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Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

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Dynamic and inspirational, FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY is filled with concrete techniques to turn passivity into asssertiveness. Dr. Susan Jeffers, teaches you how to stop negative thinking patterns and reeducate your mind to think more positively. You will learn: the vital 10-Step Positive Thinking Process; how to risk a little every day; how to turn every decision into a "No-Lose" situation, and much more.

240 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1987

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About the author

Susan Jeffers

35 books300 followers
Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. has helped millions of people throughout the world overcome their fears, heal their relationships, and move forward in life with confidence and love.

She is the author of many internationally renowned books including Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Feel the Fear. . .and Beyond, Feel the Fear Power Planner, End the Struggle and Dance With Life, Dare to Connect, Opening Our Hearts to Men, Losing a Love...Finding a Life, Thoughts Of Power and Love, The Little Book of Confidence, Embracing Uncertainty, Life is Huge! plus her "Fear-less Series" of affirmation books and tapes (Inner Talk for Peace of Mind, Inner Talk for a Confident Day, and Inner Talk For a Love That Works). Her latest book is The Feel the Fear Guide to Lasting Love, which was published in the UK in May 2005 and in the US and Canada by her own publishing company, Jeffers Press, in October 2005.

As well as being a best-selling author, Susan is a sought-after public speaker and has been a guest on many radio and television shows internationally. She lives with her husband, Mark Shelmerdine, in Los Angeles.

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5 stars
13,071 (39%)
4 stars
10,504 (31%)
3 stars
6,614 (20%)
2 stars
1,880 (5%)
1 star
779 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,513 reviews
Profile Image for Katya Kean.
96 reviews47 followers
July 23, 2014
I was afraid to leave this review, but I did it anyway. Kidding.

Really, though, this book is probably really important for some people. Women, especially. Women leaving relationships, I'd imagine. The first two chapters are pretty neat. They highlight an important truth that you can't wait for the fear to go away before you do something.

I know that this book influenced a lot of other books I've liked.

The 3 stars instead of 4 or 5 is partially because of sentences like these:
[This] "Higher Self is capable of a high degree of sensitivity and attunement to a harmonious flow within the universe."

I just have a hard time reading sentences like that, sober.

And actually I never finished the last chapter, largely because the above sentence was in the beginning of it, and I have a lot of other things to read. I was afraid to return the book unfinished, but I did it anyway. So, I guess it worked.
Profile Image for Tommy.
Author 4 books34 followers
June 27, 2008
A girlfriend in grad school gave me this book, shortly before we parted ways, in fact. It was a real eye-opener to me that I lived much of my life hovering around the perimeter of the pool rather than jumping in with both feet.

Most eye-opening for me, though, was it was the first time I had been taught that fear was fine - embrace it, don't dodge it. Then, walk through the fire anyway.

I'm not saying I turned into Russell Crowe from "Gladiator" because of it. I'm still more Woody Allen from "Annie Hall", but the book did fuel me toward some braver choices in life, and I think it's a great read - not too clinical, not too esoteric - just good guidance through learning to live with the beast that resides in everyone's anxiety closet.
Profile Image for Greg Stearns.
13 reviews4 followers
June 28, 2009
The book starts off with a pretty decent premise which is entirely summed up in the title.

Things will always be scary until you master them, then there will be something new to be afraid of so instead of eliminating your fear you should be working on pushing through. There are some decent ideas and suggestions in the first couple chapters, but it goes downhill for the rest of the book.

Between the constant ads for her other products (Inspirational Audios, books of affirmations, etc) and the unabashed brute-force self-brainwashing there are tidbits of insight wrapped thickly in late 80s psychospiritual nonsense. "Saying 'Yes' to your Universe." Ok, I agree: you should accept the fact that no matter what happens to you, you always have the next move. But it was enough that I just couldn't finish reading last chapter. It's about intuition, and after going through Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware and having a solid understanding of my brain's L and R modes there was a great deal of eye rolling. In fact, she stopped just shy of making a mini version of The Secret.

I don't think this book deserves 1 star, as it does make some good points. If you really don't mind self acutalization being put in terms of magic and mystery you can probably take this book at face value. But if you value reason I would suggest reading the first 3 chapters in a book store and start building the skill of Doing it Anyway ®.
Profile Image for Rori Rockman.
438 reviews15 followers
May 31, 2013
Man. How do you rate a book that steadily devolves from five stars down to one star?

