Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway - Susan Jeffers
Feel the Fear
This book provides an insightful and engaging look at the destructive effects of fear in all aspects of our lives and guidance on how this fear may be overcome.

Anyone engaged in creating change will face their own fears and those of others and this book provides both an understanding of the roots for people’s fears and an understanding of how people may be helped to understand and better deal with fear.

The book highlights the paradox that whilst we seek the security of a fear free life, this creates an environment in which we are denied the satisfaction of achievement or advancement. The result is the catch-22 of fear of change and fear of staying the same.

The conclusion is that fear is a necessary and essential element of life and pushing through fear is actually less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness, hence ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.

The first part of the book creates a picture of the widespread and damaging effects of fear, in its many forms such as fear of changing jobs, fear of illness, fear of failure, etc. It introduces a progression of truths which serve to illuminate the effects of fear and build the case for the active choice of how fear is addressed. A simple but powerful picture presents the option to address fear through positive power rather than as a victim of passive pain.

As you work through the book the emphasis shifts towards the actions that you can take to change your attitude and approach. A number of simple models and techniques are introduced which are presented in an easily understood form. When strung together these provide a structured programme with which to set about changing your attitude and behaviours.

The book benefits from a liberal scattering of first hand accounts of people at various stages of succumbing to or addressing their fears. These stories do much to help explain the approach and provide an engaging dialogue and encouragement that lightens up the message and creates the feeling that improvement is possible.

The book rightly confesses that though the message and techniques are relatively easy to understand their application presents more of a challenge, not because they are of themselves difficult but they have to be applied and sustained. The challenge therefore for any such book is to leave the reading list and bookshelf and become embedded in the actions of the reader.

Does this book meet the challenge? I have adopted some of the techniques and recognise that others will be of benefit. Having read the book I know that I will return to read it again and I hope will have felt the benefits of conscious active use of the techniques over the next few months. Time will tell as to whether the book helps create change so I hope to return to this review in a few months time.

In the meantime I recommend this book for its insights into a topic that affects us all. My personal perspective is that the effects of fear can become so ingrained in our lives that we fail to recognise the fear and simply feel the numbness of dissatisfaction and a vague inability to focus on doing anything about it. This book will help create focus so you start to question the way things are and why you allow them to remain so. The challenge of addressing them is by definition a life long journey and this book will provide an excellent platform from which that journey can begin.

Many thanks to Eileen Murray for introducing me to this book.

Steve Unwin