I’m so excited to do this book review of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers because it is one of my all time favourite books. One everyone should read! Especially people who are scared of change and embracing the new.
Who is Susan Jeffers ph.D?
Susan Jeffers (1938-2012) was an American best-selling author and sought-after public speaker. She appeared on many radio and television shows internationally. She saw herself as someone meant to do something in addition to raising a family. And boy did she, even thought at the time it was against society’s expectations.
When her children were young she attained a BA, Master’s Degree, and Doctorate in Psychology. She then became the Executive Director of The Floating Hospital, New York’s Ship of Health.
She survived a divorce, a mastectomy and a decade as a single working parent. She is a true example of someone who felt the fear but did it anyway.
She helped millions of people throughout the world overcome their fears, heal their relationships, and move forward in life with confidence and love.
Susan’s reading list
You only have to look at her recommended reading list to get a feeling for her and what she was all about. Here are some of the books from that list:
- Peace is the way – Deepak Chopra
- Man’s search for meaning – Viktor Frankl
- The Element – How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything Ken Robinson with Lou Aronica
- Awakening the Buddha Within – Lama Surya Das
- Happiness is a Choice – Barry Neil Kaufman
- Chop Wood, Carry Water – Rick Fields
Susan explains how fear seems to be everywhere in our lives. We ‘fear beginnings and we fear endings’! We also fear:
- Staying the same
I see fear of these on a regular basis in my hypnotherapy practice. People who want help getting through a job interview, exam or driving test have fear.
People who are ready to change their lives but are scared. People who have had enough are scared of what their lives have become and will continue to be.
Scared of not being about to lose the weight…scared of what they will do instead of smoking….. and anxiety is full of fear of course.
Teenagers who are scared of bullies or being themselves. I would say people are even scared to fully relax sometimes. And there is definitely fear around what others think.
But when you remove fear. You get better things in its place. You get power, energy and excitement.
Fear is an energy
Fear can be a useful response because it warns us of perceived danger and gives us a ‘boost’ to avoid getting hurt. Very useful for cavemen who had to avoid wild animals and also useful for that run you do to get out of the way of a car. But not always useful for some of life.
Level one fears are those on the surface
Susan lists fears are those that just happen like getting old, being alone or not having enough money.
And then fears that need action like changing career, losing weight or stating or ending relationships.
I would just like to make the point that fears do not need to be ‘big’ to feel big. The fear someone feels is not related to society’s perceived view of whether that is a justified fear. Fears that cause extreme fear are called phobias.
Level two fears are held within you. Susan gives examples of those as:
- Being rejected
- Being at risk
- Being tricked
- Being helpless
- Being disapproved of
- Losing yourself
These kind of fears are around your sense of sense and often difficult to understand on your own. They seep into all areas of your life and cause problems. This is what the self-help industry is built on. An of course, as a therapist, I help many clients with this sort of thing.
Susan then details level three fears under the title of ‘I can’t handle it!’
These fears are ‘major’ and will probably hold you back. They include feeling like you can’t handle:
- Being alone
- Your job
- Losing money
Do you have any fears and what impact are they having on your life? I can help you.
The good news is that Susan’s work aims to impart the knowledge and feelings which she poses as this question:
Question – If you knew you could handle anything that came your way, what would you possible have to fear?
Answer – NOTHING!
By lessening or removing your fear you gain more trust in the knowledge that you can handle anything that comes you way 🙂 Sounds great doesn’t it? As you continue to read the book (or listen to it as I did on a very long car journey!) you will feel this amazing sense that you can handle whatever comes your way. It is so empowering.
We believe what we tell ourselves
Our brains don’t know the difference between fact and fiction. So if you tell yourself good things, you will feel good. It is such a simple concept and one to teach your children for sure.
As Susan says in the book. We tell our children to be ‘careful’. This is giving messages that the world is full of danger. We say this because we don’t want them to hurt themselves and we will hurt too if anything happens to them. We are projecting our own fear onto them.
Can you imagine if Richard Branson had been fearful. Things would be very different.
If everyone had been to scared to go into space?
Or Columbus had been scared of sailing?
You can push through fear
There are many strategies for pushing through fear. Susan’s approach is to push through one fear, into the next! She sees the growth that this gives. I was looking at Amy Porterfield’s webpage recently and saw she has 250,000 Facebook fans! She does webinars to help people with their websites and stuff and I thought, I bet she felt nervous on her first webinar! But she has pushed through the fear each time.
Another example of pushing through fear is when people hold spiders to get rid of their fear of spiders. This can have some bad consequences (I know because I have had clients in my hypnotherapy practice that I have had to sort out because they have done this). But for many people, this works!
Overcoming fears makes you feel good!
It is natural to feel fear when you have to do something you haven’t done before. Whether that’s having a baby or a job interview!
One of the truest things I feel Susan says in her book is ‘pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the constant fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness’. How true this is!
Your mind is amazingly powerful, brilliant and creative and as much as it comes up with wonderful ideas that are helpful, it can also really go to down with feeling fearful, catastrophising and making you dread things that could be wonderful and exciting for you.
Help for fears and phobias in my West Sussex hypnotherapy practice
One of the best uses of Hypnotherapy is overcoming fear. Phobias are far more common than many people realise. It is estimated that more than 11% of the population have some kind of irrational fear. Here are some of the common fears I help people overcome:
- Public speaking
- Driving tests
Fear can stop you living the life you want to and doing things that you would enjoy or flourish at.
Get in touch and get rid of your fears and phobias today
I am ready and waiting to help you.
When I feel nervous about something I always think of that saying ‘it’s the things you didn’t do that you regret, not the things you did’.