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4.2 out of 5 stars
Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2011
It's bizarre that so many one star reviews all sound as if they are written by exactly the same person...all appear at the top...and they all more or less have the same datesm, especially 4/27/09. Something very suspicious there. Seems like a smear campaign. Despite that, this book still maintains a good rating...because it is great.

I've had this book for probably 20 years or so and every couple of years I cart it out and reread it. It's been one of several wonderful tools I've used to get me through times of indecision and anxiety. It's a really, really simple book and that's part of the beauty of it. By being able to alter my perspective, things have turned out wonderfully in my life...and even when hard things have happened, I've been able to see my way through to the good again, which I hadn't been able to do prior to committing these tenets to memory. I went from full blown panic attack disorder to not a panic attack in sight, for years, and a big part of it was committing to these tenets. Highly recommended.
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865 of 1,006 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2006
This won't be a popular review because it will go against the flood of praises. Actually, I wanted to like this book. I came to it with very high hopes only to be greatly disappointed and even somewhat irritated. Despite its enormous popularity, I have difficulty recommending this book because it buries one of its main agendas in the later chapters, and that agenda undercuts the value of the whole.

I intend no negative comments against the author, and certainly, the 12 chapters have useful information. I especially liked the Pain to Power chart concept in chapter 3, and there are other useful things as well, especially in the first 7 or 8 chapters.

However, starting on page 154 (chapter 9) the book begins a gradual descent into a hazy cave of vagueness in which metaphysics, the universe, fate, life, intuition, the Laws of Universal Energy, and other such things emerge as if living entities. Actually, a good summary of the book's solution to fear is this: "With the Law of Universal Energy on your side, you can learn to trust not only the universe, but yourself." (p. 196) Further, the author states outright a goal to "whet your appetite, so you will be eager to learn more. I urge you to look at the laws of the universe as postulated by metaphysicians." Instead of hiding this on p. 204, this statement should have been on p 1.

If you're into all the metaphysical stuff, you'll probably love this book. If you're not, you might have trouble with it, like I did. When I started the book, I was eager to learn. By the end, reading statements like the following, I was eager to get to another book:

"The way I use the word [spiritual] will be acceptable to you whether you are religious or an atheist" (p 191). Also, "For those of you who are religious and/or believe in God, you will see how these ideas can be incorporated in your beliefs. And, as I said, earlier, if you don't believe in God, these laws apply as well" (p 205).

At best, these statements show a bit of naiveté; at worst, they are an attack on one's intelligence. The word "spiritual" is defined as little different from "emotional," and the attempt to be all things to all people by essentially claiming that whether one is an atheist or a theist of some sort will be irrelevant to "the Law of Universal Energy" is not only annoying, it is almost incomprehensible.

Had I known the last 4 chapters were going to ground all of the "get over your fears" in the metaphysical stuff, I would not have bought or read the book. It seemed to me a back-handed way to drag people into dubious philosophy. For me, it's a deal-killer.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2011
This book has been around for a while and is still a good read. Jeffers says it well and in an "everyday" way. It is excellent to read for basic psychology of things that hold us back and how you can move forward in spite of it all. Jeffers helps to understand and label the fear and see it differently so we can move past it.

As a past counselor, I know that phobias and anything that we start to avoid because of a fear or for whatever reason, are the things that start to create psychological baggage as we spend our energy avoiding things rather than working through them. Anything that you find yourself intentionally not doing that is "normal" for most of the world, stop and look at the fear and how it can be getting in your way (not talking about addictions and non-beneficial activities).

This excellent read will serve you in both your personal and professional life. We all have fears; they just show up at different levels and in different ways. Empower yourself to find your fears and move beyond them so you can perform at your peak potential!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2011
This book provides an insightful and engaging look at the destructive effects of fear in all aspects of our lives and guidance on how this fear may be overcome.

Anyone engaged in creating change will face their own fears and those of others and this book provides both an understanding of the roots for people's fears and an understanding of how people may be helped to understand and better deal with fear.

The book highlights the paradox that whilst we seek the security of a fear free life, this creates an environment in which we are denied the satisfaction of achievement or advancement. The result is the catch-22 of fear of change and fear of staying the same.
The conclusion is that fear is a necessary and essential element of life and pushing through fear is actually less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness, hence `feel the fear and do it anyway'.
The first part of the book creates a picture of the widespread and damaging effects of fear, in its many forms such as fear of changing jobs, fear of illness, fear of failure, etc. It introduces a progression of truths which serve to illuminate the effects of fear and build the case for the active choice of how fear is addressed. A simple but powerful picture presents the option to address fear through positive power rather than as a victim of passive pain.

