verything we do is supported by the fear of doing it wrong. There is also the fear of success, and the fear of admitting to being wrong, or to seeing people’s faces. This fear will rule us if we do not overcome it. This is what gets in the way of having a good time with our friends, overcoming our fears, learning new skills and having fun. Fear is the enemy of life. It makes us do stupid things and behave in a foolish way, especially when we fail. This fear tells us to withdraw, to isolate ourselves from people, to avoid taking risks, and to fear losing.
Best Books on Overcoming Fear: THE LIST
|1. The Gift of Fear|
|3. The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook|
|4. The War of Art|
|5. Go For No!|
|6. The Big Leap|
|7. Rejection Proof|
|8. Fearless Passion|
|9. Daring Greatly|
|10. Do It Sacred|
|11. The Universe Has Your Back|
|12. Hardcore Self Help|
|13. The Power of YOur Subconscious Mind|
|16. The Confidence Gap|
|18. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway|
1. The Gift of Fear | By Gavin de Becker
Fear can save your life. It directs you to avoid that stranger, to leave the room, to call for help. The intuitive message of fear, together with rational principles, can help you to predict and thereby avoid personal violence. In this program Gavin de Becker, America’s leading expert on predicting violent behavior, demystifies the apparently random and unpredictable nature of violence and shows you how interpersonal violence can be detected and derailed. De Becker’s clients include celebrities, corporations, and political organizations, and he serves as an adviser to the CIA and the U.S. Supreme Court.
2. Fear | By Thich Nhat Hanh
Most of us live in a constant state of fear – of our past, of illness and aging and death, and of losing the things we treasure most. But it doesn’t have to be this way, promises Zen master and Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.
Drawing on a lifetime of mindfulness in action, Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to use the practice of living in the present to acknowledge and embrace our fears, recognize their origins, and render them powerless. The world-renowned Zen teacher guides us through practical exercises for transforming fear into clarity. The worries of the past and the anxiety of the future disappear as we discover the power of the present moment. Not only are we are able to handle challenging emotions as they arise, but we can summon feelings of well-being and contentment, no matter what the unknown may bring.
Rooted in the moment, we have the capacity to restore balance and happiness and be present with what is beautiful and affirming inside us and around us, every day.
3. The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook | By Edmund J. Bourne
Living with anxiety, panic disorders, or phobias can make you feel like you aren’t in control of your life. Tackle the fears that hold you back with this go-to guide. Packed with the most effective skills for assessing and treating anxiety, this evidence-based workbook contains the latest clinical research. You’ll find an arsenal of tools for quieting worry, ending negative self-talk, and taking charge of your anxious thoughts, including:
- Relaxation and breathing techniques
- New research on exposure therapy for phobias
- Lifestyle, exercise, mindfulness and nutrition tips
Written by a leading expert in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), this fully revised and updated seventh edition offers powerful, step-by-step treatment strategies for panic disorders, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), worry, and fear. You will also find new information on relapse prevention after successful treatment, and updates on medication, cannabis derivatives, ketamine, exposure, nutrition, spirituality, the latest research in neurobiology, and more.
Whether you suffer from anxiety and phobias yourself, or are a professional working with this population, this book provides the latest treatment solutions for overcoming the fears that stand in the way of living a meaningful and happy life. This workbook can be used on its own or in conjunction with therapy.
4. The War of Art | By Steven Pressfield
Since 2002, The War of Art has inspired people around the world to defeat “resistance”; to recognize and knock down dream-blocking barriers and to silence the naysayers within us. Resistance kicks everyone’s butt, and the desire to defeat it is equally as universal. The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.
Though it was written for writers, it has been embraced by business entrepreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, military service members, and thousands of others around the world.
5. Go For No! | By Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz
In a world inundated with sales books on getting to yes, this audiobook recommends just the opposite, focusing on how increasing your failure rate can greatly accelerate your movement toward ultimate success.
Go for No! chronicles four days in the life of fictional character Eric Bratton, a call-reluctant copier salesman who wakes up one morning to find himself in a strange house with no idea of how he got there. But this house doesn’t belong to just anyone! It belongs to him…a wildly successful, 10-years-in-the-future version of the person he could become if he learns to overcome his self-limiting beliefs and overcome his fear of failure.
Through the dialogue of the two main characters, the authors have fashioned an entertaining story to present the key concepts essential to sales success. Listeners learn:
- What it takes to outperform 92 percent of the world’s salespeople
- That failing and failure are two very different things
- Why it’s important to celebrate success and failure
- How to get past failures quickly and move on
- That the most empowering word in the world is not yes…it’s NO!
