I’d be lying if I said I was fearless. I’m not. I think that “fearless” people are either lying to themselves or are reckless, honestly. We all come across fears in our lives. Some of us let it hold us back, while others drum up enough courage to power through it.
I just finished reading late author and psychologist Susan Jeffers’ book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. Pretty good concept, huh? It’s been over thirty years since the book’s release, and Susan’s message still rings true.
The big idea of the book is looking at how you think of and handle fear itself. There are all kinds of fears, right? Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of starting over. But the truth is, fear is always going to be a part of our lives if we’re consistently growing. If you’re not battling some kind of fear, you’ve pretty much gotten stagnant. Fear will most certainly pop up whenever we’re trying our hands at something new or taking a risk. But what ever happens, and whatever fear pops up, YOU CAN HANDLE IT. That’s what Susan talks about in her book. Check out one of her past interviews below!
In her book, Susan breaks down the following levels of fear (surface stories, generalized fears, and underlying fears). She also gives readers some real truths about fear as well (courtesy of Reading Graphics):
Here are some things I got from this breakdown and Susan’s book. One, other people have gone through and overcome the exact same fears I have. I’m not alone in it. That fact alone made me feel a little better. When things are happening directly to you, you often feel like nobody else in the world understands. Reaching out to a select few about my fears and hearing their experiences and encouragement helps me to power on.
Two, there’s NO WAY of avoiding my fears if I want to grow. Sure, I’d be comfortable staying in the same spot, but I don’t get better at what I want to accomplish. I don’t become who I’m meant to be. The same goes for each of you!
Three, somehow, someway, if I step up to the plate, I will find a way to get through it to the best of my ability. Win or fail, it’ll be over with just as soon as I start. Case in point, at a past interview for a job I really wanted, I was scared to death. I thought I had bombed the initial phone screen, so I was shocked that I got called for an in-person interview. My anxiety was high because I wanted to do well and I really, REALLY wanted this job. I was a nervous wreck, and I was trying my best to think positive. But you know what else I surprisingly envisioned? The aerobics class I would have at the end of the day. For some reason, that made me feel a little better. I’d give my best at this interview and, regardless of what happened, I was going to go kill it at my fitness class later. Gave me something to look forward to. I did much better at the live interview and got the job!
But I had to push past that fear first. I used to have a terrible fear of interviews. I conduct them, and I hate it being the other way around. I’ve even skipped out on a few because of the fear. For this one, I buckled down and forced myself to push through. I had to. I needed a change. And change and growth doesn’t happen without facing some fears.
What are you fearing today? Is it a new job opportunity? An upcoming move? Going away to college? Whatever it is, YOU CAN AND WILL BE ABLE TO HANDLE IT. There’s no growth without some fears, and there’s certainly no growth if you decide to run from them.
You can pick up Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway on Amazon and other digital and retail outlets.