Here I am writing my April book review in the middle of June. Before reading “Feel the fear and do it anyway” I might not have even bothered to put this review out, as I’d of worried that people might judge me for it being late!
I often spend time worrying what others might think of what I do, and I hate the idea of looking like an idiot. I often felt scared of doing things just in case they went wrong. Fear would stop me from doing the smallest things, like not wearing a particular top for fear of people thinking it looked bad, not getting up to dance, not networking at events for fear of saying something embarrassing…the list goes on. The fear of things going wrong left me obsessed with planning things down to the last detail so that there was no room for error. This left me not really being very spontaneous and well, not feeling like I was very fun!
So when I saw the title of this book, I was instantly interested in reading it. It sounds pretty obvious, but what I really love about this book is that it doesn’t try and pretend it’s going to stop you from feeling scared. Jeffers does a good job of explaining why we feel fear:
“At the bottom of every one of your fears is simply the fear that you can’t handle whatever life may bring you.”
And the more I thought about it the more I realised this was true. My fears, for example getting myself into an embarrassing situation stemmed from the idea that should I embarrass myself I’d be so mortified that I’d be completely stunned and not be able to cope. When in reality, here I am sat here today having survived 100% of my embarrassing moments so far. The solution Jeffers teaches in her book, is to apply the phrase “I’ll handle it!” to each one of your fears. To stop fear from holding you back, it is important to trust that no matter the outcome, you possess the skills necessary to cope with whatever happens. The book includes lots of detailed information about ways to “handle” different situations, that I for one have found really useful.
However, initially I was a bit skeptical of this approach, thinking ahh yes but what if I actually can’t handle it? And since reading this book I have seen situations that I feared would happen, actually materialise. I still sulked when things went wrong, I still felt bad about it, but what this book really made me think about was that how I react to situations is completely within my control. I’ll never be able to control everything that happens to me, but I can control how I let it effect me. Jeffers writes that realising you are in total control of your life in this way is the ‘biggest blessing’ and this helps you to not resent and blame others for your situation.
One thing that can really help with this is choosing to see the positive in situations as much as you can. This can be really hard sometimes and can feel a bit forced. So Jeffers recommends taking action to help you to become more positive. This can be done by listening to positive podcasts, reading books on positivity, reading positive quotes or using affirmations like “I am becoming more confident every day”. One method I’ve found really useful in my mission to try and be more positive is using a happiness planner to remind me to look at things in a positive light, which I’ve written about here.
I have found this book so helpful and because fear is a feeling that we all experience, I really think that it has the potential to make difference to anyone who reads it, whatever their fear or situation is. What I love about this book is how Susan Jeffers writes with a lot of empathy and has obviously followed her own advice. I have noticed a definite change in my thinking and have enjoyed trying to do one thing that scares me most days. To be honest, I’m having to do this less and less because I’m finding as I do more of the things that I thought scared me, the less scared or worried I’ve become in general.
Have you read this book before or has this post inspired you to read it? Get in touch! I’d really love to hear from you. Also if you have any recommendations for which book I should read next I’d love to hear them 🙂