This starts out as a five star book. The first few chapters of this book have probably altered my world view permanently. Here's the gist of what really hit home for me:

At the heart of every fear we have is one single fear: "I can't handle it." This is an absolute revelation, at least to me, because it means that there is one reliable (though still not easy) formula to be used for overcoming fear: convince yourself that you can handle it.

She goes on to explain that the more we do things we're afraid of, thus proving to ourselves that we CAN handle danger, uncertainty, loss, loneliness, etc., the more we can feel confident that we will be able to handle similar experiences in the future. In other words, facing our fears is something we can practice and get better at, even if we can never completely obliterate fear from our lives.

She goes on to talk about decision making. Decision making often induces fear because we're scared that if we make the wrong decision it can have disastrous consequences. She suggests that instead of thinking of a decision in terms of a "right choice" and a "wrong choice," we think of them simply as different choices, and that with the right attitude, we can experience growth and fulfillment in our lives regardless of which choice we make. She points out how even in horrible circumstances (losing a job, being diagnosed with cancer, losing a loved one), we are given tremendous opportunities to experience personal growth, and it gives us confidence to emerge triumphant from difficult circumstances.

All great, great advice that I will definitely take to heart. She then goes on to talk about positive affirmations, achieving balance in life, choosing to love those who we feel have wronged us. This is where the book started to take a turn for the worse. I actually agreed with a lot of what she was saying. I don't deny that it's good to surround yourself with supportive people. I agree that it's good to identify goals in our lives and work towards them. But ... read the summary of this book:

"Are you afraid of making decisions . . . asking your boss for a raise . . . leaving an unfulfilling relationship . . . facing the future? Whatever your fear, here is your chance to push through it once and for all. In this enduring guide to self-empowerment, Dr. Susan Jeffers inspires us with dynamic techniques and profound concepts that have helped countless people grab hold of their fears and move forward with their lives." Around Chapter 3 (only 15% into the book!), Jeffers starts veering pretty far away from the subject of facing your fears. A book should not be marketed as "Learn to face your fears!" if the majority of the book is only tangentially related to that subject.

And then there was chapter 11. Allow me to post an excerpt from chapter 11:

"I believe that what all of us are really searching for is this divine essence within ourselves. When we are far from our Higher Self, we feel what Roberto Assagioli has so aptly called 'Divine Homesickness.' When you are feeling this sense of being lost, or off course, the thing to do to find your way home again is simply to use the tools that will align you with your Higher Self--and thus allow the good feelings to flow once again." This is the point at which, in my mind, the book became a one star book.

In summary, I think this book idea would have made an excellent essay or pamphlet. The first two chapters were invaluable. The rest were filler.
Profile Image for Ladan.
184 reviews345 followers
October 10, 2019

Neglecting all the ads and promises, the first chapters were helpful in making some self-improvement. The last two chapters are enough to put the book in a sci-fi category, I suffered scanning them.
Profile Image for Jj873.
2 reviews20 followers
August 24, 2008
Having lived most of my life with debilitating Panic Disorder (google it if you're curious) this book has done more to put me in charge of my life than all the years of medications, therapy, and all the other self-help books I've read combined.
I encountered this book at the worst point in my mental health struggle (being nearly housebound by agoraphobia - again, google if needed) and truly found it to be a sanity saver!
If it has helped me pull myself back from the brink of desolation too deep and dark to put into words, then surely it will do amazing things for those struggling with the typical fears that all of us face on this journey we share.
Profile Image for Alexandra.
15 reviews
April 7, 2012
I finished reading this book 2 weeks ago, and feel compelled to review it.

A few short months ago i took the steps needed to change my life for the better. I was not happy living how i was, i hated my body, i hated myself, all because i was scared of the truth. That truth is that i am transgender.

I admitted to myself that i needed to seek medical help, to rectify my situation, which includes taking hormones and having gender reassignment surgery in the future. I went to the doctor in december 2011, and by march the 19th i had seen a psychiatrist, who is now referring me to the gender identity clinic at charing cross, in london.

Progress, yes, but there were still people close to me who know nothing about my intentions of transitioning from male to female.

Reading this book however, has given me the courage to face my fears head on. Seconds before coming online to type this i rang my dad and told him i have something to talk to him about, as well as one of my brothers and his wife. Everyone else knows but i was scared to death to tell my dad and brother. I told my mum, her reaction was not good but we have since moved on and she supports me in whatever i decide is best for me.

I have wanted to tell my dad about it since december 2011, when i told my mum, my other brothers and their spouses, friends, clients etc, but i put it off because i was fearful of rejection, arguments, possibly even violence, my dad thinks with his fists and not his brain.

