Intelligent Fear: How to Make Fear Work for You

Intelligent Fear: How to Make Fear Work for You

by Michael Clarkson
     
 

From parents to executives to emergency-services personnel, fear is a part of our everyday lives. It can cause us to perform poorly in pressure situations or lead us to worry until we're immobilized, panic-stricken, or just plain helpless. In Intelligent Fear, author Michael Clarkson presents an in-depth look at this debilitating force—from its prehistoric

Overview

From parents to executives to emergency-services personnel, fear is a part of our everyday lives. It can cause us to perform poorly in pressure situations or lead us to worry until we're immobilized, panic-stricken, or just plain helpless. In Intelligent Fear, author Michael Clarkson presents an in-depth look at this debilitating force—from its prehistoric origins to its numerous modern incarnations—and offers effective formulas that help change fear from a weakness into a strength. In clear, concise language, Clarkson teaches readers how to adapt the fear response to the twenty-first century, change the mind-body chemistry in order to focus on the task at hand, hone mental powers to help handle pressure situations, and much more. Intelligent Fear shows that if handled correctly, fear can actually work for us, giving us strength and courage when we need it the most. Based on thirteen years of research, Clarkson's own personal experiences, and interviews with more than 1,000 super-achievers, scientists, and crisis survivors, Intelligent Fear is a surefire formula for self-improvement.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Everyone lives with pain, uncertainty, and fear; it's what we do with it that matters, say these three authors. First-time author Altemus tracks the transformation of pain into healing (that "journey where we...discover how to become empowered and connected") through her own personal story and the stories of luminaries like Goldie Hawn, Martin Sheen, and Iyanla Vanzant. Though these accounts effectively illustrate small truths, e.g., "there is a distinction between vocation and career," they frequently ramble and overlap previously covered ground. Still, readers drawn to the process of healing will enjoy material aplenty (misery loves company?). Chapters are topically arranged: addiction, divorce, etc. Clarkson, a journalist at the Toronto Star, analyzes the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of fear, reminding us that "we still react to danger...the same way we have for more than a million years." Yet while our hard-wired capabilities were eminently useful for cave dwellers facing saber-toothed tigers, they don't work as well with contemporary hazards like threats to our egos and sports challenges. Unfortunately, Clarkson overintellectualizes a "system of fear" encompassing worry, anxiety, stress, and fear. Workmanlike writing aside, this lacks how-to, and the most interesting material comes from quoted experts. Consider instead Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life, Hugh Prather's direct and fun The Little Book of Letting Go, and Thom Rutledge's considerate Embracing Fear. Jeffers (Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway) emphasizes ad nauseum that humans have absolutely no control over the future. At times bleakly fatalistic, she exhorts readers to modify any "soul-destroying" negative points of view regarding uncertainty, change, and control and instead embrace possibilities and "love the uncertainty of it all." The "Hoping Life" ("I hope I lost weight") is eschewed in favor of the "Wondering Life" ("I wonder if I lost weight"). While reducing stress by lessening one's attachment to outcome is noble, for this system to be effective it needs more practical examples and exercises. The scattered, unfocused approach presented here feels more like abandoning control than an empowering scheme. In place of any of the above, consider Pema Chodron and Emily Hilburn Sell's Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings and Randall P. White and Philip Hodgson's Relax, It's Only Uncertainty: Lead the Way When the Way Is Changing. Forget Clarkson, order Jeffers on demand, and consider Altemus for large collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569244890
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
03/15/2003
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.59(d)

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