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THE PHENOMENAL CLASSIC THAT HAS CHANGED THE LIVES OF MILLIONS
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 ...
THE PHENOMENAL CLASSIC THAT HAS CHANGED THE LIVES OF MILLIONS
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. Inside you’ll discover
• what we are afraid of, and why
• how to move from victim to creator
• the secret of making no lose decisions
• the vital 10-step process that helps you outtalk the negative chatterbox in your brain
• how to create more meaning in your life
And so much more!
With insight and humor, Dr. Jeffers shows you how to become powerful in the face of your fears–and enjoy the elation of living a creative, joyous, loving life.
“Should be required for every person who can read! I recommend this book in every one of my seminars!”
–Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul
“It’s a must! The most practical guide to personal empowerment I have ever read. Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway goes to number one on my recommended reading list.”
–Jordan Paul, Ph.D., co-author of Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?
“Living is taking chances, and Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway has helped so many people, both men and women, to achieve success.”
–Louise L. Hay, author of The Power Is Within You
WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF . . . AND WHY?
I am about to teach another fear class. The classroom is empty. I am waiting for my new group of students to appear. My nervousness about teaching these classes disappeared a long time ago. Not only have I taught it many times, but I also know my students before I meet them. They are like the rest of us: all trying to do the best they can and all uncertain about whether they’re good enough. It never varies.
As the students enter the room, I can feel the tension. They sit as far apart from one another as possible, until the seats between must be filled because of lack of space. They don’t talk to one another, but sit nervously, expectantly. I love them for their courage to admit that their lives are not working the way they want them to work. And their presence in the class signifies that they are ready to do something about it.
I begin by going around the room asking each student to tell the rest of us what he or she is having difficulty confronting in life. Their stories unfold:
Don wants to change his career of fourteen years and follow his dreams of becoming an artist.
Mary Alice is an actress who wants to discover why she finds all kinds of excuses for not attending auditions.
Sarah wants to leave a marriage of fifteen years.
Teddy wants to get over his fear of aging. He is all of thirty-two.
Jean is a senior citizen who wants to confront her doctor; he treats her like a child and never gives her any straight answers.
Patti wants to expand her business, but can’t make the required leap to the next step.
Rebecca wants to confront her husband with things that have been bothering her.
Kevin wants to get over a fear of rejection that makes it very difficult to ask a woman for a date.
Laurie wants to know why she is unhappy when she has everything one could possibly want in life.
Richard is retired and feels useless. He fears his life is over.
And so it goes until everyone’s story is heard.
I’m fascinated with what happens during the go-around. As each person shares from the heart, the entire atmosphere begins to change. The tension quickly fades and relief is expressed on everyone’s face.
First, my students begin to realize that they are not the only ones in the world feeling afraid. Second, they begin to see how attractive people become as they open up and share their feelings. Long before the last person has spoken, a feeling of warmth and camaraderie pervades the room. They are strangers no more.
Although the backgrounds and situations of the class members vary greatly, it does not take long for the surface layers of their particular stories to disappear, opening the way for everyone to touch on a very human level. The common denominator is the fact that fear is keeping all of them from experiencing life the way they want to experience it.
The scenario above repeats itself in each fear class I teach. At this point you might be wondering how one course can accommodate all the diverse fears reported by the class members—their needs seem to be so varied. It’s true. They do seem varied until we dig a little deeper and look at the underlying cause of all their fears—and everyone else’s.
Fear can be broken down into three levels. The first level is the surface story, such as the ones described above. This level of fear can be divided into two types: those that “happen” and those that require action. Here is a partial list of Level 1 fears divided into these types:
Level 1 Fears
Those that “Happen”Those Requiring Action
AgingGoing back to school
Becoming disabledMaking decisions
RetirementChanging a career
Being aloneMaking friends
Children leaving homeEnding or beginning a
Natural disasters relationship
Loss of financial securityGoing to the doctor
Level 1 Fears (continued)
Those that “Happen”Those Requiring Action
Losing a loved onePublic speaking
AccidentsMaking a mistake
You might have a few you can add to the list. As I hinted earlier, you wouldn’t be alone if you said to yourself, “Some of the above” or even “All of the above.” There is a reason for this. One of the insidious qualities of fear is that it tends to permeate many areas of our lives. For example, if you fear making new friends, it then stands to reason that you also may fear going to parties, having intimate relationships, applying for jobs, and so on.
This is made clearer by a look at the second layer of fear, which has a very different feel from that of Level 1. Level 2 fears are not situation-oriented; they involve the ego.
Level 2 Fears
Being vulnerableLoss of image
Level 2 fears have to do with inner states of mind rather than exterior situations. They reflect your sense of self and your ability to handle this world. This explains why generalized fear takes place. If you are afraid of being rejected, this fear will affect almost every area of your life—friends, intimate relationships, job interviews, and so on. Rejection is rejection—wherever it is found. So you begin to protect yourself, and, as a result, greatly limit yourself. You begin to shut down and close out the world around you. Look over the Level 2 list once again, and you will see how any one of these fears can greatly impact many areas of your life.