Written to be intentionally short and to the point, Go for No! is a quick, fun listen with valuable lessons that can change the way you think, sell, and live!
6. The Big Leap | By Hendricks
Most of us believe that we will finally feel satisfied and content with our lives when we get the good news we have been waiting for, find a healthy relationship, or achieve one of our personal goals. However, this rarely happens. Good fortune is often followed by negative emotions that overtake us and result in destructive behaviors. “I don’t deserve this,” “this is too good to be true,” or any number of harmful thought patterns prevent us from experiencing the joy and satisfaction we have earned.
Sound familiar? This is what New York Times best-selling author Gay Hendricks calls the Upper Limit Problem, a negative emotional reaction that occurs when anything positive enters our lives. The Upper Limit Problem not only prevents happiness, but it actually stops us from achieving our goals. It is the ultimate life roadblock.
In The Big Leap, Hendricks reveals a simple yet comprehensive program for overcoming this barrier to happiness and fulfillment, presented in a way that engages both the mind and heart. Working closely with more than 1,000 extraordinary achievers in business and the arts, from rock stars to Fortune 500 executives, whose stories are featured in these pages, the book describes the four hidden fears that are at the root of the Upper Limit Problem.
The Big Leap delivers a proven method for first identifying which of these four fears prevents us from reaching our personal upper limit, and then breaking through that limitation to achieve what Hendricks refers to as our Zone of Genius. Hendricks provides a clear path for achieving our true potential and attaining not only financial success but also success in love and life.
7. Rejection Proof | By Jia Jiang
Jia Jiang came to the United States with the dream of being the next Bill Gates. Despite early success in the corporate world, his first attempt to pursue his entrepreneurial dream ended in rejection. Jia was crushed and spiraled into a period of deep self-doubt. But he realized that his fear of rejection was a bigger obstacle than any single rejection would ever be, and he needed to find a way to cope with being told no without letting it destroy him. Thus was born his “100 days of rejection” experiment, during which he willfully sought rejection on a daily basis – from requesting a lesson in sales from a car salesman (no) to asking a flight attendant if he could make an announcement on the loudspeaker (yes) to his famous request to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the shape of Olympic rings (yes, with a viral video to prove it).
Jia learned that even the most preposterous wish may be granted if you ask in the right way, and here he shares the secret of successful asking, how to pick targets, and how to tell when an initial no can be converted into something positive. But more important, he learned techniques for steeling himself against rejection and ways to develop his own confidence – a plan that can’t be derailed by a single setback.
Filled with great stories and valuable insight, Rejection Proof is a fun and thoughtful examination of how to overcome fear and dare to live more boldly.
8. Fearless Passion | By Yong Kang Chan
Deep down inside, you know that your current job doesn’t fit you. Every morning, you felt drained and unmotivated to go to work. Every night, you couldn’t sleep because you kept thinking about the problems you have to face the next day.
Difficult co-workers and management, negative work environment, meaningless tasks, long working hours, and tight deadlines. Your unfulfilling job is making you feel depressed and killing your soul slowly day by day.
But yet, you can’t leave your position. What is stopping you from taking action?
You want to quit your job, but you are afraid of losing your financial security. What is you cannot find another job? What if you pick another career that is as bad as or even worse than your current one?
How about the people close to you? You don’t want to let your parents down as they have high expectations for you. You feel guilty about leaving your colleagues to take over your workload.
You also don’t want to be perceived as a quitter or someone who gives up easily whenever they face a problem.
So you feel stuck and trapped in your job and don’t know what to do.
9. Daring Greatly | By Brene Brown
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; …who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” (Theodore Roosevelt)
Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on 12 years of pioneering research, Dr. Brené Brown dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.
Brown explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity. She writes: “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.”
Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena – whether it’s a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation. Daring Greatly is a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.
10. Do It Sacred | By Ruth Soukup
What would you do if fear no longer stood in your way?
What would happen if you were no longer afraid to dive in headfirst and go after your dreams, instead of feeling like you were sitting on the sidelines of your own life?
We tell ourselves we are too busy to pursue our dreams. That there’s no time, or that it’s not practical. But what if the real reason we’re putting off our goals is FEAR?
The fear that we’re not good enough, not smart or talented or capable enough. It’s the fear that others might laugh at us, or that we’ll get hurt or be rejected, or that pursuing our true potential will simply be too hard.
And most of all, the fear that we’ll fail.
But courage doesn’t mean we are never afraid. True courage means taking action despite the fear. True courage means doing it scared.