Now however, i am strong enough emotionally to be able to face him and was able t tell him how i feel, of my intentions to change gender, to live my life as any other woman would.

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway is one of those rare books which instantly speak to you, deep inside, on a subconscious level, even reading it makes you feel stronger, more powerful than before.

The techniques in this book are simple ones that all of us can use every day of our lives. Susan Jeffers writes brilliantly, clearly and concisely, and is so inspirational that its hard to feel anything but positivity when reading this particular book.

I have now told my father i am transgender, and last week i actually went to the dentist to have teeth pulled out. Me! At the dentist! The last time i went was in the mid 90's, and then i freaked out big time, not allowing the dentist to do anything, i was so scared, but 3 days ago i found the strength t get those teeth pulled out, and by jingo i did it.

I intend to read this book again and again, and as an added bonus i also have another book by Susan, the little book of confidence, which now goes with me everywhere.

If you want to overcome your fears, and if your reading this review, you obviously do, then please buy this book, it is simply sublime, and you will feel divine =)

Alexandra ★
Profile Image for Suz.
1,097 reviews565 followers
December 14, 2020
Well... specifically not entirely finished, but finished as much as I wish to. It was ok, but too too many others to be read. Also working in an academic library and being offered real life friend recommendations left right and centre makes for many books to be had, and not a lot of time to have them.
Profile Image for Marthad.
155 reviews78 followers
March 16, 2012
في الحقيقة تقييم لن يكون دقيقاً، لكني على كل حال سأكتب تجربتي الشخصية معه.

الكتاب جيد وغير جيد.
غير جيِّد لأن المؤلفة ذكرت أن حل مشكلة الخوف ليس لازماً أن نعود إلى جذورها التي كونتها. وشخصياً، أعتقد أن هذا إلى حد ما غير دقيق، أو يحتاج إلى تدقيق. لأنه كما ذكرت في غيرما كتاب أن أكثر مشاكلنا اليوم هي نتاج طفولتنا.

النقطة الأولى: بشكل شخصي أحببت الكتب التي تبدأ في حل المشكلة من أساسها بدلا من إعطاء أساليب وعلاجات لمعالجة الأعراض
symptomatic treatment
وهذه الطريقة يستخدمها ( جون غراي في كتابه ما تشعر به ) وَ ( كيث هاريل في طريقة تفكيرك هي الأهم ) وغيرهما من الكتب

وقال لي أحد الأطباء النفسيين أن كلا الطريقتين مستخدمة، وإن كانوا يتجهون إلى الطريقة الثانية الآن.

النقطة الثانية: كثير أو أكثر أفكار الكتاب هي تماماً (١٠٠٪) أفكار كتاب كيث هاريل / طريقة تفكيرك هي الأهم، لكن طريقة عرض كيث كانت أفضل.
كذلك هناك أساليب شبيهة جداً في كتاب حقاً المريخ والزهرة لجون غراي.

حيث كانت تركز سوزان على تغيير طريقة التفكير، والاهتمام بفريق الدعم (أى: الناس المساندين لك)، والاستيقاظ كل يوم بتفاؤل وحماس.. وهذه الأفكار نفسها تماماً في كتاب طريقة تفكيرك هي الأهم.

وعلى العموم، هي أفكار مشتركة بين كثير من كتب التطوير، لذلك رأيي أن يقرأ الشخص كتاب طريقة تفكيرك هي الأهم ويريح نفسه.

النقطة الثالثة: الطبعة التي لدي قديمة ( صدرت عام ٢٠٠٥ ) لذلك بها أخطاء إملائية جعلتني أقرأ بعض الجمل مراراً وتكراراً.

ومع ذلك: لا أخفي أني استفدتُ من بعض النقاط استفادات كبيرة جدا جداً، فكل الانتقادات السابقة لا تعني أن الكتاب لا يصلح للقراءة ( وحسب اطلاعي لا يوجد كتب كثيرة أصلاً عن هذا الموضوع )، لكن هي كما ذكرت تجربة.

على غير عادة كثير من الكتب، أروع الفصول عندي كان هو الفصل الأخير، يعني كان تقريباً خلاصة الكتاب، تمنيت لو كل الكتاب كتب بروح هذا الفصل وجماله.

