Anxiety struggles for pop star

I read an article today about the pop star, Olly Murs and his battle with anxiety. He talks about a mistake he made on the tv show ‘X Factor’ and how he found counselling had helped him get over the anxiety of making the mistake again.  He talks about how he was struggling with negative automatic thoughts such as “Why am I doing this? I can’t do it. What if I go and say something bad again on TV? What if I make a mistake?”, when he was offered a role on another show ‘The Voice’.

According to Olly (calling him ‘Olly’ sounds like I know him, which feels a bit strange), he was the target of ‘online trolls’.  While I couldn’t tell you about the levels of abuse he experienced, it demonstrates how heavily we can be affected by the thoughts, feelings and opinions of others. Murs goes on to say (calling him Murs isn’t any better, it sounds like I don’t like him either!) “And I made myself ill, literally ill. Sick with worry and anxiety to the point where I was home for three or four days with sweats, headaches, and I never get ill. I felt really tired and lethargic and hot and my heart was, I was having panic attacks”.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. — Confucius

This man was affected so badly, his anxiety levels spiralled out of control to the point he was physically sick. And yet, he had probably not met any of those people who abused him and likely never will. So what was going on with Olly Murs and why did these people cause him so much anxiety? I should point out here, I don’t know a lot about Olly Murs and I’m only working with the information I have but as human beings, we are constantly taking in “data” from our “perceptual field” such as what our friends think about what we are wearing, who likes the music we like, who makes me feel angry, who makes me feel happy, etc etc and what we do with this data is where the “problem” can occur.

To understand why the opinions of others can cause us so much anxiety, we have to go back to childhood. We learn at a very young age how to “get our needs met”. For example, babies quickly learn that if they cry when they are hungry, someone will come and feed them. A baby gets its needs met by crying until somebody comes and feeds them. The baby learns that each time they cry, they will be fed.

As a baby learns how to get milk, young children learn what gets them into trouble and what doesn’t. A child will learn what it will get praise for and what it doesn’t get praised for. If we get a good score in a test, we get praise. If we kick a football through a window, we get into trouble. And it’s usually in childhood we find the root of our problems and the causes of much of our anxiety. If a child learns that the best way to avoid getting into trouble is to do what their Mum or Dad says (or primary care giver to be totally inclusive) then this is often a learnt behaviour which is carried into adulthood.

A star is born!

Many performers in the public eye or “celebrities” find this “skill” very useful. By learning to please Mum and Dad they get praise. If they are a talented singer for example, they will find they get praise from lots of other people too. They quickly become known as “the child who is really good at singing” and this is either incorporated into the persons self concept or not. In the case of a performer, it would most likely be taken in and becomes part of their self; a star is born! The problem or so it seems like to me it is in Olly Murs’ case, is that he didn’t know what to do with the criticism. And when I say he didn’t know what to do with it I mean he didn’t know how to incorporate it into his self concept.

Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed. – Bob Riley

While I’m only speculating here, maybe there was a time in his childhood when he found a way to get his needs met by entertaining people. Maybe that was singing or dancing or making people laugh. It is possible he found that he was given attention by making people take notice of him and he enjoyed the confidence he got from it. We could speculate that there’s part of him thats not so sure of himself and not so confident and when the internet trolls said things that didn’t “fit” with what he usually heard about himself, that didn’t fit with his self concept of a confident man, he found it incredibly hard to accept and couldn’t incorporate it into his self concept, otherwise known as an ‘introject’.

We all need to be like Rambo, don’t we?

I think most men out there can probably relate to how that feels. When I was a child, I used to watch tv shows like ‘the A-Team’ with B.A (Bad Attitude) Baracus, ‘He-Man’, ‘Thundercats’, WWF/E Wrestling’ and movies like ‘Die-Hard’, ‘Rambo’ and ‘Predator’ all which featured macho heroes who saved the day! All big strong guys with lots of confidence and no sign of anxiety!

