on them, they become larger.  They become more real.

Don’t focus on your fears, focus PAST them.

In martial arts board breaking, we don’t focus on the board itself. We focus every ounce of our being a few inches PAST the board.  We don’t focus on the obstacle, we focus past it.

Take a second and visualize that.  Picture yourself about to ‘karate chop’ a board.  To begin with, focus on the board itself.  That board is constructed NOT to break.  It’s hard!  It’s certainly harder than your hand!  You could very easily break bones on it.  At the very least, you’re going to get a really big bruise, some scrapes, and maybe some splinters!  Hey, I’ve seen it happen!

Mentally what will happen is that if you’re focusing on the board, you’re going to automatically stop at the board.  That’s where your focus is!  You’re actually giving the board more power.

On the other hand, picture yourself focusing about eight inches past the board.  Focus on the goal.  The goal isn’t the board itself, the goal is somewherepastthe board.  If you focus on the goal strongly enough, the board loses its power.  You actually blow past the board and barely feel it.

It’s the same thing with our own goals.  Too often we focus on our fears.  We focus on the rejection, or the disappointment, or whatever it may be that we’re afraid of.  By focusing on those, we give them power.

We need to focus instead completely on the goal itself.  Focus on how important it is that you reach your goal. Build your passion about how it will affect your life.  How will it affect others’ lives?  How might it be bad if
you don’t reach your goal?  Whose lives will be affected then?  Feel that emotion, and let it give you strength!  How good will it be when you do reach your goal?  How will that affect your life and the lives of others? Internalize that feeling.  If you focus on your fear less, and your goals more, your fears will fade away.

Let’s do an exercise.  Reach your arm out in front of you, close your fist, and stick your thumb up in the air. C’mon, do it.  Reach your arm out in front of you, close your fist, and stick your thumb up in the air like you’re giving someone a big ‘thumbs up’.

Now, focus completely on your thumb.  Notice that when you do that, the background fades away?  Take a minute and do it right now.

Now, do the same thing; hold your arm out in front of you with a big thumbs up, but this time focus NOT on your thumb, but on the background; Look PAST your thumb and focus on whatever is behind it.  Notice how your thumb goes out of focus?  How it basically fades away?  It’s still there, but if you look past it you can clearly see your goals.

If you look past your fears at your goals, and focus on how important THOSE are, your fears will lesson, and perhaps even fade away completely.

Terry Fossum is a speaker, author, and television personality who inspires audiences to overcome their fears and achieve new levels of performance. Learn more at www.TerryLFossum.

Have you ever reached for a goal… and failed?

Have you ever reached for a goal and failed? If so, read on:

Just before takeoff, the space shuttle would thrust toward the sky with nearly 16 million horsepower of force.  That’s the approximate power of 16 million horses all pulling at the same time!  Yet it goes nowhere.  It can’t go anywhere.  Something is holding it back.  Even with all of that power thrusting it to the sky, with a plan of going into space and traveling at 17,500 miles per hour, something more powerful than all of that is holding it back.

What is this massive power that is keeping the space shuttle from reaching its potential?

Eight relatively tiny bolts.

That’s right: Eight bolts, only about five inches in diameter, hold it from accomplishing anything but making a bunch of smoke and steam.

A launch was an amazing sight: The engines would scream a deafening roar.  The entire shuttle would shake in anticipation. The ground would quake as 12 billion watts of power attempted to propel this 4.5 million-pound shuttle out of our atmosphere.

And still it sat there.


At T minus 0 seconds, small explosive charges were set off in those bolts, and they were blown away.

They could no longer hold back that thing that was meant to soar.  It broke free of its bonds and accomplished the mission it was meant to accomplish.

And in so doing, it made a difference in the world, and inspired millions.

Have you ever felt like the space shuttle at launch?

You have all of these dreams, all of these ideas, all of these things you want to accomplish.

And maybe you’ve tried before.  Maybe you’ve worked hard, put in the blood, sweat and tears to accomplish something, but couldn’t quite get there.

Things seemed to always get in the way.  Setbacks kept happening.

Then, after time, the passion faded, and you find yourself failing to reach your goal… again.