As you work through the book the emphasis shifts towards the actions that you can take to change your attitude and approach. A number of simple models and techniques are introduced which are presented in an easily understood form. When strung together these provide a structured programme with which to set about changing your attitude and behaviours.
The book benefits from a liberal scattering of first hand accounts of people at various stages of succumbing to or addressing their fears. These stories do much to help explain the approach and provide an engaging dialogue and encouragement that lightens up the message and creates the feeling that improvement is possible.

The book rightly confesses that though the message and techniques are relatively easy to understand their application presents more of a challenge, not because they are of themselves difficult but they have to be applied and sustained. The challenge therefore for any such book is to leave the reading list and bookshelf and become embedded in the actions of the reader.

Does this book meet the challenge? I have adopted some of the techniques and recognise that others will be of benefit. Of course time will tell.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2010
I have the audio version of this book, and I would recommend the audio version as you can listen to it while you are travelling and/or working at your desk or wherever. For me, fear lead me to prescription drug addiction for over 10 years. (Doctors call it "Dependency" but it's only semantics because I couldn't go a day without my daily dose of benzos/Ambien and SSRI/tricyclic antidepressants., (SSRI's didn't have any effect on me except making me more depressed, Tricyclics worked, but made me FAT!, HUGELY overweight, but everyone's chemical makeup is different so listen to YOUR doctor and track your moods and the effects the the prescriptions have on you, because they do appear to work fine for some people.) Anyway, with me, the side-effects withdrawals--especially from benzos--were horrible: Panic attacks, insomnia, muscle pain, headaches, HUGE weight gain, massive delayed irritability, paralyzing fear, etc. I was so ornery with my wife and kids.) But the whole time with the drugs, I was trying to get away from FEELING the pain, fear and anxiety that I've had for so long. This book is amazing, enlightening, and so comforting. I am in my 40's now, and for the last 30+ years I unknowingly projected "victim." If you project victim, you most will certainly become one. Bullying children and even some adults, will gladly help you along that road and it will miserable. For me, I felt almost constant terror, panic and helplessness. I felt trapped in it and that there was no way to get out--ever.

When I was five years old our family lost one of my brothers (he was just 11 when it happened), through a freakish accident. It was awful, but after this happened, our daily, constant, conditioning from my parents was "*PLEASE* BE CAREFUL because we couldn't bare losing another one of you!" It doesn't surprise me at all that my parents said that so much, because it was a brutal blow when my brother died. I really don't know how they got through it, except for their faith in God and love for each other and the rest of us children. I have a wife and four children of my own now, and I can totally relate to how my parents dealt with this and how it must have been the most dark, despairing time of their lives. I love and respect and revere them SO much! And I pray I never will have to go through losing a child, (they are so priceless to us), and I'm not sure I will ever get rid of that fear completely.

Nevertheless, the "I'll handle it" motto--introduced in the very beginning of this book--is very important for everyone of us to learn, because LIFE is all about pain and loss!!! Pain and loss are inevitable, but misery is a CHOICE! This books rocks. I was able to listen to the whole thing in about an hour and a half (with some pausing for interruptions) and now I listen to it over and over again. By the way, I think I am going to go the audio-book route from now on for all books, because it allows me to multi-task.

I have stopped taking 2 of my prescription drugs, with one left to wean myself off of. This book is AWESOME. If you read to the end of my droning on in this review, I congratulate you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
For me, the title does indeed say it all, but the idea was new to me. Jeffers turns fear on its head. She says forget about avoiding fears or trying to eliminate them. Instead, accept that fears are a part of daily life, accept them and then, per the title, just do it anyway. No, this is probably not a cure-all for major phobias, but for the minor daily fears and worries, it really works. I can certainly agree with some of the low-raters that 240 pages is a bit over-fluffed with self-help jargon and a spirituality that may seem superficial. So skim, and skip what you don't find helpful. But don't be afraid to take a bit of time, to buy or borrow this book, and just read it. It is a truly quick way to shut up the internal worry chatterbox, say "boo!" to your fears, and enjoy a lot more of life.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2011
Just keep repeating the title of this book to yourself because that pretty much summarizes all 219 pages. Feel or see your fears and just say "what the hell" and do it anyway.

If it only were that simple. We all have fears but most of us don't understand why we have those fears and we need to understand the underlying reasons behind them so we can then "feel the fear and do it anyway." You will get none of that advice here.

