FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY
What will you learn from this summary?
You will learn how to handle fear. Whatever it is that causes your fear, this book will help you overcome it. You will learn stories from real people who experienced great fear but moved on and succeeded. You will learn how to gain the power to face your fear and change your life.
Who will learn from this summary?
• For anyone who feels fear and self-doubt
• For students, young adults, people from all occupations
About the Author
Susan Jeffers is a psychologist and author. She completed her doctorate while fulfilling her duties as a wife and mother. Feel the Fear is her most popular work. Susan wrote books, gave lectures and seminars until she passed away from cancer in 2012.
FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY
What do you fear the most? What drives you away from achieving your dreams and accomplishing the things you want to do in life? Do you feel stuck in a space where you can’t move forward?Let me tell you this. It is just a simple word that causes so much weight on us.We always carry it around, not acknowledging its presence until we deeply felt it.That is FEAR.In this book, you will learn how to identify fear and how much it influences our lives.You will learn how to deal with fear and take control of it. You will learn to experience the things you miss because of fear.By the end of this book, you will see yourself in a different light with purpose, meaning and love. If you are ready to change your life, then keep reading until the very end, and you will see how much differ-ence it can make by accepting the things we fear the most.
What Are You Afraid Of And Why?
Fear is the reason that we are unable to experience the happiness we desperately seek. We can’t con-trol what life gives us, but we can act to make it bearable.Fear has three levels.Level 1 is the things that actually happen and the things that require action. Level 2 involves the Ego like feelings of rejection, failure, loss of image, helplessness and so on. Level 3 is the biggest fear of all. It is the thought “I cannot handle it”We cannot predict the future that’s why we should never say “I cannot handle it” without even trying. By accepting your fear, and believing in yourself, you can conquer any obstacle.A son recalls his childhood days with his mother. He often hears his mom saying these words every time he leaves the house “Be careful, darling”.Those simple words convey a double message which is “The world is dangerous” and “You cannot handle it”. But the son, in his young age, never knew the real meaning. The mother is only worried that if something happens to her son, she may not be there to protect him.
Years passed by, the mother continued to tell her son always to be careful with everything he does. It was only after the son grew up and matured that he understood what the mother meant. She was saying that if anything bad happens to him, she might not be able to handle it and she may fall apart.One day, the mother got sick, and she was admitted to ICU. She underwent a serious surgery. The mother had tubes down her nose and throat. The son whispered in her ear—not knowing if she can really hear him—”I love you so much, Mom. I will be right back.”As he walks towards the door, he heard a tiny, weak voice behind him saying—“Be careful”. The son cried as he remembered how many “Be careful” his mother said to him all those years.
Can’t You Make It Go Away?
Fear will never go away, that’s the hard fact, but you can control how much it affects your life.Fear can be tamed, but it will always come back to a new situation. The cycle begins again until you get used to it.People who work in public and entertainment also experience fear. We are all the same when it comes to feeling fear, no matter who you are. Going out and doing the things that are out of your comfort zone are ways that you can make the fear go away somehow.A woman recently got divorced. Before that happened, she was practically dependent on her husband to do everything for her. After the divorce, the woman had no choice but to learn all the things that are new to her. She is afraid and uncertain, but she continued. Soon, the woman developed her self-confidence.
Each day, she learned new things. Her ability to handle problems on her own made her fear subside. When she gets exposed to new experiences, the fear comes back. But the woman continued to put herself out there, knowing that the fear will eventually go away.There was once a mayor who needs to learn how to tap dance. It was for a public event in which a Broadway cast would accompany him. The mayor was used to speaking in front of thousands of people. He makes decisions that affect so many lives. But he had to admit that he does not know how to dance. He is afraid to learn tap dancing. It is a new experience for the mayor, but he decided to continue.The mayor reminded himself that it is natural to feel fear when learning new things. After days of prac-tice and getting familiar with the steps, the mayor’s fear slowly went away. His level of confidence in-creased. At the day of the event, the people loved the mayor’s tap dance routine. They all cheered for him.The truth is that we are all human, and each of us feels fear at certain points of our lives. There is no exception. Whether you are a town mayor or an ordinary woman, you can accept fear and overcome it.
From Pain to Power
Taking a risk in life makes you more powerful. Gaining confidence with each step makes you experience the world more despite the issue of fear.We all have the power within us, and we can tap that source to give us confidence in fearful situations.Power doesn’t mean to control other people. The power we are talking about is the ability to control your happiness, and the way you live your life.A woman learned that his husband has cancer. Their lives suddenly changed. The woman became so afraid that she lost her power to handle the situation. But as days passed by, she learned new things.
The woman saw a new perspective on the situation.She realized that many people care for her and her husband. Their love for each other became stronger as they continued to fight every day. The woman eliminated her feelings of anger and bitterness. She does not feel stressed anymore. She became more confident in facing the challenges.The woman and her husband got rid of all the negative feelings, and they discovered the power within themselves. The husband’s health improved slowly. Together, they were able to help other cancer patients.In the end, your inner strength beats the weakness in you. The more you accept and face the problem, the more powerful you can be.
