One of the most fulfilling experiences of my life has been the success of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway; it is now available in twenty-five countries and as letters come in from thankful readers near and far, I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude. I am so happy we have touched one another's lives. In a way, Feel the Fear .. . and Beyond is a "thank-you" to the many friends I've made throughout the world. It is my response to those who have asked me to create a companion book to help make the concepts and exercises in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway become a meaningful part of their everyday lives. It's one thing to know what these exercises are; it's another to take this knowing deep within your being so that you have the courage to live your life as you would like to live it. And that requires the kind of practice this book offers.
In addition to the practice exercises that are included, I've interspersed some very moving letters (edited slightly to conceal the authors' identities) I've received from people who have made dramatic changes in the way they see the world as a result of doing the exercises. Hopefully the reading of these letters will keep your commitment strong. They demonstrate the power that the exercises have to transport you to the best of who you are and make you powerful in the face of your fears.
I remember a time many years ago when I was paralyzed with fear. The world out there seemed vast and scary. Now the world seems to have shrunk to a very manageable size .. . and I love being in it. I can tell you that my ability to keep moving forward with my life, despite any fear I encounter along the way, is a result of my commitment to practice the exercises I learned from my many teachers over the years.
I ask you to make this same commitment. Trust me when I tell you that the negativity in the world will always try to pull you down and make you weak. It is up to you to take an active role in remaining powerful and loving despite what is happening in the outside world. As you commit to doing the exercises, slowly you begin to "live into" the part of you that is filled with courage, trust, love, fulfillment, joy, and all good things. The yearning disappears. You will have found the best of who you are. It doesn't get any better than that.
If it's been some time since you've read Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, it is a good idea to revisit it now. If you haven't read it (horrors!) I suggest you do. Since the enclosed exercises are based on the principles in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, reading it will enrich your experience of this book enormously. Also, read the following reminders frequently. They are meant to help you remember why it is so important to master the tools I am presenting. It is so easy to forget!
What are we afraid of? All of us can name many situations that keep us in a state of fear—for example, fear of aging, rejection, ending a relationship, losing a loved one, not having enough money, becoming ill, and on and on and on. This is a good time for you to think about the fears you encounter in all areas of your life. And as they come into your mind, write them in the following space. (As with all the exercises in this book, really take the time to think about your responses.)
I suspect that all the fears you've listed above are what I call "surface" fears. They apply to situations regarding career, relationships, money, health, aging, acceptance, loss, and the like. I call them "surface" fears because they only scratch the surface. If you look a little deeper you find the BIG fear ... the REAL fear which is the underlying cause of all your other fears. And what is that fear? It is the fear that you won't be able to handle whatever life brings you!
If you knew that you could handle anything that comes your way, what would you possibly have to fear? Nothing!
The exercises in this book go a long way in helping you create the confidence that you CAN handle in a powerful and loving way whatever life brings you.
Copyright © 1998 by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.