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THE VOICE WITHIN

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  18 Jun 2017 12:00 AM GMT

T he late American psychologist and author Susan Jeffers taught a course about how to face, understand and handle one’s fears. It formed the basis of her first book in 1987. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway was an intertiol bestseller translated into over 35 languages. Millions of readers have been empowered by her insights and practical tools to push through their fears and live the life they wanted.
Digging into the underlying cause of fear, Dr Jeffers breaks down fear into three levels.
The first level is situation oriented, which in turn can be sub-divided into two types: those that “happen” and those that require action.
Among Level 1 fears, some fears that “happen” are: illness, accidents, rape, becoming disabled, aging, retirement, children leaving home, being alone, loss of fincial security, change, illness, dying, losing a loved one, tural disasters and war.
As for those Level 1 fears that require action, some are: making decisions, making a mistake, changing a career, going back to school, making friends, developing intimacy, ending or beginning a relationship, having a child, asserting oneself, being interviewed and public speaking.
Dr Jeffers then moves on to Level 2 fears which involve the ego. Some of these are: failure, disapproval, rejection, being vulnerable, helplessness, loss of image, being conned and success.
Obviously, Level 2 fears have to do with inner states of mind rather than exterior situations. They reflect one’s sense of self and ability to handle this world. “So you begin to protect yourself, and, as a result, greatly limit yourself. You begin to shut down and close out the world around you,” writes Dr Jeffers.
Level 3 gets down to the nitty-gritty of the issue: the biggest fear of all — the one that really keeps people stuck. Put simply, it is: “I can’t handle it!”
“At the bottom of every one of your fears is simply the fear that you can’t handle whatever life may bring you,” Susan Jeffers teaches.
She therefore poses a counter question: “If you knew you could handle anything that came your way, what would you possibly have to fear?”
The answer: NOTHING!
“You no longer have to control what your mate does, what your friends do, what your children do, or what your boss does. You don’t have to control what happens at an interview, what happens at your job, what happens in your new career, what happens to your money, or what happens in the stock market,” Dr Jeffers writes.
And so her mantra is: “All you have to do to diminish your fear is to develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way.”
“I’ve often been asked to explain why we have so little trust in ourselves. I don’t really know the answer to that. I know that some fear is instinctual and healthy and keeps us alert to trouble. The rest — the part that holds us back from persol growth — is ippropriate and destructive, and perhaps can be blamed on our conditioning.
“It is often impossible to figure out what the actual causes of negative patterns are, and even if we did know, the knowing doesn’t necessarily change them. I believe that if something is troubling you, simply start from where you are and take the action necessary to change it.
“In this case, you know that you don’t like the fact that lack of trust in yourself is stopping you from getting what you want out of life. Knowing this creates a very clear, even laser-like, focus on what needs to be changed. You don’t have to scatter your energy wondering why. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you begin now to develop your trust in yourself, until you reach the point where you will be able to say: “Whatever happens to me, given any situation, I can handle it!”
Dr Jeffers then shortens the message to drive it home: “Never let these three little words out of your mind — possibly the most important three little words you’ll ever hear: I’LL HANDLE IT!”
—the harbinger

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