Just like there were eight bolts that held the space shuttle back, there are 8 factors that normally hold people back from accomplishing their goals.

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to share what those bolts are, why they exist, and perhaps most importantly, what you can do about them.

Then, perhaps when you reach for your next goal, you’ll exceed even your highest expectations!

Tune in next time as we explore Bolt #1: Fear

Terry L. Fossum is a keynote speaker, self-made millionaire, leadership expert and author.  Visit his website at, or for booking information, call 509-979-4432 or

Girls in Boy Scouts

As a 45-year Scouter, former Scoutmaster, Vice President for Program for the Inland Northwest Council who represented Boy Scouts of America on a Prime-time network television reality show (and won!), I’m asked all the time about my thoughts about girls joining the Boy Scouts of America, and recently did a quick news story on my way to the airport.  (thus the blue jeans!)  It went viral, so I thought I’d post a link here, so you can see for yourself:



Terry WINS Season 1 of brand-new survival reality TV show on Fox!

The oldest person on the competition (the token old guy), Terry surprised everyone by WINNING Season 1 of Fox’s new survival reality show, Kicking & Screaming, with his novice partner, Natalie Casanova!  Terry represented the entire Boy Scouts of America by wearing his Scoutmaster uniform the entire time on the show.  He’s now traveling across the country speaking to Scouting groups and non-Scouting groups everywhere!

The entire season can still be found on HULU or

Terry to appear in Jungle Survival Reality Show ‘Kicking and Screaming’ on FOX!

Terry Fossum, Kicking and Screaming

Terry Fossum on Survival Reality Show Kicking and Screaming


Do not hate people; hate hatred.

Do not hate people; hate hatred.
Do not look down on others; lift them up.
Don’t search for attributes that make people different; find the commonality.
If we reach out with a fist, we force others to do the same.
If we reach out with understanding, we inspire others to do the same.
Anger creates anger.
Love creates love.
The world has plenty of anger in it.
Foster love.
– Terry L. Fossum

#lovenothate #TerryLFossum Terry Fossum

Foster Love by Terry L. Fossum

BE the man you want your son to be, because he will.

Terry Fossum with wife, Michelle, and Eagle Scout sons Seth and Logan

A dad came up to me the other day and asked if I would work with his son.  It seems his son got caught sneaking a backpack full of booze to school, and was being expelled.   The boy is 15.  It didn’t end there, though.  The complaints were that he was cussing like a sailor, and bullying other kids.

I knew this boy personally.  He was  GREAT kid, with a GREAT heart!  But he was doing all the things he was being accused of doing.

“I’d be happy to talk with your son, I told him, but you have to understand something:  He’s learning it all from YOU!”

That wasn’t what the dad wanted to hear, but it was what he NEEDED to hear, because it was the truth.  The dad cussed continuously, and drank to intoxication often in front of his son.  He often talked aggressively to his son, as well as others.

I’m not saying his dad is bad.  In fact, I actually like the guy!  I just needed to address the way he acted in front of his son.


All too often, we forget that our children look up to us more than anyone in the world.  They may not act like it, but they do.  They are watching every word we say, and every action we take.  Do you complain about people in front of your kids?  Maybe about your coworkers, or other family members?  Then you’re teaching them to talk behind others’ backs.  Do you brag about things you got away with?  Then you’re teaching them to lie.

Now, listen, I’ve always admitted that I’m not perfect.  I drink.  To excess at times.  And my sons have NEVER seen me do it.  I’m former military – I cuss.  My sons have rarely heard me do it.  I try to be honest at all times, even if it hurts me.  And my sons watch every step of the way.

It doesn’t matter how we justify our actions.  No matter how tired we are, or frustrated we are, or anything else.  They WILL be the type of men that WE are.

(for all those who are thinking it, YES, I include moms, and daughters in all this as well)

So that’s my thought for you today.  You ARE setting an example every single minute you’re around your children.  Are you setting the example you’d like them to follow?  Are YOU the type of person you’d like them to be?

THIS is most important of all


Always make time for those who are most important in your life.

