Feel the Fear and (Keep) Doing it Anyway – Day 4
I have a lot to be thankful for to Susan Jeffers. She was an America psychologist and author of self-help books. The book she’s probably most well-known for (to me at least) is called ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ and reading it was a bit of a turning point for me. For the better. With millions of copies sold worldwide since its release, I’d suspect it’s been of value many others too.
Back in 2010, when I first read it, a fear of presenting & public speaking had me somewhat paralyzed. You’ll read that public speaking is up there with death as one of the things we fear most. Death wasn’t something I was contemplating too much around then (or now thankfully) but getting up on front of 50+ people at work and talking for 10-15 minutes was.
Also around this time, I was somewhat in awe of Barrack Obama’s ability to orate. To speak so smoothly and eloquently. I remember watching YouTube videos and thinking how did he get so good? We were on different ends of the speaking spectrum, but I was determined to do something about it. I just needed something to push me forward. That’s when I found Susan’s simple yet powerful guide.
It was the first self-help book I ever purchased and read. I even remember feeling a bit weird at the time of buying it. Self-help books were a bit ‘out there’ and I was thinking to myself things much be bad to have to resort to this. Looking back now, I can see that my inner critic was having a field day, which was often the case back then.
Without going into too much more detail on the book itself (due to time constraints on my daily blog pomodoro), the impact it had was powerful. Partly because the message is simple and due to the fact I re-read it multiple times over the next months until it became part of how think. It helped me in many areas including an improved self-awareness, a realization that practice will make better (not perfect), a growth mindset is a habit, and that the fear will never go away, but it can be managed, and used to your advantage. It helped me get better at presenting.
My little home office book library is now bursting with similar work. But Susan’s piece still holds a special place. It’s helped me get over the fear of public speaking to the point at which now I enjoy doing it. My focus is now much more on the message instead of the fear of what others might think.
The same can be said for other things I do. Like writing and publishing this piece. Putting out a daily blog post in December is something I was (and am still) fearful of. But I know that hardest and most debilitating part is just the fear before I start to type. The key is to just, notice it, and start. To just do it anyway.
What fear have you holding you back? That you keep avoiding? Maybe it’s time to do something about it? What’s the worst that could happen?
Thanks for reading.
Rob is a qualified Executive Coach (ICF) and has been Mentoring and Coaching over the last decade in various roles held during his career. In 2017, Rob launched the Rob of the Green Platform which hosts the 1% Better Podcast. Rob currently is a director of Project Management and Leadership Coaching at Dell in Cork, Ireland. Rob also publishes articles on productivity, leadership, goal setting, meditation, and other topics, like this one!
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