How I Beat FONNS (Fear of Nothing New to Say) | Travel Research Online


How I Beat FONNS (Fear of Nothing New to Say)


Sometimes I freeze at the keyboard. I get all fired up to craft an article or create a keynote, and nothing flows. Just prior to settling in, I had great intentions and big ideas. So, why the work stoppage? Occasionally, I suffer from FONNS (aka. Fear of Nothing New to Say).

Have you ever experienced FONNS?

Throughout my career, I have written countless messages of motivation and education. I have been humbled as many times by readers and viewers who expressed heartfelt gratitude after consuming a nugget that triggered life-changing transformation.

What was a common practice to me turned out to be catalyzing to them.



So, can it be that my creativity and insatiable desire to inspire the world is all dried up? No. That’s not what FONNS is. FONNS is when we don’t give ourselves credit for what we know and our capacity to use it to influence others.

I freeze when I fear that what I’ve got to say has already been said by countless others. I freeze when I convince myself that the world already knows a perspective that I am so eager to share.

I end up second guessing my message. Is it trivial? Inconsequential? Redundant? Have I nothing truly new to say?

I’ll answer that with this question: Shouldn’t my reader be the judge of that?

The beautiful people who read my words, hear my podcasts, watch my videos and see me on stage keep coming back for more, which means I must be saying something meaningful.

Over the years, many fine folks have approached me and commented how they had seen me speak before, but this time around they heard something different. Have you ever re-read or re-watched something again and been moved in a new way? I have.

Like you, I view blogs, books, vlogs and podcasts. I am also the consumer seeking motivation and education. And, I find that I don’t mind a little repetition for reinforcement. I am dazzled by totally new concepts I had never considered before. I am totally OK seeing others who deliver similar messages to mine, which confirms that I am on the right track.

If you run a business, sell a service, practice a craft or make any attempt to influence others professionally or personally, you should be writing and recording (at least one or the other).

If you truly feel passion and purpose about something, I bet you’ve got something to say.

If you truly believe it needs to be said, and that it can be positively transformational to the world, then allow it to be heard by the people who need to hear it. Don’t get in your way!

Whether I am creating an article or crafting a keynote, here are my affirming strategies for beating FONNS and feeling confident that something I want to say will be heard and move people in one way or another:

  1. Validation. People love hearing what they already know. Reminders are good! When I reinforce a concept by sharing it in my own words and perspectives, they feel more relevant, righteous, and connected.
  2. Repetition. People love hearing stuff they had forgotten. With so many inputs, we get overloaded with so many how to’s. Good habits die hard but can be resurrected with forgiving, encouraging words.
  3. Inspiration. People love hearing ideas they had never thought of. Just because it seems obvious and trivial to you does not mean it can’t be an epiphany to others.

Got something to say? Take it from me and don’t be intimidated by yourself. Whether it’s business or pleasure, if you seek to be a beacon to others, share it!

Don’t let FONNS freeze you up. Your next message could contain a transformation nugget.



Stuart Cohen, Chief Motivation Officer at

If you can think big, Stuart will help you do big! An accomplished 28-year travel industry executive turned serial solopreneur, Stuart is a creator of brands and an energizing motivational speaker. He motivates & maximizes personal performance in leadership, entrepreneurship, salesmanship & wellness.

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