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. – Les Brown

This made me think all guys were “macho” and if you weren’t saving the world, there was something wrong with you. If you lacked confidence you weren’t a “real man”. I found it really difficult to accept if anybody said anything about me that could be deemed “feminine” or touched on my emotions.  Another problem was I found it really hard to take any praise for anything that I didn’t consider to be masculine and found it even harder to tell people how I felt for fear of being “a sissy”. I certainly couldn’t tell anyone I was lacking in confidence or I felt anxiety about something!

There’s no way He-man had anxiety, did he?

As I got older, I really struggled with my own sense of self. I wasn’t built like a truck with huge rippling biceps and I wasn’t a member of the SAS! My confidence was really lacking but couldn’t admit it. I noticed lots of things made me anxious but I wouldn’t tell anyone. I really struggled to accept myself for who I was. And this is where counselling can help. We take the opinions of others such as our parents, friends, relatives, tv, magazines, movies, social media etc and we use the information provided to us to get our needs met.

In my case, I thought that because I saw a lot of machoism on tv that was what the world wanted me to be; a confident man who never talked about his “feelings” because nothing worried him enough to have to. When I couldn’t be what I thought I should be, it caused psychological tension with the real me; my authentic self and this resulted in a great deal of anxiety.

My authentic self just wanted to be me and the me who wanted to play video games and kick a football around, not join the army and fight in a war I didn’t agree with the politics of (Iraq)! It took time and a lot of counselling but eventually I learn’t that counselling can be for me and men can ask for help without having to fear being called “weak” or “girly”.

Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine. ― Roy T. Bennett

If you feel a sense of anxiety about who you are and feel as though you “lack confidence”, I’ve been there. I know what it’s like and I know what it takes to accept yourself. I can help. If you’re looking for a counsellor who understands and can put themselves in your shoes and feel how you feel, get in touch.

If you need help with anxiety, I can help

I’ve helped many men with anxiety and I can help you too.


Confidence (and why men don’t find it at the gym)


Is mens confidence hit by ‘Man Flu’?


  1. Fantastic article, it’s comforting that you have talked about your own history with anxiety and how you overcame this, few men would be willing to talk about sensitive issues like this but it is so important that a dialogue is created and that man shaming stops, if anything for the sake of mental health and the expectations that can never be met (none of us will be superman). The more men that open up, the less alone we will all feel.

    • Hi Danny,

      I’m really pleased you enjoyed the article and thank you for taking the time to read it!

      I really hope that by opening up about my own mental health will encourage others to feel safe to do so too. Nobody should feel shame for feeling that they “don’t measure up” to what society expects them to be. Everyone really should be able to feel comfortable in their own skin without fear of judgement or indeed retribution for being or feeling who they really are.

      All the best,


  2. After I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any method you’ll be able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

    • Hi there,

      thanks for your comment.

      I’ve removed you, so you shouldn’t get anymore updates. You can always visit my blog again and read any new posts though! 🙂

  3. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue with your web site in internet explorer, could check this?
    IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a
    huge section of other people will omit your wonderful writing because of this

  4. Great as an idea-unfortunately unenforceable in practice, sorry..

    • Hi there,

      thanks for your comment, it’s really appreciated. Could you expand a little for me, please though on what you mean by “unenforceable”?

      Thanks again and take care.


  5. I like what you guys are up too. This sort of clever
    work and coverage! Keep up the good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys
    to my personal blogroll.

  6. Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared across the internet.
    Shame on the search engines for not positioning this submit upper!
    Come on over and seek advice from my site .
    Thank you =)

  7. I have read so many articles on the topic of the blogger lovers
    except this post is truly a nice article, keep it up.

  8. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail.

    I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

    • Hey there,

      yes, we do have a contact page. It is;

      Looking forward to hearing from you!


  9. Greate pieces. Keep posting such kind of information on your site.
    Im really impressed by it.
    Hello there, You have done an incredible job.
    I will certainly digg it and personally recommend
    to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

  10. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return the favor”.I’m trying to
    find things to improve my site!I suppose its ok to use a few of
    your ideas!!

  11. Very descriptive post, I loved that bit. Will there be a part 2?

    • Hey there,

      I’m glad you liked the post!