Level 3 gets down to the nitty-gritty of the issue: the biggest fear of all—the one that really keeps you stuck. Are you ready?
Level 3 Fear
I CAN’T HANDLE IT!
“That’s it? That’s the big deal?” you may ask. I know you’re disappointed and wanted something much more dramatic than that. But the truth is this:
AT THE BOTTOM OF EVERY ONE OF YOUR FEARS
IS SIMPLY THE FEAR THAT YOU CAN’T HANDLE
WHATEVER LIFE MAY BRING YOU.
Let’s test this. The Level 1 fears translate to:
I can’t handle illness.
I can’t handle making a mistake.
I can’t handle losing my job.
I can’t handle getting old.
I can’t handle being alone.
I can’t handle making a fool out of myself.
I can’t handle not getting the job.
I can’t handle losing him/her.
I can’t handle losing my money . . . etc.
The Level 2 fears translate to:
I can’t handle the responsibilities of success.
I can’t handle failure.
I can’t handle being rejected . . . etc.
Thus Level 3—simply, “I can’t handle it!”
The truth is:
IF YOU KNEW YOU COULD HANDLE ANYTHING
THAT CAME YOUR WAY,
WHAT WOULD YOU POSSIBLY HAVE TO FEAR?
The answer is: nothing!
I know you are probably not jumping up and down for joy just yet, but believe me when I tell you that I have just given you a great piece of news. What I have just told you means you can handle all your fears without having to control anything in the outside world. This should be a tremendous relief. You no longer have to control what your mate does, what your friends do, what your children do, or what your boss does. You don’t have to control what happens at an interview, what happens at your job, what happens in your new career, what happens to your money, or what happens in the stock market.
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO DIMINISH YOUR FEAR IS
TO DEVELOP MORE TRUST IN YOUR ABILITY
TO HANDLE WHATEVER COMES YOUR WAY!
I am belaboring the point because it is so critical. From this moment on, every time you feel afraid, remind yourself that it is simply because you are not feeling good enough about yourself. Then proceed to use one or more of the tools in this book to help build yourself up. You have your task clearly mapped out for you. There is no reason for confusion.
I’ve often been asked to explain why we have so little trust in ourselves. I don’t really know the answer to that. I know that some fear is instinctual and healthy, and keeps us alert to trouble. The rest—the part that holds us back from personal growth—is inappropriate and destructive, and perhaps can be blamed on our conditioning.
In all my life I have never heard a mother call out to her child as he or she goes off to school, “Take a lot of risks today, darling.” She is more likely to convey to her child, “Be careful, darling.” This “Be careful” carries with it a double message: “The world is really dangerous out there” . . . and . . . “you won’t be able to handle it.” What Mom is really saying, of course, is, “If something happens to you, I won’t be able to handle it.” You see, she is only passing on her lack of trust in her ability to handle what comes her way.
I can remember wanting desperately to have a two-wheel bicycle and my mother’s refusal to buy me one. Her answer to my pleas was always the same: “I love you too much. I don’t want anything to happen to you.” I translated this to mean: “You are not competent enough to handle a two-wheel bike.” Having become older and wiser, I realize now that she was really saying: “If anything happens to you, I will fall apart.”
This overprotective mother of mine was once in intensive care after serious surgery, with tubes down her nose and her throat. When I was told it was time for me to leave, I whispered in her ear—not knowing if she could hear me—that I loved her and would be back later. As I was walking toward the door, I heard a small, weak voice behind me saying—you guessed it—“Be careful.” Even in her anesthetic stupor, she was sending me admonitions of doom and gloom. And I know she typifies the great percentage of mothers out there. Considering how many “be careful”s our parents bombarded us with, it is amazing that we even manage to walk out the front door!
Apart from such seemingly obvious connections, the cause of our fear quite possibly lies elsewhere. But does it really matter where our self-doubts come from? I believe not. It is not my approach to analyze the whys and wherefores of troublesome areas of the mind. It is often impossible to figure out what the actual causes of negative patterns are, and even if we did know, the knowing doesn’t necessarily change them. I believe that if something is troubling you, simply start from where you are and take the action necessary to change it.
In this case, you know that you don’t like the fact that lack of trust in yourself is stopping you from getting what you want out of life. Knowing this creates a very clear, even laserlike, focus on what needs to be changed. You don’t have to scatter your energy wondering why. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you begin now to develop your trust in yourself, until you reach the point where you will be able to say:
WHATEVER HAPPENS TO ME, GIVEN ANY SITUATION,
I CAN HANDLE IT!
I can hear the doubting Thomases out there saying, “Oh, come on now, how do you handle paralysis, or the death of a child, or cancer?” I understand your skepticism. Remember that I was once a doubting Thomas myself. Just read on and let the book unfold. Give yourself a winning chance by using the tools provided throughout this book. As you do, you will find yourself coming closer and closer to such a high level of self-confidence that you will ultimately begin to realize that you can handle anything that comes your way. Never let these three little words out of your mind—possibly the three most important little words you’ll ever hear:
I’LL HANDLE IT!