Terry L. Fossum
Who will be with you at your deathbed? Who will mourn you most when you’re gone? Whose life will have that hole left in it that only you can fill?

Your boss? Your coworkers? The boys (or girls) at the bar? The people in your club or on your team or, well, whatever?

Don’t get me wrong: All of those people may miss you, but who in your world will miss you the most?

Your spouse? Your children? Your parents? Your TRUE friends?

Then let me ask you this: Why in the world do we spend so LITTLE time with the people who truly mean the most to us, and so much time with those who don’t?

I know, I know: There’s demands on our time. We have to work to pay the bills. There are causes that are important to us that take time. Housework needs to be done.

But guess what: There is no job out there where you’re not replaceable – except for being a parent, or a son or daughter, or a true friend. There is no cause more important in the world than being there for those who are most important to you. The most important housework that needs to be done is making sure your house is truly a home; a home full of love, and discipline, and love. (yes, at least twice as much love as discipline)

This picture was taken by my wife, when she was walking on a trail by a mountain lake, and saw my son and I sitting there, chatting – spending time. When I married into this family of a amazing lady and 3 teenage and preteen sons, I immediately retired so I could focus on helping put a family together, of raising honorable men.

Doing so, I’ve missed out on earning a large sum of money. I’ve missed out on an enormous amount of fame. I’ve missed out on luxury trips, and much more. It truth, I haven’t missed out on a darn thing that means anything. In fact, I’ve gained so much more.

I have a partner that I would do anything for, who would do anything for me. I have sons who are, indeed, growing up to be honorable men. I have some true friends that are always there for me, and know I’ll always be there for them. I have people who will miss me when I’m gone. I have people who will be at my deathbed, and have a hole in their lives that only I can fill.

I have the most important things in the world. And all of that came because I made time with those who are the most important in my life.

Think again: who are those people for you?

Call them up.

Call them now.

Get together with them.

Spend time with them.

Appreciate them.

Make time.



Check it out:

Terry Fossum Center, Rwanda

Excerpts from Terry Fossum’s keynote at the dedication ceremony for the Terry Fossum center in Rwanda, to help train the widows and orphans of the Genocide in marketable skills:


“There are those who would tear down; and those who would build. There are those who would spread hate; and those who would spread love.
There are those who let things happen to them and decide that it is their fate, that nothing can be done about it; and those who, with God’s help, take their fate into their own hands and make good things happen for themselves, and for others.
There are those who lives are but a ripple on a still ocean, those who are tossed about, moving to and fro as the winds and the waves would take them; And those who become a force that can move ships, and change landscapes forever.
In every moment of every day, we chose which of these we will be. It is our decisions, and our actions, that decide who we will be and the difference we will make in the world, if any.
When we’re given hate, will we respond with hate, or will we respond with love? Will we tear down those around us, or ourselves; or will we use our God-given talents and energy to build our world, ourselves, better than ever before?
Will we decide to stop letting others, or circumstances, decide our fate, decide our future, decide our destiny? Will we become all that God has given us the ability to be?
I believe that each and every one of us has the Power given from God himself to make a positive difference in the world around us. I believe He has given us the strength to love, when our weakness would lead us to do otherwise. I believe he’s given the smallest among us, the weakest among us, great power to do Good in the world.
Every single one of us, regardless of our background, our connections, our poverty, or even our abilities, has the power within him or her to change the course of their future forever; to change their family’s future forever; to change their country’s future in a good way that can make better the lives of millions.
We all have this ability. But all too often, we let excuses and self-doubt get in the way. All too often we waste the time that God gave us on this earth, being lazy; doing what is easy instead of what makes a difference.
Time is both a friend and an enemy of us all. Every minute it is ticking closer to the end of our time on this earth. But every minute is also an opportunity if we take it. Every minute can be wasted away, or taken advantage of to make a lasting, positive difference to help those around us, perhaps even those who we will never meet, but will benefit by the fact that we were alive, and we did something positive, something very good, with our lives.

And when your time is up and you face your final Destiny, you will do so with a smile on your face, and warmth in your heart, because you will be able to say to yourself, without doubt, “the world is a better place, because I was in it.”
– Terry L. Fossum