      I’ll definitely be writing more about anxiety in the future!



  12. Why viewers still make use of to read news papers when in this technological globe
    everything is presented on net?

  13. Hi, I do think this is an excellent web site.

    I stumbledupon it 😉 I may return once again since I book-marked it.
    Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich
    and continue to help other people.

  14. Thanks very interesting blog!

  15. Genuinely no matter if someone doesn’t know after that its up
    to other viewers that they will help, so here it occurs.

  16. Can you tell us more about this? I’d like to find out more details.

  17. I like what you guys tend to be up too. This type of clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve included you guys to blogroll.

  18. What’s up, for all time i used to check website posts here early
    in the daylight, for the reason that i enjoy to gain knowledge of more and more.

  19. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this site.

    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appeal.

    I must say you have done a amazing job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads very fast for me on Chrome.
    Superb Blog!

  20. It is not my first time to pay a quick visit this
    website, i am visiting this website dailly and
    obtain nice facts from here every day.

  21. This text is invaluable. Where can I find out more?

  22. Very good post. I absolutely appreciate this website.
    Keep it up!

  23. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a
    little bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  24. great put up, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector don’t notice this.
    You should continue your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a great
    readers’ base already!

  25. I delight in, result in I discovered exactly what I was looking for.
    You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have
    a great day. Bye

  26. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage?
    My website is in the very same niche as yours and my users
    would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you present here.

    Please let me know if this okay with you. Many thanks!

  27. Quality articles or reviews is the key to attract the users to go to see the web
    page, that’s what this website is providing.

  28. You are so awesome! I do not think I’ve read something like that before.
    So wonderful to find somebody with some unique
    thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up.
    This website is something that is needed on the web, someone
    with some originality!

  29. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your website provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community
    will be grateful to you.

  30. This post will assist the internet users for building up new weblog or even a blog from
    start to end.

  31. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking
    through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely glad I found
    it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  32. I am really loving the theme/design of your weblog.
    Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility
    issues? A few of my blog audience have complained
    about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but
    looks great in Chrome. Do you have any solutions to help fix
    this issue?

    • Hey there,

      glad you enjoyed the post!

      I think different browsers show things in a different way and it can cause problems. I’d suggest focusing on the most popular browsers and adjust your site to suit those users.


  33. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am having
    problems with your RSS. I don’t understand why I am unable to join it.
    Is there anyone else getting the same RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond?

  34. Useful info. Fortunate me I discovered your site accidentally, and I’m stunned why
    this accident didn’t happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

  35. Very energetic post, I liked that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

  36. Hi i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i read this article i thought i could
    also make comment due to this brilliant paragraph.

  37. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my
    website thus i came to return the desire?.I am trying to
    find things to enhance my site!I suppose its good enough to make use of a
    few of your ideas!!

  38. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

    • Thanks!

      You can submit your URL to Yahoo but I’m not sure about Yahoo news, sorry!

      Good luck with getting onto Yahoo news!

  39. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely useful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot.
    I was looking for this particular information for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  40. Having read this I believed it was extremely informative.
    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this informative article together.

    I once again find myself spending a lot of time
    both reading and posting comments. But so what,
    it was still worthwhile!

  41. When someone writes an piece of writing he/she retains
    the idea of a user in his/her mind that how a user can understand it.
    So that’s why this paragraph is amazing. Thanks!

  42. I am sure this post has touched all the internet people, its really really nice post on building up new web site.

  43. Hey There. I discovered your weblog the use
    of msn. That is an extremely neatly written article.

    I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your
    useful info. Thank you for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  44. Hi Dear, are you in fact visiting this site daily, if so then you will without doubt obtain fastidious knowledge.

  45. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed
    reading it, you’re a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and will eventually come back later
    on. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great
    work, have a nice weekend!

    • Hi there,

      thanks for the feedback and your lovely words. It means a lot.

      I hope you have a lovely weekend too.


  46. This post is priceless. When can I find out more?

    • Hey there,

      glad you enjoyed the post!

      You can find out more by checking out my other blog posts or if you would like to arrange a session, contact me directly.

