What are you afraid of in your life? Is it losing a loved one, getting fired, being alone, or maybe getting old?
Every one of us feels fear. You are not alone. Some people are stopped by their fears but others move forward and thrive despite the fear. In this book, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, Susan Jeffers wants to help us to understand and concur our fear and live life fully. We usually look at fear as an obstacle, but she says that we will face fear every time we take a risk and try to do something new. The issue is not the fear, but how we handle that fear. In this summary, I’ll share with you three key lessons that I learned from reading it.
Key Lesson #1: “I can’t handle it” is the single fear under all other fears
Fear usually starts on the surface as a story you tell yourself what might happen. Like you might end up old and alone or you might lose a loved one. But underneath any fear is the ultimate fear that you won’t be able to handle the situation when it comes. This is usually because you don’t have enough trust in yourself. So to face the fear, all you need to do is to build the confidence that no matter what happens, you will be okay. Because you believe that you have incredible coping skills and you can handle anything that life throws at you. When you shift your thoughts from “I can’t handle it” to “I will handle it”, you’ll fear almost nothing. So the next time you catch yourself saying, what if this happens, or what if that happens? Stop yourself and say, “I will handle it.”
Key lesson #2: FEAR WILL NEVER GO AWAY
As long as you continue to grow, fear will never go away. So there is no point in trying to avoid your fears. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it. If you want to be a good public speaker, you just need to do it despite your fear. Even if it makes you feel bad. We can’t wait until we feel good. Feeling better comes second. When you do something that you were afraid of, you’ll feel good about yourself. Everyone experiences fear in unfamiliar situations. But many people are trapped by their fears. They say, “when this happens, then I’ll do that.” The only way to remove fear is to keep doing what you fear to do. When you face the unknown and handle it, you’ll learn to do it better each time and gradually lose your fear of it.
Key lesson #3: Facing fear is better than living with A FEELING OF HELPLESSNESS.
It’s less scary to push through fear than to constantly feel crippled and worried about the “what-ifs”. Each time you confront the fear, you remove some of the uncertainty. The more you do this, the more you realize you can handle anything that life throws at you. people who refuse to take risks live with a feeling of dread that is far more severe than what they would feel if they took the risks necessary to make them less helpless—only they don’t know it! When you aren’t pushing into your fears regularly, you are being overcome by them. You are allowing your fear to build walls around you that limit your freedom in this world. Once you decide to start taking little actions every day to overcome your fears and expand your comfort zone, you won’t ever be free of fear at the moment. But you’ll be able to look back in six months see how some things come easy to you now that we're paralyzing to you back then.
So in summary, Fear will never go away and all you have to do to diminish the fear is to develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way! Facing our fears, no matter how hard, is better than avoiding them and feeling helpless.