My friend Alisa Bowman recently co-authored a book called Be Fear Less. Yes, this falls outside of what I normally write about here, but I couldn’t help myself. I needed to write about it. And, yes, the publisher sent me a review copy, but I would have bought this book if they hadn’t.
Alisa is co-author with Jonathan Alpert, who is a psychoanalyst. But he’s got an entirely different take on therapy. In fact, he thinks it is kind of stupid. His point is that sitting around talking about something for years often does not help you solve the problem. I don’t know a lot about therapy, but I can tell you that when someone I know needed help dealing with a needle phobia, traditional therapy was of no help. A therapist wanted her to talk about her childhood, blah, blah, blah. Instead, she found a therapist who gave her tools to use to combat fear and she conquered her fear in 4 sessions. It really hit me that this is what Alpert is all about.
Another reason I wanted to share this book is because Alpert said something that really hit home with me. He said that instead of experiencing fear, try to change your view about the way you are feeling. You feel sick to your stomach, you’re sweaty, you’re on edge, but instead of interpreting that as fear, interpret it as excitement. I tried this and it really helped me one day as I waiting around for a photographer to come here to do a photo shoot. The truth is the physical feelings are exactly the same so if you can put a positive spin on them, it will really help you change the way you’re thinking and experiencing. When I thought about the photo shoot as a great opportunity I was excited about, I suddenly was more positive about the entire thing.
There’s also a whole section on dealing with rejection, which is something I deal with as a writer every day. Alpert says to expect rejection as part of the process, which is so true as a writer, and to realize that each rejection just makes you stronger. And a rejection is not person, it just means you weren’t right for the project, which again is so true in writing.
I also loved the tips on dealing with fearmongers. Do you have one of these in your life? I do, and the tips were great.
Alpert talks about how to strengthen your dream list. We all have one of these and often it gets us nowhere. Alpert walks you through how to analyze and tweak what is on your list so that they become attainable.
I’m keeping this book on my bookcase to turn to when I have moments of fear – it’s a great resource.