- Paperback: 214 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; 20th Anniversary edition (December 26, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345487427
- ISBN-13: 978-0345487421
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 647 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway Paperback – December 26, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Jeffers discusses the crippling effects of fear in her personal life and explains how she formulated a course of action for conquering it. Her answers are simple, her course of action difficult only because it requires courage. She explains how fear is based on the uncertainty of change and the lack of positive self image. She avoids psychological lingo, and includes many case studies about careers and changes in personal life both of which are beginning to cause anxiety in many teens. Her message is reassuring: choices are not opportunities to make mistakes, but valid paths to growth, whichever path we take. She addresses the fundamental cause of fear the belief that ``I can't handle it!'' Feel the Fear is an important book, for while some young people are more crippled by insecurity that others, many do believe that the path to adulthood is fraught with dangers. Fear is doubtlessly a handicap with which they must learn to cope. Jennifer John Reavis, Episcopal High School, Bellaire
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About the Author
Susan Jeffers was an American psychologist and author of Opening Our Hearts to Men and Dare to Connect.
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Now, with that said, what Susan Jeffers has to say in, "Feel The Fear...And Do It Anyway", isn't anything that's earth shattering or even new. Most of it is probably even things you may have thought yourself. However, the simplicity of what she says is delivered in a way that DOES make it fresh, new, and life changing.
I had been stuck in what a friend referred to as a "fur-lined rut" for well more than a decade. I knew I wanted to "unstick" myself, but just couldn't seem to make it happen. While reading through this the first time, I began putting the tenants into practice and began to see a change in my thinking first, and then in my actions next. I'm re-reading it again and the (positive!) changes keep flowing.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to make some change in their life but is held back by fear. This book doesn't make the fear go away - but it does inspire you to do what you need to do anyway.
I'm very, very indecisive and it can be paralyzing to me and this book has helped me look at how to make decisions in a whole new light. I don't want to spoil the book for anyone so I won't go into detail, but it basically comes down to the fact that any decision you make with take you on a certain path and yield a different result. The focus is NOT on making a right or wrong choice, but deciding to make a decision and being confident with your choice. I HIGHLY recommend this book, it's wonderful and the writing style is natural and feels like your talking to a friend when you're reading it.
This starts out as a five star book. The first few chapters of this book have probably altered my world view permanently. Here's the gist of what really hit home for me:
At the heart of every fear we have is one single fear: "I can't handle it." This is an absolute revelation, at least to me, because it means that there is one reliable (though still not easy) formula to be used for overcoming fear: convince yourself that you can handle it.
She goes on to explain that the more we do things we're afraid of, thus proving to ourselves that we CAN handle danger, uncertainty, loss, loneliness, etc., the more we can feel confident that we will be able to handle similar experiences in the future. In other words, facing our fears is something we can practice and get better at, even if we can never completely obliterate fear from our lives.
She goes on to talk about decision making. Decision making often induces fear because we're scared that if we make the wrong decision it can have disastrous consequences. She suggests that instead of thinking of a decision in terms of a "right choice" and a "wrong choice," we think of them simply as different choices, and that with the right attitude, we can experience growth and fulfillment in our lives regardless of which choice we make. She points out how even in horrible circumstances (losing a job, being diagnosed with cancer, losing a loved one), we are given tremendous opportunities to experience personal growth, and it gives us confidence to emerge triumphant from difficult circumstances.
All great, great advice that I will definitely take to heart. She then goes on to talk about positive affirmations, achieving balance in life, choosing to love those who we feel have wronged us. This is where the book started to take a turn for the worse. I actually agreed with a lot of what she was saying. I don't deny that it's good to surround yourself with supportive people. I agree that it's good to identify goals in our lives and work towards them. But ... read the summary of this book:
"Are you afraid of making decisions . . . asking your boss for a raise . . . leaving an unfulfilling relationship . . . facing the future? Whatever your fear, here is your chance to push through it once and for all. In this enduring guide to self-empowerment, Dr. Susan Jeffers inspires us with dynamic techniques and profound concepts that have helped countless people grab hold of their fears and move forward with their lives." Around Chapter 3 (only 15% into the book!), Jeffers starts veering pretty far away from the subject of facing your fears. A book should not be marketed as "Learn to face your fears!" if the majority of the book is only tangentially related to that subject.
And then there was chapter 11. Allow me to post an excerpt from chapter 11:
"I believe that what all of us are really searching for is this divine essence within ourselves. When we are far from our Higher Self, we feel what Roberto Assagioli has so aptly called 'Divine Homesickness.' When you are feeling this sense of being lost, or off course, the thing to do to find your way home again is simply to use the rools that will align you with your Higher Self--and thus allow the good feelings to flow once again." This is the point at which, in my mind, the book became a one star book.
In summary, I think this book idea would have made an excellent essay or pamphlet. The first two chapters were invaluable. The rest were filler.