From the early 1990s, I have had Susan Jeffers’ classic publication, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway prominent on my bookcase. I recommend it to my clients, as it is one of the most practical, clear, and common sense self-help books ever written. My clients experience positive change even when they merely accept the title’s powerful message.
Jeffers explores what we fear, why we feel it, and what to do differently. We can fear losing our health, relationships or job, making key decisions, or being rejected, laughed at or betrayed. Jeffers provides a road map to help us feel our fears while taking steps to move forward.
She proposes that we can better manage our fears so that they no longer debilitate us. We can develop a resiliency muscle to face our fears. How? Jeffers suggests developing a stronger mindset and several strategies.
1. There are different types of fear
· Fearing what will happen to us such as inevitable change, aging (you are a day older every morning), and illness,
· Fearing the action we need to take to move forward with our goals. We might fear going back to school, making new friends, or speaking up.
· Fearing an ego attack such as rejection, failure or feeling helpless.
· And the big fear of them all is based on a belief of “I can’t handle it!” which includes all the fears listed above.
2. We all feel certain degrees of fear when we try something new.
3. If we let fear debilitate us, we end up feeling helpless.
4. When we repeatedly play the role of victim, we reinforce distrust in ourselves. We also create chronic fear.
5. We can minimize our experience of feeling fear by monitoring our self-talk. We can increase our empowering thoughts and talk.
6. The way to manage our fear is to take steps forward and take action.
7. Taking risks can help us build our resiliency muscle to needless fear. We can begin to trust and love ourselves enough to say, yes to opportunities.
8. We can learn how to make informed decisions, which will lessen our fear.
9. We are responsible for our thoughts, feelings, and the choices we make, and can make.
10. We will create a fulfilling life when we accept that loss, change, mistakes and challenges are a part of life. We can decide, “I can handle it!”
Susan Jeffers Quotes:
- “If everyone feels fear when approaching something totally new in life, yet so many are out there doing it despite the fear, then we must conclude that fear is not the problem.”
- “You are innately designed to use your personal power. When you don’t, you experience helplessness, paralysis and depression.”
- “Taking responsibility means being aware of where and when you are not taking responsibility so that you can eventually change.”
- “See if you can go one week without criticizing anyone or complaining about anything.”
- “No one is immune to pain, and it shouldn’t be denied when it exists. The key is to know that you can lead a productive and meaningful life no matter what the external circumstance are. What positive thinking does is offer a power boost to help you handle whatever life gives.”
- “Most of us are not aware that we belong to the moan-and-groan crowd until we stop moaning and groaning . . . Among the new friends you make, include those who are farther along the journey than you are.”
- “We have been taught to believe that negative equals realistic, and positive equals unrealistic.”
- “If all your giving is about getting, think how fearful you will become.”
- “Not only is saying yes our antidote to dealing with day-to-day disappointments, rejections, and missed opportunities (the flu, a leaking roof, a traffic jam, a flat tire, a lousy date, and so on), it is the miracle tool for dealing with our deepest fear.”
- “Whatever it takes, feel the fear and do it anyway!”
If any of the topics in this book summary resonate with you or have ignited your curiosity, please get a copy of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.
Patricia Morgan MA CCC helps her readers, clients, and audiences lighten their load, brighten their outlook, and strengthen their resilience. To go from woe to WOW call 403.242.7796 or email a request.
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