تجربتي مع د. سوزان جيفزي لم تكن محفزة ١٠٠٪، لكنها مع ذلك لم تكن مثبطة ١٠٠٪، وآمل أن أبدأ بقراءة كتابها الثاني: احتضان المجهول، فربنا يكون أفضل من أخيه.
Profile Image for mary.
295 reviews
November 20, 2016
Γενικά δεν μου αρέσει να διαβάζω βιβλία ψυχολογίας και αυτοβοήθειας γιατί όσες φορές το έχω επιχειρήσει βρήκα τον τρόπο με τον οποίο απευθύνονται οι ψυχολόγοι και οι σύμβουλοι στο αναγνωστικό κοινό, πολύ δεσποτικό και απότομο που το μόνο που καταφέρνει είναι να σε κάνει να αισθανθείς ακόμη πιο άσχημα. Ωστόσο η Sysan Jeffers διαφέρει μιας και γενικά έχει σε όλο το βιβλίο μια πολύ θετική στάση και προσπαθεί να ενισχύσει με κάθε τρόπο τους αναγνώστες.Βέβαια με πολλά από αυτά που λέει δεν συμφωνώ όπως ας πούμε ότι εμείς αποκλειστικά φέρουμε την ευθύνη και τον έλεγχο για ότι συμβαίνει στη ζωή μας αλλά δεν πρέπει να αισθανόμαστε άσχημα με τα λάθη μας και ότι μόνο αν συγχωρήσουμε όλους τους ανθρώπους ακόμη και αυτούς που μας έχουν κάνει το μέγιστο κακό θα μπορούμε να πάμε παρακάτω στη ζωή μας και να εξελιχθούμε.Δεν είναι άσχημα αυτά που λέει απλά λίγο αδύνατο να εφαρμοστούν μιας και οι περισσότεροι άνθρωποι δεν έχουν ούτε αυτή την ωριμότητα, ούτε αυτό το μεγαλείο ψυχής, ούτε την αυτοπεποίθηση που χρειάζεται για να το κάνουν.
Από την άλλη υπήρχαν κάποια κομμάτια του βιβλίου που με βοήθησαν και με ενθάρρυναν ιδιαίτερα ειδικά το κεφάλαιο που αφορά τη λήψη αποφάσεων, τα διλήμματα και τις σωστές επιλογές το βρήκα πολύ εμψυχωτικό όπως και τους τρόπους που προτείνει για την αντιμετώπιση της αρνητικότητας και τους στόχους που βάζει κανείς στη ζωή.
Συνολικά θα έλεγα πως μου άρεσαν οι συμβουλές που προσπαθεί να δώσει μέσω του βιβλίου και τα μηνύματα που θέλει να περάσει απλά θεωρώ πως είναι πολύ δύσκολο να εφαρμοστούν στον σύγχρονο και αγχωτικό τρόπο ζωής και θέλει μακρόχρονη προσπάθεια που μπορεί να έχει και τα αντίθετα αποτελέσματα δηλαδή να φθείρει κάποιον συναισθηματικά.Επίσης το να είσαι τόσο θετικός και δοτικός μπορεί εν τέλει να δημιουργήσει στους άλλους την εικόνα του θύματος για το πρόσωπο σου.
Πάντως το βιβλίο σίγουρα έχει ως στόχο να βοηθήσει και να εμψυχώσει,σε καμιά περίπτωση να επικρίνει και να κατηγορήσει κάτι που το εκτιμώ πολύ.
1,148 reviews25 followers
August 6, 2016

The only way to conquer fear is to face it!

In life, we encounter many trials and tribulations (these may be internal or literal realities) yet the only way to overcome our struggles is to be ‘a tryer’ and try until you overcome the obstacle. There is never a more perfect time than when you’re broken and hit rock bottom, than to give it a crack [uncertain and expectant of failure] is the only way.

Whilst reading this illuminating, informative book I thought about – how everyone seems to judge things on the literal/ what they ‘see’.. Not everything is as it seems. It is so easy to assume or pre-judge (which leads to bitterness or twisted notions). People seem to care so much about others and their appearance/ attitudes/ reactions and actions on face value..

But what about those sparkling facets that dwell beneath the surface?

Someone may seem grumpy with you – but is it you or are they suffering inside? You may be scared shitless about something [ie. Public speaking for instance], yet sometimes ‘faking it till you make it’ is the next best thing, until you gain more confidence in yourself that actually everything will be okay.

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Life is too short to dwell in jealousy, bitterness, resentment, insecure of self, assumptions of negative impressions etc..
My Christian faith has always guided me, even when I’ve fallen into the abyss and lingered in loneliness. I truly believe that courage takes time and you have to stop worrying what others might say/ think etc. Remember you’re not alone, for there is a kingdom of invisible spirits all around you, guarding over you *Quote Jane Eyre/ religious connotations/ or in reality – other people*

Life is for loving

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Nothing is as bad as it seems and if you keep on endeavouring to learn, grow, experience, learn from lessons and mistakes, be honest and if something doesn’t work out then don’t dwell in darkness and animosity – be HAPPY cause’ life is special, precious and full of memories.. the good, the bad, the tough, the unforgettable and the wondrous!!


