Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
The fear that I felt as a kid growing up was almost debilitating. If it wasn’t for my mom, who was a psychiatric social worker, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. I had this crippling fear of people and being alone, and I was incredibly shy as a child. Of course, my mom was totally the opposite – very outgoing and far from shy. And even though she guided me to get to the other side of fear, it was definitely a very bumpy ride.
I remember how she gave me tasks like buying a soft drink and some snacks at the local Piggly Wiggly. I was in middle school, so it was a short walk to the store. Walking in there was pretty scary cuz it was a big store and also smelled funny.
Finding what I wanted to buy was the easy part. The tough part for me was standing at the checkout counter. I will never forget the cashier and elderly woman who tried to make small talk, and I basically froze. I”m sure I mumbled something, and as I was trying to get away – she said – “Hope you have a good day, son.”
Whaaaat? She called me son. Well, I was pretty tall and lanky and was a bit of a Tomboy. Plus, I had not gone through puberty. None of that helped a whole lot.
Dealing with my fear and shyness was a long journey. And the book my mom gave me – Shyness by Philip Zimbardo, really helped a lot. (That was the start of my self-help addiction. 🙂
Then there were the appointments with my guidance counselor at school and the speech class that really helped me too.
The speech freshmen year in high school almost sent me over the edge. I actually had to create a pantomime and then get up in front of the class to perform it. Ummmmm yeah. I so tried to be sick that day and get out of it! And my Mom was a terrific help, and I actually survived and went on to be in some of our school plays – go figure.
So I know when it comes to fear, I totally get it. Years later, my Executive Coach recommended I get a copy of Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers – published in 1987 (Along with a book called Worry by Edward M Hallowell.)
What I found truly fascinating about Susan Jeffers’s book is it’s not just about working through your fear. It’s really about shifting and changing your mindset. She’s got a ton of tools that will help you address, work with and work through your fears. And the biggest aha for me was that the underlying aspect of fear is a lack of trust in yourself. Hmmmmm.
And I love her last chapters where she talks about abundance and your higher power – paying attention to your intuition and your spidey sense.
A Book Summary to Inspire You To Read It!
Quick Summary: This feels more like a book about mindset than a self-help book about managing your fears. I was pleasantly surprised with all the tools in the book that will help you realize fear is just a natural part of life, and the best thing you can do is learn how to manage it by taking action despite your fears. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur – fear can definitely hold you back from pursuing your dreams and living your best life.
Who Ought to Read this Book: This is for you if you’re feeling like your fear is holding them back from living a more fulfilling life. And it’s also if your fears are getting in your way, and that negative self-talk, then the tools in this book will help you tremendously. After I read her book, there were so many things I was able to take a serious look at and actually change. I have a soft spot for entrepreneurs and business owners because I am one, so I’d highly recommend it.
Things You Will Discover:
She believes that the key to overcoming fear is to focus on the present moment and to take action even when your fear is present. Jeffers offers practical techniques for managing fear and for developing a more positive outlook on your life.
One of the central themes of the book is the idea of “facing your fears.” Jeffers believes the only way to overcome fear is to confront it head-on. She encourages you to take small steps toward your goals, even when you are afraid. This will help you to build confidence and reduce the power of fear. She also teaches you how to manage your thoughts and how to develop a more positive mental attitude.
Another theme that I totally resonated with, especially after reading Michael Singer’s – The Untethered Soul – is the idea of self-talk. Jeffers believes negative self-talk can be a major source of fear and anxiety, and learning how to control your thoughts is essential. (In Singer’s book it’s about mindfulness and being in the present moment.) She teaches readers how to identify and challenge negative self-talk and how to replace it with more positive and empowering thoughts.
Some of the best tools from the book include:
The Power of Positive Thinking: Adopt a positive outlook on life by focusing on your strengths, practicing gratitude, and avoiding negative self-talk.
Facing Your Fears: Take action and face your fears, even when they feel afraid. She believes that taking small steps toward your goals can build confidence and reduce the power of fear.