Whether You Want It Or Not… It’s Yours
Take responsibility for your life. Do not play the victim and blame your problems to others.Take control as you are the only one responsible for all the consequences of your actions.Remember that the decisions you make shape your future. When you don’t play victim, you gain power over your fear.Taking responsibility also means handling the little voices in your mind. These voices tell you destructive things that make you doubt yourself.You can also take responsibility by figuring out what you want in life and acting on a set of goals. You can take small steps every day toward your goal. If you do, the reward you will get is far greater than you can imagine.Remember that you have the power to shape your life. Set goals and do small steps to achieve them. Take responsibility for your actions and accept the consequences. Never blame other people for what is happening to you.
Edward is a wealthy man who has all the things in life, but he lives in constant anxiety every day. He was told to see a psychiatrist for his anxiety, but Edward refuses to do so. He said that the people in his life should be the ones to change. If only his wife is more loving, if only his boss is not dependent on him—then he will be fine, and things would be back to normal.Edward insists that he has no reason to get help. He believes that it’s everyone else’s fault and not his. Edward is a perfect example of a man who does not take responsibility. He blames others and puts himself as the victim.Tony has a stable job, but he complains that he stuck in it and he prefers other jobs rather than this one. Why should you complain like Tony when many other people are unemployed? Instead of complaining, Tony should just perform his best. In this way, he would feel more satisfaction and happiness in his job.
Before looking for more recognition or higher pay, ask yourself first, do you deserve it? Can you say with full confidence that you are an excellent employee? If you change your behaviour, you can change your circumstances. Accepting that you need to improve is another way of taking responsibility.Kevin is five years separated from his wife and family. He had found a new woman he loves, and he wants to marry her. But Kevin has not yet told his wife and children that he wanted a divorce. One day, the woman he was about to marry threatened that she would leave.
That is when Kevin came for psychotherapy. The little voices inside his head tell many negative things. Maybe when Kevin divorces his wife, she might commit suicide. His children might hate him, and they would never talk to him again.With the help of a therapist, Kevin realized that he was only afraid of letting go. He realized that for him, his wife and children are a place to come home to, and he was afraid to lose the connection permanently. This fear is the reason why Kevin was stuck.In life, we receive all the consequences of the choices we make. The only solution is to accept our mis-takes and learn from them so that we could move on.
Pollyanna Rides Again
Pollyanna is a story of a little girl who plays the game of seeing the positive side of every situation. The Pollyanna principle is derived from her. However, some people say that always being positive is naive and unrealistic. Do you believe that too?The truth is that finding a positive side on negative experiences is the key to happiness.When you stop feeding yourself with negative thoughts, you can conquer the little voices in your head. You gain the power to control your fear and the power to control your life.In this chapter, you will learn how to eliminate negativity. The little voices in your head continue to feed you with situations that are not actually happening in reality. They limit your power and fill you with fear. Try your best to fight these little voices with positive thoughts. By doing so, you can regain your control.
Turn this positive thinking into a habit so that it becomes automatic for you. There may be times when you feel sad and defeated but fight back. Stop those little voices by seeing the brighter side of things.Joan and Mary were both housewives. Their husbands died suddenly because of heart attack.One of them regained her power while the other was defeated by fear.Joan succumbed to misery and sadness. For years, she received sympathy from friends, neighbours and relatives. Until at that point where all of those people got tired of her depressed mood. No one wanted to be with her anymore.Joan thought that single women never get the support they need. She also believed that she would not find new love. She can never be happy now that her husband is gone. It came true for Joan because she had a negative attitude and behaviour.
Her husband only left enough savings for basic needs. Joan decided that she would support herself with that small amount because she believed that a housewife like her would never get a job. Joan went to a few interviews. But because of her lack of enthusiasm, she wasn’t hired.Joan created a miserable life for herself because of her negative thinking.Mary, on the other hand, had a different approach in life. She applied the Pollyanna principle. Mary mourned for a while when her husband died. But after that, she picked herself up again. Mary is the kind of person who can always see something good out of something bad.Her husband also left her a small amount of money. But unlike Joan, Mary is determined to get out there and earn money for herself. She also had no work experiences, but Mary thought that there’s got to be a job for her somewhere.
She volunteered for a fund-raising event and found that she liked the work very much. And so, Mary applied to be a fund-raising clerk in a charity organization. She got hired! Mary had never felt this good before. She still misses her husband, but she chose to grow and move on.Mary saw the brighter side of things. That’s why people wanted to be with her. They admired her because she became brave and successful. Mary turned an unfortunate event into a great opportunity. If she did not lose her husband, Mary would not have known that she can achieve many things on her own.