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Profile Image for Ashley.
97 reviews36 followers
September 1, 2007
A friend of mine recommended this book to me and at first I was a bit skeptical but fell in love after the first 10 pages. It seems to cover every issue you come across without actually pinpointing one certain issue.

It's a good book to fall back on as a quick picker-upper if you're having a bad day or just feel discouraged. It's helped with my personal life alot and it's something I'm sure to have memorized within the next 10 years.

Profile Image for Nick.
Author 21 books102 followers
March 22, 2009
Sir Ken Thompson recommended this book in his, The Element. I picked it up with some trepidation, because the whole idea sounded so simple. But it's a top-notch self-help book, about a whole lot more than just fear. Jeffers covers the whole waterfront of ineffectual behavior and patiently tells you how to stop it and replace it with better behavior. If you're stuck at any point with fears, resentments, bottled up anger, and so on, this book will help (if you let it).
Profile Image for Ladan.
184 reviews345 followers
October 10, 2019

فصلهای اول پر تبلیغ کتابهای خودش و دوستانشه منتها مطالب مفیدی هم داره که خب اذیت نمیشی اما دوتا فصل آخر به حدی تخیلی هستن که راحت میتونی کل کتاب رو زیر مجموعه ی کتابهای تخیلی در نظر بگیری. از چرندیات کلید اسراری دو فصل آخر سر درد گرفتم
Profile Image for Elicia.
72 reviews4 followers
June 12, 2009
A great book for everyone even if you don't think the title applies to you.
Sometimes the only way to overcome the fear and feel better about yourself is to just go out and do it. But it also talks about taking more control of your life instead of indecision ruling because of being afraid of making mistakes. Tells you how to move from a position of pain ("It's not my fault, I'm never satisfied, It's terrible") to one of power ("I'm totally responsible, I want to learn and grow, It's a learning experience"). Making your life well-rounded and "whole". Basically just having a great attitude and how that changes everything. Some of it reminded me very much of "The Secret".

Profile Image for Liam.
112 reviews3 followers
January 4, 2019
So, this was an alright book. It has some good ideas and good tools for being able to live your life how you want and not being held back by irrational fears, etc. The pacing wasn't the best, most of the useful info is in the first 3rd but there was still bits to glean the rest of the way, which is better than a lot of other self-help books I've read. You can definitely tell it was written in the 80's and targeted at women, but it's useful for everyone. I wouldn't mind a modern day revision, personally.
Profile Image for Farjaneh_.
132 reviews72 followers
January 1, 2023
《هو الحق》
من میکروکتاب کتاب رو با عنوان با ترس‌هایت مواجه شو از طاقچه شنیدم.
جالب بود.
ناشر صوتی: سبکتو
Profile Image for Courtney Williams.
160 reviews37 followers
December 21, 2022
I stopped reading when she started dictating how cancer patients should feel and implying that how you feel is always a choice. Also, the "Pollyanna" style of positive thinking she advocated can often be like putting a plaster (band-aid) on a broken leg. I may reattempt this in future because my GP was the one who recommended it and lots of people have found it useful (it's even one of Reading Well's Books on Prescription).

Update (21/12/2022): I read the QuickReads edition of "Feel the Fear..." this week, which I would give two stars to because the useful stuff is so much easier to find. However, I still don't appreciate the refrain that you shouldn't blame anything external for your distress and it's all created through your emotions. I do agree we have a certain amount of control over our response to situations, and sometimes more than we think, but there are things that will be out of our control and allowing oneself to experience the associated negative emotions is important. The key is being able to use strategies to not get lost in the negative spiral, and to ask for help even if you're scared to do so. (Or, you might say, to feel the fear... and do it anyway... roll credits!) There was also a weird bit where she framed buying more expensive shoes as a positive step towards being less anxious, and spoke about lecturing a classroom of people who never thanked their partners for anything (??). The core ideas about fear are great, but you could probably get away with an even shorter book distilling them and removing all the nonsense.
Profile Image for Phil Scully.
16 reviews
May 8, 2021
Awful book that contains a lot of shaming and blame for those who suffer with illnesses and chronic sickness. I actually can't believe this book is so celebrated.
Profile Image for Kirsty ❤️.
921 reviews46 followers
August 8, 2014
To shake things up a bit for our radio book club shows we decided to read a regular book but also some kind of factual one

My copy proudly declares it’s a 20th anniversary edition so my first concern was if it would still be relevant in today’s society and after reading through it I would say yes. The only really out of bit parts are technological. In one chapter she mentions picking up the phone or writing a letter and getting in touch with people. While still positives to do these days you’re more likely to text, tweet or email.