Posted February 25, 2009
In todays very challenging times this is on my must read book list for my team members, and a strong recommendation for close personal and business relationships. Some of us may be, or have recently experienced anxiety with the personal and financial situations we have faced. I feel Dr. Jeffers book can be an excellent support tool and guide for helping each of us out of the the "dark place" we feel we may be in.
I will introduce this book to others with the hope they will pass it along to people who could use good, uplifting, supportive information.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 9, 2006
Posted January 27, 2013
I thought this was a wonderful book! I am a 40 year old male, and I suffered greatly in life due to my lack of confidence in myself. This book really makes you feel better about yourself, and makes you want to change for the better. The author really touches on things that force you to question the way you perceive things in your life. You learn to be more positive, and question what things in your life are truly "your own fault" due to your fear, and lack of action.
Posted December 28, 2012
I was a college student suffering from Lyme disease for the third time and oscillating between bouts of paralyzing terror and doubt and hopelessness. Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway was in the clearance rack of the university bookstore. I was caught in one of the terror-bouts and the book's title caught my eye.
When I read it, I knew instantly that I had done the right thing by purchasing it. Susan Jeffers gives clear, simple advice on how to deal with even the most hopeless situations by changing your perspective. The main tenet of the book is realizing that every bit of fear and stuck-in-a-rut-ness of our lives comes from the niggling doubt that we can't handle whatever the future throws at us... and then figuring out that we can!
With this book's help I crawled out of my rut and finished the semester as a relatively functional human being, something I wasn't sure I'd be able to do before I grabbed the book.
Posted December 13, 2009
This incredibly inspirational book transcends what the cover claims it will help the reader to accomplish. I picked up the book in the psychology section of B&N looking for something to help me overcome my fear of disapproval. What I found was another way of looking at life and my place in it. The book made for an inspirational read - I felt better about myself every time I put it down. It is also practical in the suggestions it makes in accomplishing your goals and making your decisions. I highly recommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 13, 2006
This book was very useful and very helpful to me personnally. I recommend it to anyone of any age with a fear they are having trouble overcomming. The only part that bothered my was how frequently the author used someone finally getting the courage to divorce a spouse as a good example. The book sometimes goes too far with a self-centered focus. But I still highly recommend this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 23, 2005
This book helped me find a sense of peace and calm and learn to start overcoming my fears one step at a time. It's not religious and her tone and style are entertaining, not patronizing. Somehow, she pinpointed so many of my personal and professional fears and anxieties - what a relief to know I'm not alone and there's real, practical help. This is slowly changing my life!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 16, 2005
We all have fears of something and this book gives excellent advice about getting past our fears. I especially liked the easy to implement ideas and an easy reading style.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 23, 2005
Posted May 26, 2004
This is a truly great book. I am an 18 year old girl, and I tell you, making choices big or small are all tough, but this book helps you through. It is filled with inspirational thoughts, quotes, and stories. I have already lost 10 pounds reading this book, am applying to finish highschool, and taking myself more seriously.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2004
From page one the author caught my attention. Her advice is down to earth and anyone can incorporate it into their life. Her advice also is for anyone in any situation in which they are stuck and trying to get unstuck. Much different than other books out on the market and I highly recommend it to everyone!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 15, 2003
Very inspirational book. I only read 1/4 of the book and already I feel great about myself. It¿s not only a book about taking charge of fear, but it also builds up confidence. It¿s definitely worth the money and it¿s easy to read & understand.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 16, 2003
i'm reading this book now b/c i'm stuck w/ fear of the BAR exam and this fear is preventing me from moving forward in my life. I've read only a few chapters and already feel a difference. I have begun the process of reeducating my mind in how i hold my fear and have realized it begins with how i view myself and how much confidence i have in myself. This book gives tools and strategies on how to handle your fears and is an excellent, easy read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 4, 2003
Fears can prevent you from living your true life path. This book acknowledges what it feels like to experience fear. Then the author offers solid advice and tips on how to excel not after you've overcome your fear but how to excel in spite of that fear. I enjoyed this book so much I included it in the suggested reading list of my own book titled, Rat Race Relaxer: Your Potential & The Maze of Life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2002
I read this book 9 years ago and the only self help book I have read through. It is a great book for someone looking to change their life and start living. After reading this book I went SkyDiving for the first time. It was a great eye opener!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 8, 2000
I picked this title up at random while pondering how to approach some relationship problems I was having. While it did not radically change my life, it did help reinforce the perspective of the challenges as a positive experience. The first day I had it I read about half of the book. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone preparing to take risks or make changes in their life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 27, 2000
What distinguishes 'Feel the Fear...' from other self-help books written by professionals is that Dr. Jeffers speaks not only from her clinical experience, but also from her own personal experience. The title sums up her approach perfectly -- 'It's O.K. to be afraid; just know you can handle the situation anyway.' She then offers very practical advice which anyone can apply, regardless of what particular fear is keeping their life on hold. All four of our family members has his or her own copy of this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 11, 2009
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Posted April 25, 2011
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Posted November 21, 2010
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