Posted On October 6, 2023
Universal Truths about Fear
I hadn’t expected the reaction to last week’s commentary on fear and sloth. The podcast version was forwarded more than most and the social media got a lots of attention and forwards, too. Most of those commenting were like me – sloth is not such a problem. Fear is the problem.
A friend pointed me to a book that, he says, changed his life. It’s called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers and was first published in 1987. It’s sold millions and has been translated into 35 different languages. Fear is a big seller because it’s a common problem. I downloaded it to my Audible account and there it sat before I decided to finally listen. Frankly, I was skeptical. I find most of these types of books thin on content, and I should know because I’ve written a few. But if it changed my friend’s life then maybe some relic of this dated message will resonate with me.
So this morning, sitting with a coffee in my hotel room well before dawn with the curtain open to watch the sunrise, I hit play to listen to the book. I’m only on Chapter 3 and can honestly say I have taken a whole new and different approach to this persistent nemesis of mine called fear. So far, book is working.
There are many highlights already, but this stood out: Jeffers says there are five universal truths about fear, and we should repeat them ten times a day for a month or more. That’s a bit much, but I will print them and pin the to the wall near my desk.
- First, fear will never go away as long as we continue to grow. Fear’s a consequence of growth and growth does not happen without fear accompanying it.
- Second, the only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is simply go out and do it.
- Third, the only way to feel better about myself is to go out and do that which I fear.
- Fourth, not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m on unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else. You and I are not alone, but you’d never know because we all wear such a brave face, don’t we? However, we’re all feeling much the same.
- And fifth, my favorite one, pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.
Jeffers goes on to say she’s has never met someone who does not struggle with fear. Maybe they’re out there, she says, but probably not. Some call it nerves. Some call it anxiety. Some call it worry. But it’s all the same thing: it’s fear.
It’s helpful stuff to know, but results come from taking action. So, with these five universal truths about fear in mind, I’m going to tackle some things I’ve been avoiding, using thin excuses but, in truth, I’ve been afraid of. Join me, and let’s see what happens.
I’m Cam Marston and I’m just trying to Keep It Real.