I'm kicking myself for not having read this book sooner. It has got to be one of the best self-help books of all time. After finishing it, I immediately felt this surge of energy that I wanted to direct toward every scary thing I could think of. Start a new business! Learn to snorkel! Wrestle a bear! Well, maybe not wrestle a bear. You know what they say: Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, except for bears. Bears will just kill you. So if something scary happens, just think, at least it's not a bear.
Susan Jeffers' book Feel the Fear... and Do It Anyway is motivational, sure. There's a lot more to it than that, though. Confronting fear means going to some dark places. One of the exercises involves listing all the payoffs we get from stuck situations in our lives. For instance, when I still got migraines, which I wouldn't wish on anyone, I had a built-in alarm system telling me that I occasionally needed to spend a day resting in bed. I haven't had a migraine in nearly three years, but I can give myself permission to lounge around without that as my reason.
My husband and I almost decided against our backpacking trip to Iceland because we were both afraid I wouldn't be physically able to handle living in a tent for three weeks. Fear would have kept us from one of the best experiences of our lives. We did the trip, and I didn't get a migraine, and I was fine, and then we went to Spain for two weeks, and I was fine then too. Now neither of us worries about what we used to consider a significant problem.
This book does a terrific job in discussing grief, loss, pain, and resentment as well as fear. One of the key messages is that what we are really afraid of, in most situations, is 'not being able to handle it.' "I'm afraid I'll get a migraine while we're traveling in a foreign country, and I won't be able to handle it." Recognizing that tends to lead to the realization that I probably CAN in fact handle the situation.
Some quotes that stood out to me:
"OUTTALK YOUR NEGATIVITY"
On waiting for someone who is always late: "It gives me a rare opportunity to do nothing without feeling guilty!"
"Think about this: If you see that your purpose in life is to give, then it's almost impossible to be conned. If someone takes, they are simply fulfilling your life's purpose, and they deserve your thanks."
"If you have no concept of how the world can look without fear, it is hard to know what you are striving for."
I loved this book, and I wish I'd read it sooner. The message that "I can handle it" is going to stick with me. This is something that should be taught to everyone, starting with the tiniest kids.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.