“Five Truths about Fear:
Truth 1. The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow.
Truth 2. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.
Truth 3. The only way to feel better about myself is to go out… and do it.
Truth 4. Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m on unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else.
Truth 5. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.” – Susan Jeffers, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
Fear is an indicator that you are growing and accepting life’s challenges.
You might believe that a book titled Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway would be exclusively about dealing with your fears, but it is certainly not. This book is really about opening yourself to living a fuller more fulfilling life. Finding happiness, peace and balance. We all have fears and things that hold us back. This book is not about fixing these fears or trying to find out why we have them, it is about overcoming them, accepting that we will always be afraid of things and using that fear as a stepping stone to get to where we want to go.
Don’t sell yourself short
The self-help movement tells us to believe in our dreams and think big. No longer will we sell ourselves short: “I’m going to do this!” will be our motto. However, when we wake up in the morning and the weight of reality is weighing us down, those big dreams seem more fiction than future biography. In a few seconds, we are rationalizing the status quo, and the fear that took a brief holiday is back.
How do we make the pursuit of the dream our daily norm? Jeffers says people see fear in the wrong way. Rather than acting as a warning that you are reaching your limits, fear should be an indicator that it’s important to keep going. If you are not feeling any fear, you may not be growing.
Saying “yes” to the universe
Accept what the universe has given you — say “yes” to it — and everything will change. This concept is very different than what we normally think of as positive thinking. Just thinking positively does not change your situation. It is only the very important first step.
Jeffers tells the story of a woman who hated her job. She thought of it as only temporary until she found something better. Jeffers urged this woman to act as if she were really important at her job, even if she felt otherwise. A week later the woman told Jeffers that things had changed dramatically at her job. She took a plant and pictures in to make her cubicle better. She went to work earlier and had more energy. Even her coworkers noticed the change and commented on it. She was told that whatever she was on, she should keep taking it.
Sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking that we don’t matter, that our contribution is small or irrelevant, but that is untrue. If you start to believe that your contribution is important, you will act accordingly.
Continue to take risks
At the beginning of the book, Jeffers sets out a number of “fear truths.” The most profound is number five: “Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.”
In other words, those who never take risks ironically must live with a dread of something going wrong. They seek security above all else but the effect is chronic insecurity. It is easier (and infinitely more life fulfilling) to try new things. The decision to incorporate more challenges into your life brings a feeling of security because you know that you can tackle anything.