Leadership Book Recommendation of the Month: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
My first blog post has to be about one of my favorite books of all time. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers.
As I moved back from Italy in April of 2014, I went through what is known as "reverse culture shock." To me that meant re-adjusting to life back in the United States again, joining back into groups of friends that I hadn't been around in over 3 years and adjusting back to the American work ethic style.
I could have used an expat coach because there was some fear. I was scared because I didn't know if I would fit in anymore at home. And what if I wasn't totally happy here? I already left Italy, so where would my place in the world be?
I didn't have a clear direction of my future from a career standpoint, but yet for my entire life prior to the move, I always knew where I wanted my career to go. What was happening? Why were things so uncertain? Why couldn't I just know what I wanted? So then this book that was written in the 80's popped up out of no where as I was moving stuff into my sisters closet and the title spoke to me.
And then I read her words "I'm not promising change is easy. It takes courage to mold your life the way you want it to be." She talks about unraveling the complexities of fear which is exactly what I wanted to learn. "Truth 5: Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness."
After reading this book there are three main take aways:
1. You will never make a bad choice. Period. Wow, how refreshing!!! I was reading that, and was like I won't?! Sawwweeet! Jeffers states, "Notice that what lies ahead are simply two paths - A and B - both of which are right! Each path has nothing but "goodies" along the way.... I can't lose - regardless of the outcome of the decision I make." This to me makes decision making so much less stressful and changed my perspective completely. The fear of making a wrong choice sort of just disappeared.
2. All of us have self-sabotaging inner voices that hold us back. That voice gets louder for me when I'm trying something new. But Jeffers states that we all have it. So it's not just me?! That's encouraging. Jeffers describes that "Taking responsibility means handling the chatterbox. This is the little voice inside, the voice that tries to drive you crazy - and often succeeds! ... It's the voice that heralds doom, lack and losing. The good news is that there are effective ways to get rid of this kind of negativity. You don't have to hang out with enemies, even if they are within yourself." And for that I see coaching as an amazing solution to give you those tools. That voice can never really go away, but there are ways we can quiet it down. The softer that voice is the more you lead with your heart.
3. Man-tra! Man-tra! Man-tra! Gotta give props to a good friend of mine who said, "Find a mantra and stick to it. I know it sounds cheesy but just do it anyway." Luckily she said that in an authoritative tone, so I listened. And low and behold, a list of mantras popped up towards the end of this book. My favorite one is "Whatever happens to me given any situation, I can handle it!" I also like this list, "I count, I go with what is, I am relaxed, I appreciate, I am filled up" the list goes on. So when you're sorting through something tough, I'd go with the first mantra, and just "fake it 'till you make it" I would honestly say that I did daily until it did become true and I do believe it.
Thankfully I came across this book and shared it with many others who actually did not go through the same experience as me but were stuck at a point where they wanted to make a decision, but unsure if it was the right one, and they adore this book as well. Give it a read, or download it as an audio book. You will thank yourself.
And if these take aways above speak to you, it might also mean that life coaching or executive coaching might be right for you as well. Coaching gives you tools to move your life forward and get alignment. Something's out of whack, or your just stuck for some reason, coaching tackles those situations. And it's quick too, it doesn't take that long to get from a point of being stuck to moving your life forward in a direction that is fulfilling for you. It helps you sort through tough choices, it helps you silence those inner voices holding you back and it provides tools to strengthen your confidence and authenticity. It's a cliché but life is short and you do deserve to be happy. :)