35. Book review: Fear the friend of exceptional people, anxiety

I bought this book back in 2009, it sat in mental ‘to read one day’ list, this January I finally got to it and what a book it is.

I have watched a few videos on fear but nothing has resonated with me like this book, a huge takeaway I got from this book, is adrenaline is often mistaken for fear.

If it were up to me, I would make it mandatory for every teenage boy to read this book, I wish I had this book in my teens, instead of my thirties.

In my career I have been plagued with fears and anxieties which almost destroyed my life, they go as following:

Fear of failure
Fear of success
Imposter syndrome
Social anxiety

Add to that, I’m a black, middle aged male, introverted, homebody who prefers to do things solo than with a group, i.e. a night time drive to a spot with a great view, whether that be a view of the city, a river, sunset, moon and stars or chill in a park in summer looking at nature.

I play video games and watch TV shows/movies, I pretty much live in my own world, I have a huge distrust of people but can be a people pleaser.

I don’t even want you to imagine what’s it’s like, all I can tell you is, it’s a roller coaster of a ride that you can’t get off.

I read this book and I realised, every single one of the above actions is linked to me not being able to distinguish adrenaline and fear, even worse, because I couldn’t understand the feeling that was gripping me, I couldn’t challenge it; leaving it unchallenged turned it into a wrecking ball for my life and the worst thing was, I thought I was the only one who was experiencing this feeling.

This book made me realise, that I’m not an alien and that instead of thinking of the feeling as crippling, I can now shift my thinking to know it is powering my up for action!

I know anxiety is the brains way of trying to protect you from yourself, but I didn’t know the feeling of fear we have is adrenaline, which is the body’s way of preparing you.

This book not only breaks fear feeling down for you, it also gives you real life examples from the authors own experience and interviews with people who you would never think have such thoughts.

It is a must read, it does not matter if you are a fighter or in a corporate environment, it is helpful, it even talks about the fear of mortgages or starting your own business, additional worries I have personally had.

As the road to self help continues for me, books like this make reading worth while, I read there is two things a trainer can’t fix, laziness and cowardice; I believe both have links to fear and once you understand what it is, things like exam anxiety, will slowly diminish, as will lacking the motivation to do stuff, due to fear of failure or not seeing results.  

Book by Geoff Thompson

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