Jo Usmar has written an excellent book titled This Book Will Make You Fearless. In this book, you will learn how to overcome your fears and change your life. We all feel frightened sometimes – it’s totally natural – but if fear is holding you back, making you feel stuck in a rut and hindering your ambitions, it’s time to make changes. Jo Usmar provides a concise, straightforward guide to battling your fears. There are strategies, tools and relatable examples throughout that offer simple and effective ways to feel brave, independent and confident. Pushing through your fear will allow you to take back control of your life so you can make changes, accept that you have choices and recognise that you absolutely can cope with whatever life throws at you. Anxiety is one of the biggest mental health challenges of our times. Rather than a downbeat ‘coping with’ book, this is an inspiring modern take on ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. Chapters include: CBT-based techniques, dealing with physical anxiety, getting to the root cause of your fear, negotiating obstacles, stopping self-sabotage, building confidence, combatting guilt and shame, feeling more powerful, breaking negative patterns. Below are a few paragraphs which will give you a brief insight into what the book is about. There is so much beneficial information in this book, it will transform your mind and your life by teaching you how to become fearless.
“Fear is a primitive emotion. It’s our inbuilt alarm system, flagging up danger and triggering the physical ‘fight or flight’ response – so we can either fight the threat or run from it, screaming at the top of our lungs. On a very basic level, fear can be categorised into two types: Conditioned fear: A fear that is ‘learned’, usually by something ‘harmless’ being repeatedly associated with something scary, such as visiting the dentist reminding one of experiencing pain and discomfort. These connections can come from your own memories, stories you’ve heard, novels you’ve read, television programmes you’ve watched or even news reports – pretty much anything that sticks in your mind and makes an impression on you. Unconditioned fear: A fear that is wholly instinctual; an evolutionary survival mechanism. For example, the fear you feel when standing on the edge of a crumbly cliff or when facing a furious rhinoceros.”
“How much you fear and what you fear is totally unique to you. You were born with certain traits. How those traits shift and change as you grow and experience life is totally dependent on what happens to you and how you manage it. Our impressions about ourselves, others and the world are formed in childhood. Kids generally accept what they are told and what they are shown to be ‘truths’ by their parents and teachers because they have no basis for comparison. Their ideas surrounding self-worth, judgement, acceptability, achievement and normality are established very early on and these ideas turn into staunchly held beliefs as they grow up.”
“Cross-examine your so-called factual thoughts. Look for evidence to disprove thoughts. Ask yourself: Have I ever attempted something similar before? If so, how did it go? Can I learn anything from how that played out to help me now? Try to be fair on yourself, it’s highly unlikely you’re being fair about your ability to cope, right? Thoughts aren’t fact. Your behaviour, body and thoughts are all intervention points – change one and it’ll change the others for the better. Concentrate all your attention on something non-threatening.”
“An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life. A fight is going on inside me, he said to the boy. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, Which wolf will win? The old chief simply replied, The one you feed.”
“Learn how to fail like a pro. You need to redefine how you think about the very word ‘failure’. The word itself is emotionally provocative, conjuring up images of people pointing and laughing at you as you prepare to step blindly off a cliff. No one wants to be that guy so you self-sabotage, avoid things or give up after the first knock-back. All of which only perpetuates your belief that you can’t cope. Here’s news: failure is a good thing. Failure leads to success – every time you cock something up, you learn how not to do it, which is an integral lesson on the road to achievement. It’s just as Edison said: ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work’.
“Stop thinking of things as ‘risks’. Ban the words ‘risk’ or ‘risky’ from your vocabulary. They suggest the possibility of danger (usually in the form of failure) which immediately makes you want to find reasons not to do whatever it is you’re considering doing. Use the words ‘opportunity’ or ‘chance’ instead. So, ‘Do I want to take this opportunity?’ rather than, ‘Do I want to risk this?’ This simple change will make you look at the situation more positively.”
“Visualize your life as you want it. Visualization can take a bit of getting used to, but it absolutely works. It’s something actors and athletes have done for decades to get them in the right mindset for upcoming performances and competitions. Essentially, you imagine yourself succeeding: the best-case scenario. In visualizing how to achieve something, you convince your sceptical brain (your inner critic) that it’s possible. We always believe our negative imaginings of things going wrong, yet we rarely picture ourselves winning. And, with any visualizations vivid enough, you experience the emotion you would if the event actually played out that way. So, if you imagine yourself looking like a complete prat in front of people, you’ll feel anxious and humiliated and probably even experience the physical effects: your stomach dipping and your cheeks turning brick-red. The same goes for positive visualizations. If you picture something brilliant happening, you’ll experience feelings of pride, happiness and courage. this will motivate you to make it happen – to work around obstacles to push through fear to see it through because you’ve already seen it’s possible in your head. Makes sense right? So give it a go.”
You can buy your copy from here.