When “They” Don’t Want You To Grow
It is more empowering when a person has a strong support group. These are inspiring and motivated people around you to help you boost your confidence and sense of belongingness.As we grow old, we stay away from negative people that drag us down, because negativity is contagious and we don’t want negative energy in our lives.When a person gives positive energy, he also attracts other people with positive energy in his life. Friends who share positive energy become the support group of each other.Choose to be with people who makes you feel wonderful, accepted, and loved. You must solve the issue when your loved one is having toxic behaviour towards you. Never let anyone drag you down.
Doris is a college student. She is so shy that her husband had to drive her every day for her class. Her husband also waits for Doris to finish all her lectures because she is too frightened to be alone.When Doris needs to speak in the classroom, she would start having panic attacks. Her professor wor-ried about her. That’s why he made Doris perform a technique called “paradoxical intention”. This simply means that Doris should do the very thing she fears.Doris resisted, but the professor encouraged her more. He told Doris to give in to the panic attacks so that the whole class can witness it. But Doris couldn’t do it. She laughed at the situation, which made the whole class laugh with her.That was the turning point for Doris.Every week she made progress. She can now do assignments with her classmates. A few months later, she was shopping and even taking the train ride home on her own.
One day, she came to her professor and told him that she is disappointed with her husband. Doris said, “Every day as I get better, I feel that my husband is trying to sabotage me. As I prepare myself to go, he would tell me all kinds of dangers that I have to face outside. When I cheered for certain things that I achieved, he becomes detached.”This shows that Doris’ husband is feeling threatened by the changes in her habits and attitude. The once dependent Doris is now making a life without him. The husband feels suspicious of what Doris might do without him by her side.Both Doris and her husband were able to work it out. They understood each other’s needs. Doris refused to go back to being afraid all the time, so her husband promised to adjust for her. He admitted that he is only afraid to lose his Doris. The husband tried hard to change. Soon, he did overcome that hurdle, and he became Doris’ huge supporter.
How to make a no-lose decision
Decision-making is one of the most challenging parts of life. But there is a way to make it easier and more effective in the long run. Remember this. Trying and failing is better than never trying at all.When you try, and you fail, at least you learnt a lesson, at least you know one way that doesn’t work. You can try another approach. Just focus on the goal and remain persistent. One day, you may try once more and finally succeed.This idea makes decision-making easier and more effective. Why? At least, you will not be paralyzed by fear anymore. You will not be stuck in a place where you constantly think about whether you should go for it or not.
Do not fear failure because it is part of the journey to success. The real tragedy is when you never try at all. Imagine that. You would think for many years “What if?” You would regret it later that you did not give it a shot. This is why trying and failing is a no-lose decision. You would still learn from your mistakes.Alex is a law school student. All his life he admired his father that’s why he chose to study law. He got good grades in law school, and he excelled for two years. However, Alex had an idea that made him rethink his decision to pursue law.He felt that he doesn’t want to be always on the “combat zone”. Alex wanted to help people but in a different way. He thinks that he’s too soft to become a lawyer. That’s why Alex decided to become a clinical psychologist instead.
His father gave him the blessing to change his career but on the condition that he will not pay for Alex’s education anymore. This made Alex rethink again, but in the end, he stood by his decision. He quit law school and enrolled in psychology. People tell him that he wasted those two years for nothing, but Alex now felt sure. Being a lawyer was not for him. Alex worked part-time to pay for his tuition fees. He hustled hard, and he earned enough. At his work, Alex also met the woman who soon became his loving wife. After years of working two part-time jobs, and completing a fellowship, Alex finally gained his doctorate degree.Think that whichever path you take, you can handle anything, and you will succeed. There will be fail-ures, but because of courage, you can get back up again and try a new path. Opportunities are meant to be taken. By taking risks, you choose success over fear, and you eventually reach your goals.You need to trust in yourself. Tell yourself every time you feel fear, “I can handle it… I can handle it… I can handle it…”
In this book, you learned that fear is a powerful influence in our lives. Fear will always be here.But if we learn to accept it, then we can overcome it.There are 3 levels of fear. The first level is caused by things that actually happen in reality. The second level is caused by the thoughts and feelings that exist in our mind. The third level is the strongest fear of all which is the idea “I cannot handle it”.You learned that every time we are in a new situation, we would encounter fear. But if we try to be brave, to take risks, to get out of our comfort zone, then we can handle fear.You learned that there is a power within you. It is the power to take control of your fear. It is the power to take control of your life and your happiness.You learned how to take responsibility. Do not play victim. Never blame other people. All that happens to you is the consequence of your actions. That is why if you change your behavior, you can change your life.You learned about the Pollyanna Principle. It is not naïve and unrealistic.
It is the way to true happiness. Choose to see the bright side of things. If you are positive, then you will attract more positive things in your life.You learned about the importance of a support group. Choose to be with people who are kind, happy and motivated. Understand other people so that they will understand and support you too.You learned how to make a no-lose decision. It is when you try and fail and learn. You do not lose be-cause you are one step closer to success. If you do not take any step, then that is the real failure.Do you still feel the big fear? Hopefully, this book has helped you.It’s okay to feel fear. Each time that you do, just remind yourself, “I can handle it… I can handle it… I can handle it…” Take courage and move forward.