I have a hearing problem.

I’m not sure when my hearing problem started but here’s what it looks like:

When someone says, “I doubt you can do that,” I hear, “I dare you to do that.”

When someone says, “You’re not qualified to do that,” I hear, “I dare you to work hard and get qualified.”

When someone says, “That will never work,” I hear, “I dare you to try.”

When someone says, “You suck,” I hear, “You’re the worst person ever, you should never write again, you should over analyze everything you do and get frozen by obsessing over one negative comment from one stranger who has never met you, talked to you on the phone or texted with you.”

That last one is still a work in progress. I’ve got reasons I see a counselor. Reasons with an S!

But I fear my hearing problem is getting worse because it’s getting harder and harder to worry about what other people think.

When people told me book tours don’t work, I tried anyway and 3,000 people are daring to build careers they enjoy with me this fall. (Here’s how to get your free ticket.)

Do you have that same hearing problem, too?



  • David Mike
    Posted at 06:24h, 10 September Reply

    Sometimes I hear that you will never be able to do anything other than you’re doing right now.

  • Mark
    Posted at 06:38h, 10 September Reply

    What??? I can’t hear you!!!

    Good reminder Jon. My most negative words comes from an annoying; no, a damning, voice inside myself. And yes, I am learning to not listen.

  • Laura McCurdy
    Posted at 07:01h, 10 September Reply

    Yep! My hearing problem is getting worse the offer I get.

    • Laura McCurdy
      Posted at 07:02h, 10 September Reply

      Yep! My hearing problem is getting worse the older I get.

  • Annie Stephanos
    Posted at 07:35h, 10 September Reply

    I once heard “You are overtly friendly” in a work evaluation. What I heard, at the time was, “you’re too much, you don’t think before you talk, your ideas overwhelm others, in order to fit in you need to change your personality and tone down your enthusiasm.”
    It broke my spirit.
    But then, after seeing the negative source from where it came, I heard something different: “Your passion and drive needs to go somewhere else. I dare you to change me and break my spirit. I’m a force and I have a passion to serve. I’m going to seek a place where that spirit and all that entails is welcome and useful to others.” And I did- and happier, and grateful I heard differently. Thank you, Jon.

  • Fritz Schindler
    Posted at 07:51h, 10 September Reply

    I dare you to move!

    Next, I dare you to get that incredibly catchy and inspiring Switchfoot song out of your head. 🙂 Good luck with that. Or you could just go ahead and sing it all day while doing awesome things. Consider it your motivational soundtrack.

    Here’s a free earworm of awesomeness. You’re welcome. 🙂

  • Alex Widmer
    Posted at 08:00h, 10 September Reply

    Great word of encouragement. I was able to attend the first stop of the tour in Chattanooga and it was awesome!

    One of my favorite quotes of the night was this:

    “If you look at people as just your platform, eventually you will stand on top of them.”

    Great reminder, great wisdom. Keep up the great work and thanks for the encourage words!

  • Bethany Jett
    Posted at 08:27h, 10 September Reply

    Yes – although my hearing problem is when people are negative to me, I hear the things they wish they could say to themselves.

  • JB Hecock
    Posted at 08:17h, 12 September Reply

    I do have that problem. Mine goes a little bit further with taking on a don’t get in my way while I show you what I can do, am made to do, etc. That’s something I have “my people” for to keep me in line! Thanks for sharing and glad I’m not the only one!

  • Liz H. Alexander
    Posted at 13:31h, 14 September Reply

    Yup. I over-analyze everything. Last night I took an online Myers-Briggs test, which said I’m an ISFP, which may explain a few things.

  • Sarah
    Posted at 12:50h, 23 September Reply

    Sounds like your hearing problem is mostly an enviable one. I love your work and am so inspired by you.

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