Aug. 19, 2021

Sylvester McNutt’s Comeback Story - Telling The Full Story

Sylvester McNutt’s Comeback Story - Telling The Full Story

Sylvester McNutt III brings some hardwon and deep wisdom to the podcast. From a childhood where he faced death down the barrel of a gun held by the hands of his father, to nearly being expelled in high school and turning his behavior around and...

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Sylvester McNutt III brings some hardwon and deep wisdom to the podcast. From a childhood where he faced death down the barrel of a gun held by the hands of his father, to nearly being expelled in high school and turning his behavior around and becoming a model student, to the simple yet powerful lesson he learned about love in a brief conversation with an elderly lady on the streets of LA.

  • Sylvester describes his childhood with one simple word: colorful. His father was in the military and his family moved around quite a bit. As he got older, Sylvester was able to appreciate the duality of his early life where his father was a great leader but a poor teacher, and his mother was an excellent teacher but not the most loving mother. 
  • Around the time his brother and sister were born, the entire family dynamic changed from healthy and happy to violent and unhealthy. He sensed the changes but didn’t really have the language to describe so he got into sports to cope.
  • Sylvester actually stole his first journal from a 7/11. As difficult as his childhood became, it launched his deepest curiosity.
  • One of his earliest memories of pain was when he faced death directly because of his father. That’s when he developed a deep mistrust of his parents.
  • The consequences of the constant disruption and mistrust were anger issues. This led to Sylvester getting into a number of fights in school until a teacher directed that anger towards sports.
  • Another important teacher in Sylvester’s life was his Assistant Principal in high school. Sylvester was always a difficult student and after being suspended for 42 days he essentially had to beg to stay in school. His Assistant Principal was willing to show him the motherly love Sylvester needed to turn things around and gave him a deal that allowed him to stay in school.
  • In his final high school years, Sylvester had perfect attendance and straight A’s because he had something bigger than his trauma, which was his team.
  • Slyvester’s coach required him to take up track in preparation of excelling at an even higher level, and despite hating running, that experience became the path that led Sylvester to yoga. In so many ways, sports saved him.
  • Sylvester’s father passed away in 2014 which gave him an acute sense of his own mortality. He was in a position where he didn’t have the money to fly back for the funeral and was forced to ask for help, which was one of the greatest things that happened to him.
  • Speaking at his father’s funeral and helping people grieve their loss was when he realized his destiny and decided to pursue speaking.
  • His journey to becoming the speaker he is today has helped him heal all the trauma of his childhood. He no longer has hate in his heart and feels blessed to be able to heal other people with his words.
  • Being present enough to ask why he drank alcohol was enough for him to want to be sober. Sylvester is now five months sober and is looking forward to his first birthday with a sober toast, many of which have also started reevaluating their relationship with alcohol.
  • While he was in his trauma, Sylvester was in survival mode. He pushed hard in his corporate job and became one of top salespeople in the organization, but that turned sour after he became afraid of his own success.
  • Sylvester recalls a story of his encounter with an elderly woman/potential angel who revealed the truth of love to him. When someone gives you love, you honor that. You don’t justify it. 
  • Many people downplay the love that they receive because of shame. Shame makes you feel small and reject love.
  • Today, Slyvester is most grateful for his little boy. Fatherhood has given Sylvester another way to see the world and a more complete perspective on life.
  • Journaling is a powerful way to dismiss thoughts of not being worthy or not enough. You can ask yourself “do I need to hold this thought?”, many of the times you don’t.
  • We teach people how to treat us. As human beings, we seek safety, but the trouble with a complete break in a relationship is that lack of opportunity for repair. The solution is boundaries.
  • Boundaries are about developing a framework that allows us to interact with each other and a vessel for safety. If you’re struggling with boundaries, know that boundaries are where you end and the other person begins. They are about respect, not about one person always being right.
  • If Sylvester could send a message to his younger self, it would be to “stop trying to do it all on your own.” Find a community. It’s okay for other people to know about your pain and failure. Strength is in the full story, not just the success. 
  • Sylvester’s comeback shoutout goes to a number of friends and family members that have supported him and showed him the right path forward. 


Mentioned in this Episode:

Free Your Energy podcast -

Sylvester McNuttProfile Photo

Sylvester McNutt

Bestselling author, podcaster, and public speaker

8x bestselling author, podcaster, public speaker, course creator, and father. Sylvester teaches people how to transform their mindsets through self-awareness and healing practices. As a retired arena football player and survivor of traumatic experiences, Sylvester has used storytelling to teach people how to introspect, gain confidence, and sustain self-love.