the inspiration blog

Hard choices, vulnerability and embracing failure

Posted on: October 29, 2014

You may have recently seen me announce a 3-day workshop in November called WholeSpeak Core Intensive: Speak with Power and Presence. I was looking forward to leading this transformational event that teaches my proven methods to transform fear and nervousness into presence and confidence, as well as all public speaking essentials, with the support of my fully-trained WholeSpeak coaches. Having coached public speaking for decades, I know the power of the WholeSpeak Method: it not only teaches incredible skills – it also consistently changes lives.

And yet, I’ve had a hard time putting the word out. Every time I went to do it, I stopped in my tracks. Inside, the message was “No. Wait. Not right now.” While I truly was looking forward to a transformative 3 days, another part of me was saying no. As difficult as it was, being a man of my word who is committed to follow-through… I finally listened. I called the venue, all of my WholeSpeak coaches, and those who were thinking of coming, and said: the intensive will happen later, but not now.

What happened? Well, here’s the truth: recently I’ve felt like I haven’t fully living my purpose, and I can’t keep doing that. Let me briefly explain.

I’ve known since a young age that I’m on the planet to create transformation: all of my work (be it theatre, coaching, workshops or my writing) is for that purpose. Now, when people get help from me with public speaking, they’re definitively receiving professional skills… and also are stepping more fully into their authentic, fully alive selves.

However, primarily coaching public speaking has felt off-target… like a disguise for what I really do. All of my being is screaming for me to step into more overtly offering my work as intentional personal transformation, not solely as a professional development skill.

This isn’t new: I have taught performance-based workshops focused on personal growth since 2006, even before I founded WholeSpeak. And my Masters’ theses for both of my graduate degrees even helped me create a unique theoretical foundation, as well as a methodology.

I call this body of work “The Performance of Your Life.” It excites me to no end… and includes many teachings that are so dear to my heart, like workshops on Presence as well as the Art of Connection. There’s a lot more to say about it later… this email is really not intended to market it. I just wanted to come out and say what’s been going on.

Even though I’m known for being up-front and very open, sending this out (instead of just not saying anything, and quietly canceling it) was a scary choice, but felt important to do. During the past several years, I haven’t had a single “failure” (although my earlier coaching years were another story). And yet, I teach my clients to embrace failing – because taking risks is how we grow. Ironically, in this case, postponing the workshop was the bigger growth opportunity: it would have been better business-wise to do it as planned. But I made the difficult choice to risk disappointing a lot of people, and to heed the calling of my inner voice.

Note: if you’re in my community because you want to find confidence and unparalleled skills in public speaking, do not worry: that will still be offered, through coaching, workshops and online trainings. It’s not going away, and I’ll announce new opportunities for learning this soon.

And, if you were looking attending the November WholeSpeak Core Intensive but hadn’t been in touch yet, please email me back. There are other training options available (like coaching, online trainings, and small groups), and we’ll find the right one for you.

So, that’s my news… and now, I’d like to ask you:

What are you doing that isn’t feeling aligned? Are there aspects of your work you’re really done with?

What do you love that you aren’t doing? What calls to your soul right now? 

And, is there a way you can celebrate risk-taking and “failing” more?

I’d love to hear from you. Would you answer one or more of these questions below as a comment? Share, and join me in being “out” what what is really going on – and get support.

Warm wishes,



13 Responses to "Hard choices, vulnerability and embracing failure"

Thank you for your authenticity and vulnerability. I appreciate your honesty and that you are following your truth.
I am opening more and more to the spiritual path, my work and choices are more in alignment with my truth and sharing my message and light. As I am privileged to touch more people my inner glow is becoming more radiant drawing more people in. The flow is magical and I am feeling blessed and so incredibly grateful.

Thank you for this sincere share, Jonathan. Your questions make me remember that I want to be singing, every day, by myself and with a group. I want to be performing with a group. Anybody know of any opportunities?

Karen, where are you located? I assume you’d want a local group. Sounds great!

I get you. Been doing spiritual psychotherapy for quite a while now. Would really like to quit the therapy part and do the energy part. Bring people into an experience of Spirit and all the wonderful beings who are there helping us. Had a thought today to hold a meeting inviting all those on other dimensions and those in this dimension who feel it. A Gathering of Light celebrating our commonality, our joy in being together, recognizing each other. I think I’ll put that together. Thanks for giving me the space to say it!

That’s wonderful, Ann! I hope you jump into it. Keep me updated!

Thanks for being open with us, Jonathan.

In answer to your questions, I actually feel very aligned these days: facing some major fears, in the process of publishing my first novel and started a new job that excites me.

I’ve been clearing the decks for these things, and trying to do them with reverence, gratitude and humility, and am discovering a lot of support. Do you have any advice for me?



Thanks for writing, Diana. That’s great to hear you’re doing some big stuff!

Just to be clear – are you asking for advice around clearing the fears arising?
If so, here are some of my favorite modalities:
– The Emotion Code
– Voice dialogue / parts work – letting the fear speak and honoring it
– EFT / Tapping
– Metta / lovingkindness practice with the part that’s afraid.
I work with my clients all the time around fear coming up – so I do these myself, and some with my clients too. Hope that helps.

This took real strength and courage! Thank you for being true to yourself and sharing your personal journey with all of us.

Way to walk your talk and speak your truth Jonathan! I’m with you!

Dear Jonathan,
My immediate thought after reading your email was, “We need to talk.” I’m a voice coach, also, and had an epiphany like you had—wanting to do more than help people become authentic, compelling speakers. And that’s what I’m doing.
If it appeals to you, please feel free to contact me; we are kindred spirits it seems, and I’d be glad to support you as a colleague.
And the most important thing is this: Good for you, honoring yourself!!! That is fantastic! It sounds like other inner voices in you have much to say and that you are listening. Wonderful.
Nicki (McClusky)

Boldness and beauty in the space of truth. Thank you for reminding me to be bold because the truth always sets me free whether I’m ready to tell it or not! I continue to appreciate you Johnathan! Be well…Ana!

Thank you, Ana! So appreciated, and great to hear from you!

i wish to be exercising, strengthening stretching relaxing and loving my body.

I wish to be doing art again. Stained glass has stayed on that table half done for three months. Wish to have a studio and be around other artists.

I wish to have less stress teaching kids.

I wish to find a Solemate who will love me forever and I will love too. And travel together and do all the little things that create joy with couples.

All the best on your journey.

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