Today I got an email from Dr. Susan Jeffers. Actually, it was a newsletter that I receive every month, but this one was quite different from the others. It was an obituary. Dr. Jeffers died of cancer in October, and someone who loved her sent the monthly newsletter. Among other works, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway influenced millions of people, including yours truly, and this evening, I’m copying and pasting something from this book that I wrote in a psychcentral blog about a year ago. Here goes:
From reading past posts, I’ve realized that self-help and personal development are among the most popular topics. For that reason, I’m re-reading 50 Self-Help Classics by Tom Butler-Bowden and choosing a few that I think you might find both interesting and helpful.
One of the classics reviewed by Butler-Bowdon is entitled Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. The author, Dr. Susan Jeffers, says that people see fear in the wrong way, and that it’s actually a green light to keep going. Trepidation is undeniably real, but we just need to push forward, to feel the fear and do it anyway. Sure, security and routine are safe, but can’t they be a little risky if they prevent you from living a full life?
Dr. Jeffers says we need energizing every day, and that just like breakfast energizes and fuels our body, reading inspirational quotes and books fuels our psyches. Take control of your mental inputs, Jeffers advises. Say things like, “I am a confident person in every situation.” Never be fearful of mistakes. Lighten up and be happy that you had the experience…that you tried. Wouldn’t be awful to come to the end of your life and still be thinking coulda, shoulda, woulda? From teaching Human Growth and Development, I’ve learned that the #1 regret of elderly people is that they DIDN’T give things a try, that they let their fears hold them back. By that time, it’s too late to make that call, start that business, write that article, or fly around the world
Jeffers offers a perfect example of how she worked through humans’ #1 fear, rejection. These are her words lifted right from her website: “It took many, many rejections before my first book, FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY, was finally accepted by a publisher. The worst rejection letter I ever got was that “Lady Di could be bicycling nude down the street giving this book away and nobody would read it.” Can you imagine being told that? I bet that publisher has regretted that snide comment hundreds of times. What if Jeffers had listened? What if she had given up? What if she had felt the fear and stopped?
Are you going to be one of those people who allow fear to stop you from taking chances, or are you going to be courageous? Why not start small? Think of one thing, just one thing, you can be brave about today and DO IT! Oh, and share it on this blog. Who knows? Your courage might inspire someone else.