The question is – how? How do we face those fears and take that first step in the right direction? How do we overcome those obstacles that stand in our way and sometimes feel insurmountable?
In Do It Scared, popular blogger and podcast host Ruth Soukup will help you to:
- Identify your own unique “Fear Archetype” – the specific type of fear that keeps you stuck – and learn how to conquer it.
- Dare to start thinking bigger about your life and your goals.
- Learn how to seek out honest feedback to accomplish big things.
- Embrace the core beliefs you need to overcome different types of fears.
- Discover why our magical idea of “balance” is totally overrated and let go of the guilt, once and for all.
Equal parts inspiration and tough love, Do It Scared combines easy-to-implement tips with the motivation to start making real changes that lead to big results. Get ready to get off the sidelines and jump into your own life as you dare to Do It Scared.
11. The Universe Has Your Back | By Gabrielle Bernstein
In her latest book, The Universe Has Your Back, New York Times best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein teaches listeners how to transform their fear into faith in order to live a divinely guided life. Each story and lesson in the book guides listeners to release the blocks to what they most long for: happiness, security, and clear direction. The lessons help listeners relinquish the need to control so they can relax into a sense of certainty and freedom. Listeners will learn to stop chasing life and truly live. Making the shift from fear to faith will give listeners a sense of power in a world that all too often makes them feel utterly powerless. When the tragedies of the world seem overwhelming, this book will help guide them back to their true power.
Gabrielle says, “My commitment with this book is to wake up as many people as possible to their connection to faith and joy. In that connection, we can be guided to our true purpose: to be love and spread love. These words can no longer be cute buzz phrases that we merely post on social media. Rather, these words must be our mission. The happiness, safety, and security we long for lies in our commitment to love.”
When listeners follow this path, they’ll begin to feel a swell of energy move through them. They will find strength when they are down, synchronicity and support when they’re lost, safety in the face of uncertainty, and joy when they are otherwise in pain. Follow the secrets revealed in this book to unleash the presence of your power and know always that The Universe Has Your Back.
12. Hardcore Self Help | By Robert Duff
Hardcore Self Help: F–k Anxiety is for those of us who find the prospect of reading a traditional self-help book to be way too boring. How are you supposed to make positive changes in your life if the book itself feels like a chore? This audiobook is definitely not a chore.
In Hardcore Self Help: F–k Anxiety, I talk to you like a friend. There is lots of swearing and humor but also loads of helpful and actionable information. You learn about anxiety and how to find the weapons within yourself to slay it for good.
13. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind | By Joseph Murphy
In The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Dr. Joseph Murphy gives you the tools you will need to unlock the awesome powers of your subconscious mind. You can improve your relationships, your finances, your physical well-being. Once you learn how to use this unbelievably powerful force there is nothing you will not be able to accomplish. Join the millions of people who have already unlocked the power of their subconscious minds. I urge you to study this book and apply the techniques outlined therein; and as you do, I feel absolutely convinced that you will lay hold of a miracle-working power that will lift you up from confusion, misery, melancholy, and failure, and guide you to your true place, solve your difficulties, sever you from emotional and physical bondage, and place you on the royal road to freedom, happiness, and peace of mind.- Dr. Joseph Murphy
14. Fearless | By Max Lucado
Each sunrise seems to bring fresh reasons for fear. They’re talking layoffs at work, slowdowns in the economy, flare-ups in the Middle East, turnovers at headquarters, downturns in the housing market, upswings in global warming. The plague of our day, terrorism, begins with the word terror. Fear, it seems, has taken up a 100-year lease on the building next door and set up shop.
Oversized and rude, fear herds us into a prison of unlocked doors. Wouldn’t it be great to walk out?
Imagine your life, wholly untouched by angst. What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats? If you could hover a fear magnet over your heart and extract every last shaving of dread, insecurity, or doubt, what would remain? Envision a day, just one day, where you could trust more and fear less. Can you imagine your life without fear?
15. Calm | By Michael Acton Smith
Based on the popular iPhone app, a visually exciting, practical, and playful interactive guide to twenty-first century meditation that provides simple tools, tricks, and habits to find tranquility and focus, improve creativity and productivity, achieve better mental and physical health, and ultimately transform your life.
Achieving mindfulness doesn’t require a huge lifestyle shift or special training. It’s about mastering simple habits that work with the demands of your busy life. It uses the abilities you’re born with: creativity, spontaneity, and awareness of the world around you. There are no rules to follow or break. Everyone can achieve calm—including you.