The first part of the book asks you to list your fears in general but suggests that they fall into different levels. Level 1 fears are things that may happen such as being alone. Level 2 is why that fear may happen so being alone due to rejection or vulnerable and then the deepest fear of all, Level 3, is based on your negativity to these fears “I can’t handle it”. There are a few exercises in the book (not enough for me, I would’ve preferred more but it may be enough for others) and one is to create your “Pain to Power” chart. Basically a line where you mark off where you stand so if you are happy in your job you may mark that closer to the Power point but unhappy with your love life then mark closer to the Pain point.

There’s a good section following on from that which helps you turn negative phrases into more positive ones and how to speak & think in a more positive, honest way. For example “I can’t go to the party” could be “I can go to the party but I don’t want to as I’d rather stay at home and watch the new series of Sherlock Holmes”. Ok that may be a bit negative to the one throwing the party but it will apparently help you break down your own fears. Might be something to just think rather than say out loud!

One of the things I found reading through the book and listing my own personal fears is that the book helped me to actually focus on all these and I managed to find a common denominator so rather than several issues I really only have the one but it impacts on several areas of my life. The question now is to work on that fear and break it down into smaller areas I can work on that will eventually get rid of the fear in its entirety.

Chapter 6 “When “they” don’t want you to grow” was one I found fascinating. It describes how on your positive journey you will meet people that resist your growth and try and sabotage it with lots of ways in which you can learn to deal with them. Some are simple but there are harsher elements such as ridding your life of these people including an example of a woman that did just that and got a divorce!

All in all despite its age it is still probably one of the better self help books on the market with suggestions that stand the test of time.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
3,603 reviews2,575 followers
October 6, 2015
Originally published in 1987, this self-help classic was reissued in a 25th anniversary edition in 2012. I looked over it for a proposed comparison article with How to Win Friends and Influence People (later cancelled, alas) and found this one to be more relevant and readable. Jeffers says that at the base of every fear is a belief that “I can’t handle it.” Our fears are either of things that can happen to us (ageing and natural disasters) or of actions we might take (going back to school or changing jobs). The only way to increase your trust in your ability to handle things is to go out and do it. Everyone is afraid in new situations, but you can choose to hold fear with either pain (leading to paralysis) or power (leading to action). Jeffers recommends reciting affirmations and changing your vocabulary to be less negative. A positive attitude needs constant reinforcement.

This is a very reader-friendly book: the take-home messages are set out in capital letters and each chapter ends with a summary of the main principles and a testimonial letter (in my copy, mostly UK-specific). There are also case studies as well as anecdotes from the author’s own life – she has survived divorce and cancer. The most helpful thing of all to me was the “Whole Life” grid of nine elements: work, relationship, family, friends, hobbies, leisure time, alone time, personal/spiritual growth and giving back (e.g. volunteerism). Give yourself 100% to each one, Jeffers advises, and set goals or to-do list items related to each one.
Profile Image for NancyJ.
105 reviews22 followers
June 20, 2018
I first read Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway when I was a young manager, and it made a big difference in how I approached my life and career. I still refer to key points in the book when coaching leaders, students, and anyone facing a change in their life. Susan Jeffers was teaching about crucial aspects of emotional intelligence before Goleman's book popularized the term.
November 24, 2018
After suffering from severe almost crippling anxiety, I was giving this book to help me cope and it was the best thing that I ever read. It changed my relationship with anxiety, fear and future dreams. If you do the exercises in the book, it helps change your understanding and except the many issues you believe are holding you back.
Profile Image for Cav.
658 reviews90 followers
December 19, 2021
"As far as I know, everyone feels fear as he or she moves forward through life. It is absolutely possible that there are some evolved souls in this world who never experience fear, but I have not met them. If I do, I promise I will become their avid student and report back to you with their secrets..."

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway was a great book. I've been reading a lot of books about mindset recently, so I put this one on my list when I came across it.

Author Susan Jeffers was an American psychologist and author of self-help literature. Sadly, when I went to gather some information on the author for this review, I learned that she died in 2012, from some horrible cancer. Damn, how sad. RIP...

