You would think that a book titled “Feel the Fear and do it anyway” would only be about dealing with your fears, but it is not. It is about opening yourself. living a fuller more fulfilling life and finding happiness, peace and balance. Many of these self help style books are not cross culture friendly, meaning that they might not apply to you if you don’t live in the USA or Europe but not this book, it is written for a very wide audience. You can read this book and benefit from it no matter how old you are or what your gender is.
We all have our 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 how to use that fear as a stepping stone to get to where we want to go.
Some of my favorite concepts from the book:
Taking responsibility of our lives without blaming anyone else or beating ourselves up. I used to go back and forth to these two extremes and always felt stressed and unhappy. Now I can easily tell myself that other people’s happiness is not my responsibility without feeling guilty. My happiness is my responsibility and no one else’s. It is not fair or healthy to blame other people for what goes on in our lives if we have decided to give up control of our lives.
Saying “Yes” to the universe. Accept what the universe has given you and say yes to it and everything will change. This concept is very different that normal positive thinking. It stops at acceptance and then the rest is where you have to work for change. Just thinking positively does not change your situation, it is only the very first but very important step.
“Act as if you were important” There was one really interesting story about a woman who hated her job and thought it was only temporary until she found something better and was instructed by the author to act as if she were really important and mattered at her job even if she felt otherwise. A week later she returned and told the author how things had changed dramatically at her job. She took a plant and pictures to make her cubicle better, she went to work earlier and had more energy, even her co workers noticed the change and commented on it. She was told that whatever she was on, to keep taking it. Sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking that we don’t matter, that our contribution is too small or irrelevant but that is so untrue. If you start to believe that your contribution is very important you will act accordingly.
The best thing about this book is that it is not preachy and is full of tools that can help you on your journey and little stories about people who either felt the fear and did it or those who buckled under the strain of their fear. It is like a friend talking you out of a mess, slowly but surely.
It also couldn’t have come at a better timing for me. I got over my own fears and started my crochet business and failed at selling finished items, which turned out to be a huge blessing. I realized I was more talented at creating and selling designs instead. At first I was afraid no one would be interested or buy anything, but I felt the fear and did it anyway and found out that I had been wrong. I felt that there were these amazing designers out there who much be so much more talented than I am so why would anyone buy from me, until I cam across something Doris Chan had written who is a prolific designer with hundreds of very successful designs and how she became a designer totally by chance, an opportunity presented itself and she took it. I had to ask myself why was I afraid of taking the opportunity that is sitting right in front of me. I am still anxious whenever I publish a new pattern but it is not the crippling kind of anxiousness, it is a liberating kind. The ability to step out of my comfort zone is amazing.
I was planning to give the book away to someone else to read but I have decided against it, I definitely want to keep this book and read it again later.