Beyond that, this book becomes weird and painful to read starting at chapter nine when it turns to the metaphysical and it uses words like the "universe" and "higher self." I didn't get what was going on in chapters nine till the end and then it ended abruptly.

The beginning chapters didn't have any metaphysical stuff but they were just common sense and did not offer any good information regarding fear. I mean the author states stuff like: "...The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it." "...get out of your comfort zone." and "...be a Pollyanna." If it were that easy then I wouldn't waste the time or money on this book. Obviously it is not that easy and the way to get around your fears is to understand them so you can try to eliminate them. I did not understand how to get around my fears after reading this book and I got nothing but common sense advice and a bunch of platitudes.

On a positive note, the author doesn't talk about medications or anything like that. Honestly I would never buy a book that recommends medication to get over fear or depression. I believe that, as humans, we are strong enough and have all the power within ourselves to beat our fears and worries without the use of prescription drugs.

The book deals with everyday fears not fears for which you would probably need a therapists help.

I will demonstrate two areas where this book falls short:

Personally, I'm an overall positive person but I have a paralyzing fear of rejection. In chapter seven, the author suggests I use a "no-lose" model of decision making; suggesting that I look at the positive aspects of either outcome of any given decision. If you fear rejection, you can't do this properly because the fear of rejection will prevent you from even venturing out to make those decisions in the first place! It's nice advice and rather obvious but the book does not get to the root of the problem. It's very easy to just tell someone to be positive, it's more difficult to tell them why.

Secondly, I have a lot of things in my life that I am happy about and there are a few disappointments or areas that can be improved. Unfortunately these disappointments are the results of my fears and worries and they prevent me from fully enjoying my life and considering it "whole" or complete. In chapter eight, the author suggests that I construct a "whole-life" box. You basically separate this box into a nine square grid (more or less if you wish). You put one aspect of your life into each of the squares and then when one part fails you, is no longer a part of, or is taken from you, you just say to yourself "look!!, I have all these other things in my life so I remain happy and fulfilled! because that one aspect of my life does not represent the whole box." This is simply crazy. Whether you like it or not, there will always be something in your life that is just worth more to you than anything else. To say that you can simply compensate with other aspects of your life and be fulfilled and happy is ludicrous. If fear in your life happens to be caused by being lonely or the ending of a relationship, than there is no way that the other boxes titled "hobbies," "work," "leisure," "friends," "personal growth," etc., will compensate if they don't mean as much to you. The author tells you that you should make them mean as much to you but she never tells you how. This book could have been a home run if it could explain that.

Obviously I wouldn't recommend the book because while it does have a good message in telling you just to "feel the fear and do it anyway," it doesn't even scratch the surface of telling you the why and how. I'm a big fan of positive psychology but I am disappointed by the many books out there, like this one, that just leave you hanging. After you read enough pop psychology, a lot of the stuff begins to sound the same.

I don't know of a similar book to recommend, but I would think any title that discusses confidence is the place to start. After all, fear is inversely related to how much confidence you have.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2011
I read half the book and cannot find the motivation to continue. I have been having a lot of challenges at work that have caused fear which is preventing me from being myself. I thought this book would inspire me to really go out there and create positive energy inside of me. The 3 stars is because the book is not bad, it does have good insight. But it is not very action-oriented. A solution to becoming more positive is listening to inspirational CDs everyday, namely, Susan's other CDs. I did find that very inspiring. Also, Susan gives a lot of examples of people who have learned to handle fear and ones who have not, but again she doesn't say "how" other than listening to positive CDs and writing positive quotes everywhere. I found her choice of positive quotes lacking in inspiration.

I guess I was expecting more. When I read "Being Happy" a few years back, it made a big difference and I really felt like I needed to get out of my old patterns NOW. Susan's book lacked that inspiration and humor. I will try to finish the book, but overall it left much to be desired in terms of inducing action.
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115 of 151 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2009
A poorly put together book with limited ability to actually help someone who requires concrete ideas and facts to bolster their understanding and knowledge of a situation in order to help. The authors delves too much into the metaphysical, pseudo-science, faith-based world and fails to flesh out the more interesting details.

The book comes off as superficial and incapable of helping someone who is not faith-based. The author attempts to coin awkward phrases to explain otherwise helpful intuitive concepts. There are better self-help books that actually teach as opposed to coddle the reader with benign phrases and ideas.
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120 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2002
An over-simplistic approach - the title says it all. The author doesn't help you or tell you how to overcome your fears - she just keeps telling you "you can do it". She also refers to herself too often as her primary topic of research without taking into account that just because something worked for her it is not necessarily universal.
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