Motivational speakers often base their coaching on their personal life experiences. This is why when we listen to a coach or public speaker, it is easy to identify with what they say, given they are speaking about life.
This is the case of Dudley Thurmond, also known as Dr. Bounce Back, who is a mindset coach and award-winner public speaker (Toastmasters International) who goes around telling his story to people, in order to help them bounce back and achieve resilience. He does this by sharing his life experiences.
Mr. Thurmond was born into poverty with a hearing impairment. He grew up without a father figure, and was bullied in his younger years due to his disability. From a very young age, he had to learn to bounce back.
As a teenager, Thurmond was meant to become a professional football player, but his lack of educational opportunities held him back from attending a Division 1 College that could allow him to eventually get to the NFL. After attending summer school to raise his grades, he finally got the chance he was looking for. When he got his grades back and realized he had made the cut and could finally play college football, he decided to go to a party and celebrate.
That night Thurmond’s life changed. At the party, he was stabbed with a 3-foot long sword that went completely through his body. Soon after, he was incarcerated. This is when he decided he had to work on his own self to get better, as football was no longer a choice. He went from facing 17 years in jail to only serving a few months, and when he got out he changed his life through resilience.
Mr. Thurmond got involved in a program called Choices, and in a matter of weeks he became one of the program’s top speakers. Now, through Dudley Thurmond Innovations, a speaking and life coaching business, Thurmond uses his past trials and tribulations for the benefit of audiences.
Currently, Mr. Thurmond is raising his two sons as a single father. One is in college playing football with a 4.0 GPA, and the other is in 8th grade also excelling. Besides working as a speaker, he also coaches youth football and has recently released his book, “The Recipe For Resilience”
Speaking to audiences that include youth, young adults, educators and sports organizations, Mr. Thurmond recognizes the importance of mindset and resilience. “I am a mindset coach and most of my deliverables and takeaways are related to mindset.” After all, it was resilience and the change of mindset in the darkest times of his life what saved his life. Here you can hear him talk about finding your inner hero through mindset.
This also applies to life in general, where things like fear can stop you from succeeding. For Mr. Thurmond, however, “fear is the little voice in your mind that compels you to do or not to do”, and in reality, it is “False Evidence Appearing to be Real.”
After years of success, Mr. Thurmond sees success as the realization of a worthy ideal or passion. And regardless of all the hardship he has gone through, he sees himself as his biggest obstacle.
In the growing business of public speaking, Mr. Thurmond understands that all his competitors have also had to endure challenges and setbacks, but that everyone’s story is unique.