Earl Jones Turned Fear Into Fame Fear -- Feel It and Keep Moving
of us allow our fear to stop us in our tracks. All it takes is
a less than encouraging word, a negative facial expression, or
a less than positive opinion, and we give up before we even get
started. We're afraid of:
word no because it means failure
the word yes because it means responsibility
the disapproving look because it means rejection
the whispers and grins because they mean judgment, and
the absence of support because it means abandonment
look at these five catalysts to failure and how they can be overcome.
: Little James Earl was scared. His father had left the family to
become a prize fighter and actor. His mother had left to earn
money as a tailor. The Great Depression had stolen his family
and he was about to lose the only life he had ever known.
had adopted him and now they were on their way to Michigan.
Though his life in Mississippi had been one of abandonment, it
was all the 5-year-old boy had known. The move to Michigan so
traumatized him he developed a stutter.
day of school was a disaster. His stuttering made his classmates
laugh at him. It was the final straw for a frightened little boy.
He closed his mouth and simply quit talking for eight years!
was completely mute with the exception of conversations
he had with himself when he was all alone. He found solace in
the written word creating poetry to release the raging
in his soul.
A young James Earl Jones finally
overcame his fear of stuttering
with the encouragement of
a sympathetic teacher.
As is often the case, one person who saw beyond his limitations
released James Earl from his self-imposed prison. That one person
was an English teacher who saw talent in the silent 13-year-old.
She pushed him beyond his fear by forcing him into public speaking
insisting he recite a poem in front of the class every
you imagine his terror when he first stood in front of his classmates?
What made him do it? Was it only the teacher's insistence?
No. It was a deep desire to break free from his prison and speak
all the things that had sat silently in his heart during all those
years. He chose to feel the fear and then do it anyway!
Failure: He stuttered. He stammered. He endured the sympathetic and scornful
looks of fellow students. He endured the laughing. But he did
it. He faced the fear and forced himself to speak. Day after day.
Week after week. He hung onto the encouragement of the teacher
who believed in him. And it worked. His stuttering became less.
He learned to control his voice.
His victories made him look for more challenges. James Earl began
to take acting lessons. His early lessons in perseverance gave
him the courage to push beyond the prejudices against black actors.
He chose to take as many different types of roles as he could
stretching his limitations and refusing to be pigeon-holed
by any stereotypes.
James Earl Jones is now known for his deep authoritative voice.
Perhaps you know him as the voice of Star War's Darth Vader, as Mufasa in the Lion King or the booming voice behind the cable news network heralding "This... is CNN".
Today, Jones can also count the entertainment industry's "grand slam" of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards among his many accolades: Emmys for "Gabriel's Fire" and "Heat Wave"; a Grammy for "Great American Documents"; a Tony for the Broadway version of "The Great White Hope" and "Fences"; as well as an Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2011.
at him today and see a confident actor with a deep, resonant voice.
The next time you see him, look deeper. . .
Jones' great secret to success is that he chose to push beyond
his fears. He chose to change the reality of a young boy who had
lived in silence for eight years. He chose to face ridicule and
scorn in order to be free. I can only imagine how many years passed
before he could open his mouth without being afraid of what would
So many of
us let our fears stop us. We're afraid of how we will appear.
We're afraid of what people will think. We're afraid
we'll fail. And so.
. . we do
nothing. We exchange fear for regret.
pass. Fear can be conquered. Fear will fade away in the face of
well, you'll live with that for the rest of your life.
What are you
afraid of ? Name the fear. Choose to face it. And take action
to conquer it today! You, too, can live a life of success by feeling
the fear and moving beyond it.
The story for this article was taken from Ginny Dye’s Daily Secrets