Susan Jeffers:


Jeffers gets the book off on a good foot, with a great intro. She writes in a natural easy and engaging style. Accordingly, the book is very readable. Interestingly enough, despite how popular the book would become, she mentions that she had quite a lot of trouble getting it published in the first place.

She talks about negative self-talk here; taking a deep dive into that horrible voice inside our heads. Negative self-talk can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, she says. She stresses the importance of positivity, citing the example of Pollyanna, and asks “What’s so terrible about Pollyanna, anyway?" and following up with: "If being a Pollyanna creates a happier world for you and those around you, why hesitate for one more moment?"

Positivity, and positive self-talk are topics that come up again and again in books about mastery and mindset. It is a common theme.
The voice inside your head is just an opinion, she says. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) agrees. Often the voice is not leading you in the right direction, and can contribute to making you feel overwhelmed and discouraged from taking positive action. She calls the voice "the chatterbox," and advises the reader to "not let the chatterbox take over."

The scope of the book is quite broad, and Jeffers talks about many different aspects of people's lives; from their personal goals, to business and career goals, to their personal lives and relationships. She uses many different case studies to help drive her writing home.
Viktor E. Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning is mentioned numerous times.

I found much of Jeffer's writing to be very insightful, as well as actionable. The book is a no-nonsense guide to help people overcome the negativity, fear and/or despair and depression that often weighs them down, and prevents them from achieving their full potentials.
"As Rollo May wrote in Man's Search for Himself: “Every organism has one and only one central need in life, to fulfill its own potentialities.” He goes on to say that joy is the result of using our powers to their fullest, and for that reason, joy, not happiness, is the goal of life..."

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As briefly mentioned at the start of this review, I really enjoyed Jeffer's writing here. I think she did a fantastic job with the research, editing and presentation of this book.
5 stars.
Profile Image for Dmitry.
699 reviews68 followers
July 25, 2019
(The English review is placed beneath Russian one)

Это было ошибкой начать читать данную книгу, т.к. это именно та литература, которую я стараюсь избегать - смесь народной психологии и самопомощи с небольшим добавлением духовности в стиле New Age. На данной ступени стоят книги таких авторов как Карнеги, Кови, Наполеон Хил и пр. Т.е. если вы, как и я, ищите профессиональную литературу по психологии таких авторов как Фрейд, Адлер, Бёрн, Чалдини, Зимбардо, Маслоу, Дэвид Майерс и пр., то можете смело игнорировать данную книгу и не трат��ть на неё ни время, ни деньги. Кстати, если бы я знал, как выглядит обложка оригинала, я бы, скорее всего, уже тогда задумался, стоит ли начинать, т.к. у данной книги именно такая обложка, какую имеют если не вся, то довольно существенная часть подобной литературы (мне кажется, это делается специально для создания триггера).
Главная тема, которую заявляет книга, является тема страха и первые главы как бы это и подтверждают. Действительно, в самом начале книги автор пишет, что каждый человек испытывает различные страхи (тут идёт перечисление) и что главная её задача, это помочь людям избавиться от него. В качестве примера она приводит свою собственную практику, где люди рассказывают о своём собственном страхе. Собственно, тут ничего нового мы не встретим.
Далее, определившись с и так разжёванной темой, автор предложит свои собственные методики преодоления страха. Лично я не нашёл их значительными. Они, скорее, больше похожи на методики Карнеги и иже с ним, нежели на советы профессионального психотерапевта. Но, возможно, если человек испытывает острую потребность хоть в каком-то совете или методе, то предлагаемые в книги советы окажутся полезными.
Ещё один момент книги заключается в том, что автор добавил множество своих собственных историй и переживаний, которые я также не нашёл особо интересными. А что касается советов, то они - а они составляют добрую порцию всей книги - в духе классической самопомощи вышеназванных авторов. Например, умение расслабляться и несколько советов, которые предлагает автор. Или позитивное мышление. Или построение взаимоотношения с близкими людьми по типу Кови и так далее. В общем, в какой-то момент приходишь к заключению, что добрую половину текста книги ты уже где-то встречал, что в каких-то других подобных книгах всё это уже упоминалось. Плюс, разумеется, такая же добротная горсть самоочевидных вещей.
Однако главная проблема не в этом. Дело в том, что начин��я где-то с середины книги, автор уходит, как мне показалось, от заявленной темы и пускается в какие-то пространные рассуждения, истории из жизни разных людей и как они преодолевали препятствия и так далее. В какой-то момент ты просто отключаешься и теряешь нить повествования. О чём это автор? Что мы сейчас обсуждаем? Разговор начинает напоминать диалог двух людей в кафе или на кухне, когда разговор ведётся уже не о чём-то конкретном, а о том, что вспомнилось. Поэтому ближе концу я понял, что дальнейшее чтение будет являться откровенно бессмысленной тратой времени и превращается в какую-то пытку «ради галочки». Так что последние несколько глав я уже не осилил, сдался.

