Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway Book Exploration by Laurie Hawkins
1. FEEL THE FEAR AND
DO IT ANYWAY
by Susan Jeffers
by Laurie Hawkins
2. UNDERSTANDING FEAR
Where your fear comes from
There are 3 key levels of fear:
Level 1 fears are “surface stories” that you tell yourself about what will happen (e.g. aging,
being alone) or things you must do (e.g. making a career switch, making a speech).
Level 2 fears involve your inner states of mind rather than external factors.
Beneath every fear is the ultimate fear that you won’t be able to handle something, i.e. all
fears are fundamentally due to a lack of confidence.
While it’s useful to know how your past has caused your fears, the solution comes from taking
action in the present.
3. UNDERSTANDING FEAR
Where your fear comes from
Truth #1: So long as you’re growing and trying something new, you will feel fear. Hence,
there’s no point in trying to avoid your fears.
Truth #2: Many people are trapped by when-then excuses, i.e. “when this happens, then I’ll do
that”. The only way to remove fear is to do keep doing what you fear to do.
Truth #3: It’s less scary to push through fear than to constantly feel crippled and worried about
the “what-ifs”. Each time you confront a fear, you remove some of the uncertainty.
Truth #4: When you confront your fear and do it anyway, not only do you overcome the fear,
you also feel good about yourself.
Truth #5: Everyone has their fears; they just don’t usually talk about it. In short, you’re not
"Confront your fear"
4. The key to handling fear is to learn to move from a position of pain (helplessness, depression,
paralysis) to one of power (choice, energy, action), so your fear no longer holds you hostage.
Pain-to-Power Chart. Pain and power fall on a continuum. Use this chart to develop
awareness and start making empowering decisions.
OVERCOMING YOUR FEARS
Moving from pain to power
Pain-to-Power Vocabulary. Words can empower or wreck us. Choose your words carefully to
move yourself from pain to power.
It’s not my fault
It’s a problem
I’m never satisfied
I’m totally responsible
It’s an opportunity
I want to learn and grow
Expand your comfort zone. All of us have a zone where things feel comfortable. Each time you
do something “risky” outside that zone, it pushes your zone outward.
5. Taking responsibility
⦁ Being a victim. It’s common for people to complain about how their kids make them worry,
how their spouses make them upset, or how they’re stuck in their jobs due to the bad economy.
⦁ Taking responsibility means recognizing the choices and power that you have, and putting
yourself in the position to exercise them.
⦁ Cultivate awareness. Learn to face your fears and develop inner power.
Practicing positive thinking
⦁ Use affirmations (positive statements that something good is already happening) e.g. “I am
relaxed, knowing I can handle anything.”
⦁ Pick a special affirmation each day and write it somewhere you will see regularly.
⦁ Whenever negative thoughts surface in the day, catch yourself and repeat the affirmations to
outtalk the negative voice.
⦁ Write positive quotes on index cards/ post-it notes and place them everywhere.
⦁ As you get dressed, play some relaxing or uplifting music and repeat your affirmations for at
least 10 minutes.
⦁ As you travel, plug into positive audio/reading material instead of focusing on the traffic.
6. Making “no-lose decisions”
When making a major decision:
Focus only on potential gains, not potential losses;
Research your alternatives so you understand your options;
Identify your priorities, giving yourself time to gradually discover what truly matters to you;
After doing your research and considering your options, trust your intuition; and
Relax in the knowledge that you’ll be able to handle any “bad” decision and learn from it.
After making a decision:
Discard your expectations of how things “should” be.
Accept full responsibility for the decision. Never blame others if things don’t go well.
Allow yourself to change course.
Handling relationship changes
As you grow, your close friends and family members may feel uncomfortable and start reacting
Don’t be afraid to change or expand your social circle.
As you try to overcome your fears, you may feel frustrated if your friends/family seem
unsupportive. Initially, you may swing between aggression and passivity as you learn how to
7. Living a whole life
Your life comprises many aspects, including love, friendships, personal growth, leisure, work,
family, contribution, etc.
Plot out the key areas of your life on a whole-life grid, and make a commitment to grow each of
these areas. Try to include “contributions” as one of the key areas for fulfillment and growth.
Saying “YES” to the universe
One of the keys to facing your fears is to learn to accept what life puts in your path, even if it’s
painful. Saying “yes” doesn’t mean giving up. It’s about facing the realities of the situation so
you’re in a position of power to act on it.
8. Choose love and trust
When we give, most of us subconsciously expect something in return, be it appreciation, love,
or other rewards. If you can give freely without expecting anything in return, you won’t be afraid
of being conned or losing out, and you tend to end up getting even more than expected.
There are many ways to start giving freely, including giving your appreciation, praise, money,
love, useful information, and resources, or your time and energy. The key is to offer them
freely without expecting anything back in return.
Our fear of loss or sense of lack is all in the mind. Build awareness of your abundance by listing
down at least 150 things that you had/have, and keep adding your daily blessings. Try giving
away what you think you lack (e.g. money, time, energy), keep reading/listening to positive
material, and repeating your affirmations. When you realize how much you have, you will
no longer be afraid to give.