In Calm, Michael Acton Smith combines fascinating neurological research, ancient wisdom, and real-life experiences to demystify meditation and show you the many simple ways to be mindful everyday. Crafted to resemble a journal, filled with beautiful and inspiring artwork, and divided into eight life-balancing sections—Nature, Work, Creativity, Children, Travel, Relationships, Food, and Sleep—Calm can help you change your perspective and rediscover the pleasures of the world. Each section blends fascinating research, creative prompts, activities, instructions, and insights that will stimulate your senses and inspire you.
Calm can be used multiple times a day or whenever you need it to find a little peace. Take a walk without a fixed destination, savor a piece of chocolate on the tip of your tongue, plant a seed, doodle aimlessly, turn off your mobile phone for five short minutes. Smile, breathe, and go slowly. Calm your mind—and change your world.
16. The Confidence Gap | By Russ Harris
Too many of us miss out on opportunities in life because we lack self-confidence. Whether it’s public speaking, taking on a leadership role, or asking someone for a date, there are situations in which we just don’t feel equipped to handle the challenges we face. Russ Harris offers a surprising solution to low self-confidence, shyness, and insecurity: Rather than trying to “get over” our fears, he says, the secret is to form a new and wiser relationship with them. Paradoxically, it’s only when we stop struggling against our fearfulness that we begin to find lasting freedom from it. Drawing on the techniques of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a cutting-edge form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, The Confidence Gap explains how to: Free yourself from common misconceptions about what confidence is and how to build it; transform your relationship with fear and anxiety; clarify your core values and use them as your inspiration and motivation; use mindfulness to effectively handle negative thoughts and feelings.
17. Uncertainty | By Jonathan Fields
Jonathan Fields knows the risks – and potential power – of uncertainty. He gave up a six-figure income as a lawyer to make $12 an hour as a personal trainer. Then, married with a three-month old baby, he signed a lease to launch a yoga center in the heart of New York City… the day before 9/11. But he survived, and along the way he developed a fresh approach to transforming uncertainty, risk of loss, and exposure to judgment into catalysts for innovation, creation, and achievement.
Properly understood and harnessed, fear and uncertainty can become fuel for creative genius rather than sources of pain, anxiety, and suffering. In business, art, and life, creating on a world-class level demands bold action and leaps of faith in the face of great uncertainty. But that uncertainty can lead to fear, anxiety, paralysis, and destruction. It can gut creativity and stifle innovation. It can keep you from taking the risks necessary to do great work and craft a deeply-rewarding life. And it can bring companies that rely on innovation grinding to a halt. That is, unless you know how to use it to your advantage. Fields draws on leading-edge technology, cognitive-science and ancient awareness-focusing techniques in a fresh, practical, non-dogmatic way. His approach enables creativity and productivity on an entirely different level and can turn the once-tortuous journey into a more enjoyable quest. Fields will reveal how to:
- Make changes to your workflow that unlock buried creative potential
- Build “creation hives” – supportive groups that can supercharge and humanize the process
- Tap social technology and user co-creation to add clarity, certainty, and sanity, even if you’re an artist or solo-creator
- Develop a set of personal practices and mindset shifts that let you not just tolerate, but invite and even amplify, uncertainty as a catalyst for genius
18. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway | By Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
Does fear keep you from jumping into life with energy and excitement?
Fear seems to be epidemic in our society. We fear changing plans, we fear staying stuck. We fear failure, we fear success. Whatever your fears, this classic guide will give you concrete tools and insights to improve your ability to handle any situation life throws at you.
Best-selling author Susan Jeffers’ timeless teachings live on in this work, based on the same techniques she used in her own life to experience more strength, peace, and joy.
Learn how to:
- Let go of negative programming
- Say “yes!” to all circumstances
- Raise your level of self-esteem
- Become more assertive
- Create more love, trust, and enjoyment
Through the process Susan has laid out, you’ll discover that fear is simply a fact of life, not a barrier to success. Get ready to take control and move ahead with your life. Feel the fear…and do it anyway!
Final Thoughts on the Best Books on Overcoming Fear
Facing our fears and climbing the mountains ahead of us is the ultimate symbol of courage. It’s what will transform the world.
Life itself is not going to be easy in your pursuit of your dreams. The universe is constantly working against us, lying to us, coercing us, bending us, forcing us to chase our dreams and try and escape our natural fears. Most of the failures and fears you have will be overcome by realising how big your mistakes actually were. Overcoming mistakes is similar to overcoming fears: you have to step out of your comfort zone.
Do you see a book that you think should be on the list? Let us know your feedback here.