Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

When I was 18, I started taking driving lessons. I was absolutely hopeless and needed 80 of them. This was because I’m not the most practical of people, preferring to get a massage and facial in a luxury spa, rather than learn how to drive. Really I could do with a chauffeur. However, for some reason my driving instructor felt that it was because I had some unresolved fear of driving, and he made me buy a book called ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers.

This book changed my life.

Although I failed my driving test first time round, the book helped in lots of other ways. Jeffers tells you that, as long as what you are doing is not criminal or violent, you should not be afraid of doing anything that will make you happy. For example, you might be afraid about leaving your job to go to university full time. This was the predicament I was in at the time, as I was taking home quite a comfortable salary as a payroll clerk for British Rail. However, Jeffers argues that the short term discomfort to yourself (and possibly your family) is worth it for your long-term happiness, and she is absolutely right. I used her words of wisdom when I left home and went to university, when I got married to someone outside my culture, when I decided to move 200 miles from Cheshire to London with a 5-week old baby and no home to go to (living in my mother’s garage for 5 weeks), and I know that there are a lot more big events which will happen in my life, where I will use her words of wisdom.

I recommend you read the book if you are scared of doing something, whether it is changing career, emigrating, ending a relationship. All you need to remember is this: whatever problem, whatever decision you need to make, follow your heart, do what makes you happy. Life goes on, people will get over it, but you only live once, and on your death bed you’ll never regret the things you did, only the things you didn’t do.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/nov/27/susan-jeffers

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