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Episode 12 | May 4, 2021

Tim Dorsey

In this episode, we talk with Tim Dorsey about his battle with cancer, overcoming challenges, and how "doing the reps" and understanding that "everything is everything" can help shift your mindset and change your reality.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No” – the podcast about saying no and setting boundaries so you can become the authentic and empowered you that this world needs.

Reminder: While Sarah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, this podcast is in no way replacement for one-on-one therapy with a mental health professionalIf you are struggling with mental health issues, we welcome you on this journey, but also invite you to seek out professional help.

Looking for a therapist? Here’s a good place to start:

Introducing Tim Dorsey

Tim Dorsey is the owner, operator and trainer of Tim Dorsey Fitness, located in Sandusky, Ohio. He is the proud father of 5 children ranging from (2 to 17) and husband to his incredible wife Kayla since 2014.

When we asked Tim to provide us with a short bio, here’s what he said:

“I am a cancer survivor. A depression survivor. A failure survivor. A self-sabotage survivor. As well as a wooden spoon survivor. If you don’t know what that is…you didn’t have an Irish Mom.”

“I am all about seeking out failure…learning from that failure…reassigning meaning to your failure…finding new obstacles…overcoming said obstacles though trial and error…getting as uncomfortable as possible in a new and unknown life unknown life circumstances…and finding ways to become the greatest version of yourself you’ve ever known.”

During our conversation, we talk about some of the challenges he’s faced, specifically his harrowing battle with nasopharyngeal cancer, and his approach to overcoming them and moving forward.

Some of Our Favorite Quotes from the Conversation

“Cancer was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever been through […] But it wasn’t the first thing that I had to deal with. A lot of things happened in my life prior where I didn’t have the tools, but what I did have was the ability to take a step back, learn from those things, and then take the things that I’ve learned and roll them into the cancer environment.”

“Every time that I [face] adversity and every time that I fail, I have options. My options are I can be troubled by it or I can put things back together and figure it out.”

“If I want to take myself to a different place, if I don’t like the way that things look, I don’t like the way that things are going, if I’m unhappy, you know, if I want to battle my fears, if I want to transcend things, I am one hundred percent in control of that.”

My great ‘no’ has been not doing the things that are expected of me, but rather having courage and strength to do the things that I want to do.”

“It took me a little while, you know, but through trial and error and through experience and through learning and failing very often, I was able to take my [thoughts] into a space where I started saying no to the programmed ideas of ‘this is Tim’s life,’ and started saying yes to the reprogramming of what I want my life to be. When I knew that I didn’t want to do jobs that I hated anymore, I started to reprogram and started to [think], ‘I want to do fitness. I want to I want to change people’s lives. I’m good at it. Motivating people. I would have fun with it. That’s what I’m going to do.’”

“I say ‘everything is everything,’ and, you know, you are the creator of your environment and you’ve got to think of, no matter what you’re attacking, no matter what you’re trying to work with, if you’re giving, you know, bad energy to this but good energy to that and moderate energy to this, you’re just going to stay in that revolving door and you’re not going to be in your in your best position. But if you can treat everything as everything, if you can wake up in the morning and instead of saying ‘shit, it’s Monday,’ if you could wake up and be like, ‘man, I’m breathing today, that’s awesome.’ Or, you know, ‘the sun is out today or, you know, I’m going to be great today. I’m going to be successful today. I can’t wait to do the things that I want to do today.’ If you start saying those things and getting reps in that way, then those reps start becoming your reality instead of doing those negative reps that have been your reality.”

“A lot of people have the hardest time finding their now and living in their now, and instead they live in something that happened an hour ago, two hours ago, a day ago, two weeks ago, a year ago, sometimes 20 years ago. And they live there in that place. And they’re unable to break the bonds of that place. Or their expectations for where they think they should be are so outlandish and high and crazy. Not that it’s crazy that they would want to be somewhere, but it’s that they have the bar set so crazy in a different position. And because they’re not there yet, they’re always beating themselves up about not being there instead of finding a way to recognize and appreciate what’s going on around you right now in this moment, because it is the only thing that you can control. You can’t control what already happened. You can’t predict what’s going to happen in 10 or 20 minutes. You can prep for it. You can’t predict it. So, the only thing that you can really do is find a way to be awesome in your now.”

“I think that you have to live in your now. You have to find a way to find joy in your right now.”

“You have to learn how to cultivate your positive moments. You have to learn how to create your environment. You have to learn how to get the reps in prior to bringing yourself into a position to build the greatest circumstance for yourself. You know, if you don’t do the mental rehearsing, if you don’t do the reps, if you’re not putting it all in […] you could get stuck in that revolving door that we talked about.”

Do what your heart tells you to do and don’t ever second guess your own heart. […] Just do what your heart wants to do and have fun with it.”

“They say the best time to plant that tree is either 20 years ago or right now. And if you don’t plant it right now, it’s not going to grow, you know, down the road. Yeah. So right now is the best time.”

Follow your heart. Fall in love with what you’re doing and, you know, don’t ever go against it.”

Where to find Tim
Credits and Thanks