Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the author with the assistance of Bostick Communication for review. The views expressed here and honest and are in no way influenced by the author or the publisher.
Fear can ruin relationships, harm careers, and destroy peace of mind. It holds us hostage to pain…but Dr. Brenda Shoshanna has the techniques to set us free. With Fearless, Dr. Shoshanna—a radio host, author of The Anger Diet: 30 Days to Stress-Free Living and a practicing psychologist for almost 30 years—has created a unique guide to understanding how fear works. Combining the teachings of East and West, and including real-life anecdotes and practical exercises, it provides the psychological, spiritual, and practical guidance for attaining a life of growth, fulfillment, creativity, and well-being.
No matter what your fears are: fear of success; love; loss; or confrontation, Dr. Shoshanna shows how to convert this constant sense of dread into peace of mind.
Fearless is a self help book rooted from the perspective of 9/11 where many Americans have become fearful about their security as result of that callous attack. With the advent of the financial crisis, fear has become something of a mainstay in the American diet and this book serves to help us understand that fear and how to unravel it. The book is divided into two parts, a theoretical portion that describes the many ways fear can manifest itself for example people who have difficulties trusting themselves and ultimately others, negative nellies and others who like to control things for fear of change. The author discusses 7 principles of peace of mind that teaches you how to dissolve a related form of fear. These 7 principles include:
- The Courage to be Who You Are
- Letting go of Attachment and Grasping
- Recognizing the Voices Within
- Finding a Safe Harbour
- Blessing Others: Deeds of Love
- Letting go of Control and Domination
- Discovering your Perfect Nature; Becoming a Friend
The second portion of the book is a more practical approach to dissolving these types of fears. It comes complete with exercises and checklists that are related to each of the principle discussed in the first half so that you can see the principle in action.
I know everyone of us experiences some related form of fear and it is for that reason that this book should be a must have for your personal library. It covers almost every issue related to fear and incorporates Zen and Buddhist teachings in each of the principles. My usual problem with self help books are that sometimes they appear to be a bit too preachy but with Fearless, I found the material to be very easy to absorb and relatable. Dr. Shoshanna is a practicing psychologist and therapist for more than twenty years and her experience can be found throughout this book. One thing worth mentioning though is that the book doesn’t not attempt to fool you by saying that you can completely get rid of your fear. On the contrary, the title is fear-less which suggests that the books seeks to help you firstly understand your fear and then manage it so that it will not take over your life.
Admittedly some of the information present in the book seems familiar and that's because we have probably read them in other self hep books. What appears to be different is the way in which the message is brought across. The lessons are well thought out and well presented and are as wise as the Buddhist and Zen teachings that are littered throughout the book.
My form of fear manifests itself in what Dr. Shoshanna describes as Catastrophic Expectation.
Here’s what the book had to say about it:
“A catastrophic expectation is the belief or expectation that something awful is going to happen. Sometimes a small difficulty arises and in your mind you immediately blow it up into the beginning of something terrible. For some, it’s easy to find a distorted pleasure in dwelling upon catastrophe, a falsely heightened sense of being alive, because of all of the attention you get or the excitement you feel wrestling with danger……Unfortunately, these possibilities dictate your choices and actions. All kinds of relationships can shut down in your life. The more you hold on to these negative expectations, the more you believe in them, and the worse the fear becomes” pg 14There are so many lessons that I would love to share you with but you guys would have to read Fearless on your own. I am by no means finished with this book. When I first read it, I did so from the frame of mind of a reviewer so my ability to completely absorb these principles was minim however I intend to read and re-read this book later on.