Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
Author: Susan Jeffers Ph.D.
By Jean Caton MS,MBA,RD
Leadership, Career, Life Coach, & Speaker
I chose a book about fear, that I read many years ago, for this month's Virtual Book Club http://jeancaton.net/learning-community/#bookclub.
I have recommended Jeffers' book to innumerable people over the years because fear holds so many of us back from unleashing our true potential and being as great as we could be, if we were not paralyzed by fear. Sometimes we recognize when fear is holding us back, the most common fear of public speaking, for example. Sometimes it is even more sinister - an unrecognized fear. This is the most dangerous form of fear, when we do not even recognize it is fear creating a barrier to our moving ahead.
To my surprise, awhile ago I recognized I was holding myself back from sitting at the 'big table' with the most recognized coaches and speakers in my field.- by an unrecognized fear. I thought it was what I was doing that was not working. I was frustrated. I discovered that it was what I was not doing out of fear. I was sitting back waiting for an invitation. I was feeling powerless. I didn't recognize the fear that was a barrier. Once I did, I was determined to change that and I am well on my way. I am not waiting to be invited. I am taking the necessary action to get my seat. I am no longer letting good enough get in the way of my being great at what I do.
Think about it. What could your career, business, or life look like if you no longer procrastinated ( the majority of procrastination is based in fear) ? If you were truly fearless? What would be different if you looked your fear in the eye and said "I can handle that!" If you are willing to do that, you too can experience the transformation that I did.
Stop allowing your fear to stop you in your tracks, keep you small, prevent you from turning your dreams into reality. Stop settling for a job or a business that is "good enough" but not "great." If you are serious, take action.
The first step is reading, or re-reading Susan Jeffers' book. The second step is to mark your calendar right now, and make a commitment to yourself to attend the next virtual book club where I will discuss this book. I will tell you more about what I did to recognize and conquer my fear.
Here is some of what Susan Jeffers has to say about fear in this great book:
This book is described as a 'guide to personal empowerment', 'a truly revolutionary tool to fearless living'. Susan Jeffers' book gives you a step by step formula to help you overcome fears - if you dare to! Chapter 1 sets the stage. She breaks down the types of fears into three levels.
Here are some of her common examples:
Beginnings (starting a new job ) and endings (retirement, leaving a current job)
- Aging, children leaving home
- Loss of image
- Anything that we tell ourself a false story that "I can't handle it if _____ happens"
The source of most of these fears include parents and teachers, who in efforts to teach and protect us, not only taught us to fear real danger ( fire, a lion escaped from the zoo) but also taught us to fear failure, disapproval, and other irrational fears.
A recurring message throughout the book is the recognition of how these fears keep us stuck, cause us to procrastinate, and make us a "prisoner of our own insecurities." The author promises to help the reader release all the wonderful "stuff" inside of you waiting to be let out and cautions it takes courage.
Jeffers explains her truths about fear. Fear won't go away as long as you are growing; you will have fear whenever you are in unfamiliar territory; the only way to get rid of fear is to go out and 'do' what you fear; and pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear (story in your head) that comes from a feeling of helplessness. The what if's can forever be a barrier if we choose to let it be.
Fear is not the problem. It is how we think about situations and let the fearful thoughts paralyze us. If public speaking were truly something we should fear, then why are there so many people out there doing it successfully? It is our thoughts that put the brakes on, not the reality. Power over your perceptions of what is fearful, will allow you to act. Lack of power leaves you helpless and in pain. Jeffers walks the reader through the pain to power continuum. She helps you monitor your language and recognize powerless, victim phrases such as if only, it's terrible, the problem is, I hope, I should (versus more powerful I could.)
Later chapters of the book include a lot of specific examples and relevant application of the principles described in the first earlier chapters.
Read only the first three chapters (46 pages) and apply what you learn and you can become less fearful, more powerful, and a far more successful individual. Life is so much more satisfying when we choose to own our own power and not be held captive as a victim of fear.
HOME ~ SPEAKING ~ COACHING
~ MARKETING ~ ESP
FOR RD's ~ RESOURCES
~ ABOUT JEAN
© Copyright 2006 Jean Caton Article template by Rake
Jean Caton is a speaker, coach, and marketing strategist. She works with businesswomen
in corporate America, Healthcare, and entrepreneurs to challenge and support
them to attain their professional and personal goals and live a life full of
achievement, self-acceptance, and serenity. Jean can be reached at: MyCoachJean@JeanCaton.net