      Take care,


  47. My relatives always say that I am wasting my time here at web,
    however I know I am getting experience every day by reading thes good posts.

  48. Scott


    I really enjoyed the post. Keep up the good work.


  49. David

    Hi there,

    loved the post. Keep up the good work!


  50. This post presents clear idea in support of the new people of blogging, that in fact how to do blogging.

  51. Thank you for another informative web site. The place else could
    I get that type of info written in such a perfect
    approach? I have a mission that I am simply now working on, and I’ve been at
    the glance out for such info.

  52. Terry Kidance

    Great blog. Keep up the good work.

  53. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site?
    My blog site is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors
    would certainly benefit from some of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Many thanks!

  54. whoah this blog is excellent i really like reading your posts.
    Stay up the great work! You recognize, many individuals are
    hunting round for this information, you can help them greatly.

  55. Kiavot

    Super articles!

    We need to be who we are and not complain about who we are. Anxiety go away if we be ourselves.

    • Spot on!

      The more we can engage with our authentic self and concern ourselves less with how we think others perceive us, the happier we can be.


  56. I have read so many articles about the blogger lovers but this article is in fact a
    good article, keep it up.

  57. Tony


    it just goes to show that just because you’re famous, it doesn’t mean you don’t have the same hopes and dreams and insecurities as anyone else.

    Great post.


  58. Betheny

    Hi Kieran,

    I really enjoyed the post. Lots of useful points and it was well worth the read.

    Keep up the good work.


  59. Tremendous things here. I am very glad to see your post.
    Thank you so much and I’m having a look forward to
    contact you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  60. Hello! I’ve been reading your blog for a while
    now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give
    you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to tell you
    keep up the good job!

    • Hi to Houston Texas!

      Thanks for your great feedback and I’m glad you liked the post!


  61. Thanks for finally writing about > Anxiety struggles for pop star – His Own Man's Counselling
    Blog < Liked it!

  62. Kia

    Great post. Keep up the good work.


  63. It’s in reality a great and helpful piece of info.
    I am glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please stay
    us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  64. Alan

    Thanks. Helped me with my own anxiety.

  65. I want to to thank you for this good read!! I
    definitely loved every little bit of it. I have got you book marked to look at new stuff you post…

  66. I am sure this post has touched all the internet visitors, its really
    really pleasant paragraph on building up new weblog.

  67. Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual
    effort to generate a really good article…
    but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and
    never manage to get anything done.

  68. Anothony

    Neat post!


  69. Excellent post. Keep writing such kind of info on your page.

    Im really impressed by it.
    Hey there, You have performed a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and
    in my view suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this website.

  70. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but good
    topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info
    for my mission.

  71. Carl

    Great read cheers.


  72. Hi, just wanted to mention, I enjoyed this article.
    It was helpful. Keep on posting!

  73. Hey very interesting blog!

  74. Just wish to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your put up is just cool and that i can suppose you are knowledgeable in this subject.
    Well together with your permission allow me to take hold of your feed to stay up to date with coming near near post.
    Thank you a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

    • Hi there,

      thanks for commenting and I’m really pleased you enjoyed the article!

      Take care,


  75. Arron

    Hi there, I enjoy reading through your post.

    I like to write a little comment to support you.

  76. I am really impressed together with your writing skills as
    smartly as with the layout for your blog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway stay up the excellent high quality writing,
    it’s uncommon to look a nice blog like this one these days..

    • Hi there,

      thanks for the feedback and glad you enjoyed the blog!

      And it’s all my own work! 🙂

      Take care,


  77. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really
    recognize what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also seek advice
    from my site =). We may have a link change
    contract among us

  78. Simon Palmer

    Great post!

  79. Damion

    Highly descriptive blog, I enjoyed that.

  80. Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is amazing, great written and include almost all important infos.
    I’d like to look more posts like this .

  81. Joshua

    I blog often and I really appreciate your content.
    Your article has really peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of
    your website and keep checking for new details about once per
    week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Home & Contact & About & Blog & Online Counselling & Boys and Teenagers