Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway – The Self Help Book by Susan Jeffers

Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway – The Self Help Book by Susan Jeffers

There was a self help book entitled “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers that came out years ago that a lot of people with anxiety have found helpful.

I did come across at least one page, from Psychology Today, that is somewhat critical of the book, and I will link to that page below.

Here are various articles or reviews of the book:

Self-Help Classics: Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway 

Same material from that page is also on this page:

Book review: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

In a nutshell: The presence of fear is an indicator that you are growing and accepting life’s challenges.

… Following are some key points in Jeffers’ philosophy.

Handling fear
There are different types of fear but one is the killer: the belief that we will not be able to handle something, such as our partner leaving us or not having a certain income.

The basic work to be done is to reach a point where you know you can handle anything, bad and good.

Jeffers’ point is that fear is not a psychological problem but an educational one. You must re-educate yourself to accept fear as a necessary part of growth, then move on.

…. Why positive thinking works
Positive thinking does not reflect reality; that is the common accusation. But Jeffers asks: if 90% of what we worry about never happens (as studies demonstrate), how is negativity more realistic than positivity?

What is realistic is up to us, she says, depending on how we shape our thoughts.

A positive mindset will not save you from bad news, but your reactions to it can be different. Replace ‘It’s terrible!’ with ‘It’s a learning experience.’ Jeffers says this attitude made all the difference when she had cancer.

The key to positive thinking is to practice it all the time. Build a collection of inspirational books and tapes and read/play them daily, she advises. Write out your favourite inspirational quotes and keep them next to your computer, in your car, by your bed.

Why You Should Feel The Fear…And Do It Anyway [Episode 158] (article and podcast)


We all have fear – whether it’s a fear of being rejected, public speaking, asserting ourselves, failure, success, getting older, being alone, the unknown…
…yep, this life provides us with an infinite number of reasons to make you want to crawl under a rock and never emerge.

We have all experienced fear at some point, yet we differ in the way we deal with it. For some, it’s paralysing, and for others…well, they take action regardless.

I’ve talked a lot about overcoming fear and getting out of your comfort zone on this podcast. And I LOVE hearing different perspectives on fear, which is why I was so excited to read Susan Jeffers’ book ‘Feel The Fear…And Do It Anyway’ (not an affiliate link). My sister lent me her copy, and I devoured it in a whole weekend.

In this week’s podcast, I share some of the concepts in this book. I’m hoping it will give you a deeper understanding of what fear looks like, and some truths about fear that will help you to see it in a different light.

Summary is below:

5 Truths About Fear from ‘Feel The Fear…And Do It Anyway’

….2. The only way to get rid of the fear is to go out and do it

So many people say “When I am _____, THEN I’ll be able to ____ . ”

This is backwards! When will you actually feel ‘ready’? Probably never.

And you probably won’t realise you’re actually ready until you do the thing you fear!

4. Not only will you experience fear when you’re on unfamiliar territory, so will everyone else

You know how people say:
‘That spider is just as afraid of you as you are of it’? It’s the same with people. I’ve been backstage with other speakers at conferences, some who are extremely well experienced, and even they say to me:
“I’m not sure about this audience…they seem really tough…I hope I do ok…I’m nervous my slides aren’t going to work…I’m going to run out out of time…”

And I’m shocked! It helps when you know that everyone is going through their own stuff, their own fears. Having empathy for others helps a lot.

A page that is somewhat, but not altogether, critical of the content of the book:

Should You Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway?


by Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D.

Pushing through anxiety to achieve your goals isn’t always a good idea.

… You may have big goals but you don’t have to leap all at once.

Small steps can often be more effective in the long run because if you take a small step and you succeed, that reinforces you mental view of yourself that you can do it.

However, if you take a big leap that causes distress and then you fail, you are likely to end up believing you really can’t do it.

Why we still feel the fear

Twenty-five years after it first hit the shelves, a self-help classic is still changing lives. One devotee explains how it worked for her…

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

by Scott Stabile, Contributor

I’ve learned — over and over again — that when I resist making necessary changes in my life, life itself usually makes them for me. It gnaws and pushes and drags me out of my resistance, as I groan and claw and struggle to hold onto a reality I know needs transforming. This usually hurts a lot more than it needs to.

…Yes, change is scary. And yes, it’s hard. It has to be. It carries with it — every single time — the potential to revolutionize our lives in ways we can never truly realize until we’re already transformed, safely on the other side of our resistances and fears.

See Also:

Eight Ways Smart People Use Failure To Their Advantage by T. Bradberry

Nay-Sayers and Failure on the Way to Success: Singer Elvis Presley

Why the Best Success Stories Often Begin With Failure by Amy Crawford

The Cave You Fear To Enter – Joseph Campbell Quote – Thoughts on Confronting Fear

The Museum of Failure – Teaching Lessons About Failure

Recovering from Failure – articles by various authors

How To Elevate Yourself When Your Job Search and Life are Dragging You Down by J. Kelly

Beatrix Potter, Work Rejected, Self-Published “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” Now a Bestseller for All Time

At 106 Years of Age, Champion Cyclist Robert Marchand Refuses to Stop Pedaling – When Younger, His Cycling Coach Told Him He’d Never Be A Champion

You’re Not Failing Enough by Diane Paddison

Daredevil and Motorcyclist Evel Knievel’s Inspirational Words About Failure

Thirty Five Famous People Who Were Painfully Rejected Before Making It Big

To Be Successful, Make Your Own Luck By J. Kaplan & B. Marsh

Actor Dwayne (“The Rock”) Johnson’s Inspirational Story – He Doesn’t Want People to Give Up on Their Dreams

The Secrets of Resilience by M. Jay

Ten Famous Artists Who Had to Deal with Rejection During Their Lifetime by L McNee

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