Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, was one of those books I was continually seeing recommended so I knew in my read a week challenge I had to read it.
Susan believes that fear can be categorised into three different types. There is the “surface story” fear, those that relate to “inner states of mind” and those you believe “you can’t handle”. Regardless of the type of fear Susan believes that “At the bottom of every one of your fears is simply the fear that you can’t handle whatever life may bring you“. People are scared about their coping mechanism and believe that if such-and-such happened it would be the end for them.
Given Susan’s believe about the root of fear she states that “All you have to do to diminish your fear is to develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way”. This makes complete sense. If you believe that you can handle what life is going to through at you then there is no need to be scared.
Susan discusses the idea that women particularly have issues with fear and copying because they don’t feel powerful enough. Susan believes this is because “Women have been conditioned to believe that to be powerful is unfeminine and unattractive“. As a result, they don’t grow up valuing power and feeling powerless, means they feel they can’t cope and therefore, are even more fearful.
To counter this feeling Susan recommends women repeat the follow affirmation at least 25 times, 3 times a day!
I AM POWERFUL AND I AM LOVED
I AM POWERFUL AND I AM LOVING
I AM POWERFUL AND I LOVE IT!
A key theme of the book is that you need to “take responsibility of your own life”. You have to take responsibility for your life, your actions and your thoughts. You have the power to change how you feel. Susan states “If you know you can create your own misery, it stands to reason that you can create your own joy“. When you accept that you control how you feel, then wouldn’t you want to feel happy?
A disturbing fact that Susan shares is that “Over 90% of what we worry about never happens”. We waste copious amounts of time worrying about future events that never come into fruition. Doesn’t it seem crazy to be wasting so much time and feeling so bad for no reason?
Susan believes that people need to break their negative thoughts pattern, but as a society states that “There is the automatic assumption that negative is realistic and positive is unrealistic“. This results in that being negative is the status quo.
She claims it isn’t too late and you can change your thought patterns. She believes that “Positive thinking needs daily practice” and when saying affirmations, which she recommends, they should always be “in the present” and “in the positive”
She also discusses how “It is amazingly empowering to have support of a strong motivated and inspirational group of people“. By being in a group of motivated, inspirational, and I would add positive, people will create a new status quo for you.
Another idea in the book is decision making. We all make a lot of decisions and there is a lot of fear around making decisions. What is going to happen as a result? How do I know if I am making the right or wrong decision? In the book Susan goes into debt her approach to decision making, but I especially liked the idea of the No Lose Scenario. When making a decision Susan suggests that you tell yourself “I can’t lose regardless of the outcome of the decision I make”. By not going in with a mentality of win or lose you are taking the pressure out of the decision. This isn’t because making a good choice isn’t important, but realistically you will always be trying to make the best choice and no one can 100% know what the results of that decision will be in the future.
Overall, I was a little disappointed with Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway. I think, once again, it was a case of too much hype for a book to live up to. I agreed with lots of what Susan said, but it didn’t inspire me to take action straight away. I also feel that as an popular, but old, book, it is likely that a lot of the advice has now been mentioned over and over again in other materials. Still definitely worth a read if you are someone who struggles with fear and for those who are fairly new to personal development books.
Susan did write some beautiful nuggets and as a leaving quote I would like you all to remember that
“You’re not a failure if you don’t make it, you’re a success because you try”