It was a mistake to start reading this book because it is exactly the kind of literature I try to avoid - a mixture of folk psychology and self-help with a little spirituality in the New Age style. At this level are books by authors such as Dale Carnegie, Stephen R. Covey, Napoleon Hill and others. So if you, like me, are looking for professional psychology literature by such authors as Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Eric Berne, Robert B. Cialdini, Philip G. Zimbardo, Abraham H. Maslow, David G. Myers, etc., you can safely ignore this book and not waste any time or money on it.
The main theme of the book is fear and the first chapters as if confirm it. Indeed, at the very beginning of the book the author writes that each person has different fears (there is a list) and that the main task of the author is to help people get rid of it. As an example, she cites her own practice where people talk about their own fears. Actually, we will not meet anything new here.
Then, having defined the topic, the author will offer her own methods of overcoming fear. Personally, I did not find them significant. They are more like Carnegie's methods than the advice of a professional psychotherapist. But, perhaps, if a person feels an acute need for at least some advice or method, the advice offered in the book will be useful.
Another point of the book is that the author has added a lot of her own stories and experiences, which I also did not find particularly interesting. As for the advice, it is the classic style of self-help of the abovementioned authors. For example, the ability to relax and a few tips that the author offers. Or positive thinking. Or building relationships with close people like Covey and so on. In general, at some point you come to the conclusion that you have already met half of the text of the book somewhere, that in some other similar books all this has already been mentioned. Plus, a handful of self-evident things.
But that's not the main problem. The fact is that starting somewhere in the middle of the book, the author, as it seemed to me, leaves the declared theme and gets into some lengthy reasoning, stories from the lives of different people and how they overcame obstacles and so on. At some point you just disconnect and lose the thread of the narrative. What is the author about? What are we discussing now? The conversation begins to resemble a dialogue between two people in a cafe or in the kitchen, when the conversation is no longer about something specific, but about what has been remembered. Therefore, towards the end, I realized that further reading would be a frankly senseless waste of time and would turn into some kind of torture "for the sake of a tick". So the last few chapters I couldn't take it anymore, I gave up.
Profile Image for Louie Jordan.
59 reviews
May 16, 2020
I was recommended this by my Dad multiple times over the last decade and never got time to purchase it. Today I decided to give the audiobook a go and it was fantastic.

It embodies a lot of the morals I try to live by, and helps you readjust your thinking into a more positive sense. It is only short, but contains some key motivation for positive living. I personally think given the current situation with the Coronavirus pandemic this is a great little listen for those trying to refocus their mind on the positives.
Profile Image for Deb in UT.
1,256 reviews16 followers
November 23, 2018
This is the second time I've read this book. I barely remember the first time, so I thought I'd read it again before putting it here on the Goodreads. The book is okay. It has some helpful, true ideas, but nothing I haven't read elsewhere. I like her outlook on fear, especially how at the root of it is often the feeling that, "I can't handle it." Turning that into, "I will handle it," or even "I'll survive, it will be okay, and there may be positives," is a helpful way to deal with fearful problems. I like how she talks about the "no bad decisions" concept, her thoughts on action and trust, and her thoughts on having a positive outlook and energy. After a while I just felt done reading, but pushed myself to finish. I'm not sure what turned off my interest. Maybe it is the continual promotion of her other books. Maybe I began to feel weary since some of what she says toward the middle to the end of the book feels cliche. I guess I've read a lot of self-help books. Maybe I'm just in a non-receptive mood today.
33 reviews6 followers
October 19, 2013
A self-help book addict, I've read a ton of them and was pleasantly surprised and "fearless" by the time I finished Feel the Fear....

Hoping for solutions or a "how to" to let go of or conquer "a" fear, I realized this book was much bigger than "a" fear.

You will be relieved to know that Jeffers does not believe that our fears are psychological--phew! Rather she believes our fears are, in most cases, an educational problem, and her book is loaded with ways to help us reeducate our mind.

Not heavy, but practical Jeffers puts a lot of focus on saying, "Yes", seeing the possibilities for change and growth, and choosing love and trust.

It's all about committing to and learning how to push through the fears and becoming more than you are, because as Jeffers points out "so much of the joy in life is the challenge of figuring it all out".

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