Author: Susan Jeffers. (Bio)
My opinion of this book: This book is great. Whenever some fear of doing something pops up, this book can help you take on the fear. It’s amazing how a few insights from a new perspective can really help you “do it anyway”. It’s simple, to the point, and was very eye-opening when I first read it.
One note: The book is more about helping you get through the fear of doing something. It’s probably not going to be as useful if you want to get over your fear of dying or other existential or external fears you may have.
Should You Read This Book?
If you have these challenges:
You’re afraid of doing something and it’s keeping you from what you want or need.
… then it might help you because:
It gives you both a logical and emotional argument for pushing through your fear.
But you might not want to read it if:
You have more serious fears and anxieties and should talk to a professional.
What I Got Out Of This Book
Do It Anyway
The number one insight from the book for me was that the fear won’t go away until you do the thing you are afraid of.
This sucks, I know.
But it’s the truth and if you think about all the things you’ve been afraid of you probably can’t think of many where for no reason at all a fear went away.
Here’s the thing though: When we’re afraid of doing something, there’s this weird semi-conscious voice that says “Someday maybe I will get the courage and do that thing. Then I will do it.”
When you understand accept the fact that you will never magically get the courage, then you have to accept that as long as you do nothing you will never get past the fear. The courage won’t just drop from the sky. You won’t just wake up brave someday.
The only way to be less afraid of something is on the other side of doing the thing you are afraid of.
So if you believe these to be true then your choices are:
- Live forever in fear. Never get what you want.
- Do the thing even though you feel afraid.
She says it more convincingly than me, but hopefully you see the point.
(Note: this “do the thing” does not apply to crazy, dangerous, or illegal type stuff.)
On the other side of doing the fear you will feel really good about yourself and you will feel far less fear about similar situations in the future.
Sure you could have some external person or process or bit of fate get you past the thing you are afraid of. But you won’t be any better at the fear the next time and you won’t be any better as a person.
You Can Handle It
At the root of the fear, Jeffers says, is your belief that you “can’t handle it” – whatever the fear is.
Imagine if you could handle all your fears. (Spoiler: Jeffers knows you can).
I love the idea that whatever happens I will be handle it. It’s such a freeing thought that dissolves fear and opens up hope in all kinds of possibilities.
She goes into various ways that you can start believing that you can handle whatever comes your way. It’s not just coachy pep-talk. There are real suggestions that you can act on. If you want to know them, you’ll have to get the book.