Mindful Breathing: Jeffers teaches you how to use mindful breathing to calm your mind and reduce anxiety in moments of fear.
Reframing Negative Thoughts: How to identify and challenge negative self-talk and how to replace it with more positive and empowering thoughts.
Developing a Support System: Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to help you manage your fears and achieve your goals.
Embracing Uncertainty: Fear often arises from a desire for control and certainty. By embracing uncertainty, you can reduce fear and increase their ability to adapt to change.
Jeffers also devotes a whole chapter to How to Make a No-Lose Decision, which is incredibly insightful and helpful to anyone who’s running a business and hesitant about making decisions. It’s about reversing your self-talk from No-Win Choice Point decisions to No-Lose Choice Point decisions. It’s about how you think about the outcomes and opportunities of your decisions.
More Powerful Tools You Will Discover:
Pain to Power Vocabulary – I can’t vs. I won’t, I should vs. I would, etc.
Seven Ways to Reclaim Your Power
The Power of Affirmations
Saying Yes to Your Universe
Choose Love and Trust
The Table of Contents:
Introduction: Opening the Door
- What Are You Afraid of…and Why?
- Can’t you MAke it Go Away?
- From Pain to Power
- Whether You Want it or Not… It’s Yours
- The Return of the Optimist
- When “They” Don’t Want You to Grow
- How to Make a No-Lose Decision
- How Whole Is Your “Whole-Life?”
- Just Nod Your Head–Say Yes!
- Choosing Love and Trust
- Filling the Inner Void
- There Is Plenty of Time
INSPIRING BOOK QUOTES:
You Got This:
“Whatever happens to me in any given situation, I can handle it”
When You’re In Unfamiliar Territory:
“Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m in unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else.”
What’s the Real Problem?
“If everybody feels fear when approaching something totally new in life, yet so many are out there “doing it” despite fear, then we must conclude that Fear is not the problem.”
“Take a risk every day – one small or bold stroke that will make you feel great once you’ve done it.”
Being Treated Differently:
“People who display an inner strength are treated differently from those who come across as weak.”
Can You Do This?
“This one is tough – see if you can go one week without criticizing anyone or complaining about anything.”
Say Yes to Community:
“It is amazingly empowering to have the support of a strong, motivated, and inspirational group of people.”
Triumph Is In the Try:
“You’re not a failure if you don’t make it; You’re a success because you try.”
“So –Lighten up! Whatever happens as a result of your decision, you’ll handle it!”
“Saying yes means getting up and acting on your belief that you can create meaning and purpose in whatever life hands you.”
Coming Out A Winner:
“The world is filled with people who have been handed the “worst life has to offer… and they have come out winners!”
Trust In the Universe:
“If we do not consciously and consistently focus on the spiritual part of ourselves, we will never experience the kind of joy, satisfaction, and connectedness we are all seeking.”
About the Author: Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
Susan Jeffers (1938 – 2012) She made the phrase “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” famous worldwide, but first, she lived it. She helped millions of people worldwide learn to overcome their fears, heal their relationships, and live with confidence and love, but only after she experienced those things through years of searching, learning, and self-discovery.
Jeffers was so excited to share what she learned that first, she became a teacher and then an author. After Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway became an international bestseller, she went on to write 16 more bestselling books, recorded many audios, became a sought-after public speaker, and TV and radio guest. What made her such a compelling author and speaker was her willingness to reveal so much of herself and the struggles she faced. With humor, she was able to connect to her readers in a way that is still unusual and much beloved.
Get Your Copy:
Other Books You Might Be Interested In:
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
Living Untethered by Michael Singer
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by David R Hawkins
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl.
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Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
Hey there, I'm Shannon! Being a voracious reader and passionate about learning, I started this site in the hopes of sharing my thoughts and my love of inspiring nonfiction books that can help you. It's kind of like Buddha meets business. I truly hope you enjoy!
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