How to build confidence and destroy fear?
April 26, 2013 11:00 AM   Subscribe

I'm working on a project designed to help people build confidence and overcome fear. As part of that, I'm trying to build a library of resources -- books, quotes, websites, video clips, etc. -- that explore what it's like to face fear and build courage. I have lots of material already, but I'm looking for more. What are some of your favorite bits about developing confidence and/or destroying fear?
posted by jdroth to Human Relations (10 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
Pema Chodron: Smiling at Fear, Taking the Leap, etc
posted by mattbucher at 11:06 AM on April 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers
The Now Habit by Neil Fiore - overcoming fear-based procratination
I agree Pema is great. Really, most reading on mindfulness helps overcome fear. Peace in Every Step Thich Nhat Hanh
posted by mimo at 11:18 AM on April 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

How about Frank Herbert's Litany Against Fear from Dune:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
Also, much of fear about uncertain outcomes and futures falls under anxiety. For that, I highly recommend Edmund J. Bourne's Anxiety & Phobia Workbook. This book includes excellent chapters on feelings, affirmations, nutrition and exercise guidelines, building self-esteem, and working through fears and anxieties.
posted by simulacra at 11:18 AM on April 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

Fear is just a feeling; if you can sit through a feeling without reacting, you can deal with the real situation at hand. Try this book about emotional awareness (if you can forgive the hippie-dippy language). And The Gift of Fear helps understand when fear is warranted.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:19 AM on April 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you're willing to accept that fear = anxiety, "Anxiety overestimates the risks in a situation and underestimates your ability to cope." Tamar Chansky, "Freeing Yourself from Anxiety," Da Capo Press, 2012.

Or, in other words, there's nothing to fear except fear itself (attributed to Franklin D. Roosevelt, perhaps not in those words exactly).
posted by scratch at 11:20 AM on April 26, 2013

Its an article about an experiment, which helped close the gender gap in science teaching when used at a university. A pet topic of mine, but I could see this being useful in all sorts of ways - its basically about getting people to affirm themselves before doing something.
posted by Joh at 11:22 AM on April 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

I keep a running list of quotes regarding fear from elite-level combat sports competitors under the competition tag of the tumblog I keep for training. The best ones are Rickson Gracie, Georges St. Pierre, Ronaldo Jacare Souza, Isao Okano, Ulysses S. Grant, a treasure of a video clip featuring Mike Tyson and one of his trainers Teddy Atlas, and what Cus D'Amato tells his trainees. Some of these are particular to the fear of competing or facing an opponent, but I feel that the lessons are valuable in any context. For instance, D'Amato:
I tell my kids, what is the dif­fer­ence between a hero and a cow­ard? What is the dif­fer­ence between being yel­low and being brave? No dif­fer­ence. Only what you do. They both feel the same.
Or Jacare, on how to live:
Where I feel fear, that is where I want to go.
Or GSP, who, like Rickson, snuggles up to his fear:
[Nervousness and fear of fighting is] never going to go away. The only thing, though, is that you will learn how to deal with it. You will learn how to accept it - as a friend.
posted by daveliepmann at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

Do something hard. The more hard things you do, the more confident you will become.
posted by dawkins_7 at 12:38 PM on April 26, 2013

Daring Greatly is a new book this year exploring vulnerability, and how vulnerability is viewed as strength/bravery/honesty in others but a weakness in one's self. I really liked looking at allowing yourself to be vulnerable as a keystone to bravery.
posted by shortyJBot at 12:58 PM on April 26, 2013

The process i use is deailed in Loving What Is by Byron Katie. Dont let the title fool you...this is a fierce practice for dealing with fear and limiting beliefs,in the vein of Pema ChodronS work.
posted by salishsea at 7:20 PM on April 26, 2013

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