Just finished this little gem of a book the other day. It's a quick, easy read, but for me, it packed a punch.

I heard it was a good book for someone who is trying to tackle a big challenge. So I bought it for my friend Kindra. She wants to write a book. Now that's what I call a big challenge. She liked it and gave me a summary. I thought about giving it to another friend who is starting her graphic design business but then thought, "I should probably read this book myself before passing it out to everyone I know." So I did. And before I hit page 50, it snuck up on me and bit me in the butt.

You see, I wasn't planning to get a whole lot out of this book. I don't have any big challenges I want to tackle. Life is good. I'm cruising along enjoying the ride. Then the author started talking about love and dating and fear. A pit in my stomach instantly appeared and suddenly I was aware that I had issues. Serious fear issues. Surrounding love and dating.

The author states that, "All changes, even positive ones, are scary." When we try to make a big change, the fight or flight mechanism in the amygdala of our brain is triggered which then shuts off the cortex, or the creative thought center of the brain. We are unable to think creatively. And then we fail. The key to success, staying successful and making a change that lasts, is to bypass the amygdala -- to tiptoe around it like a sleeping giant -- so that our fight and flight mechanism isn't triggered and we have full use of our cortex for thinking creatively. The way we do this is by asking small questions and taking small steps:

large goal ==> fear ==> access to cortex restricted ==> failure
small goal ==> fear bypassed ==> cortex engaged ==> success


This idea has broad application to so many areas of life. The author explores a number of them by way of example: Eating healthy, exercising, saving money, improving the efficiency of a business, quitting a bad habit, and the one that unexpectedly bit me in the butt.....dating and love. I don't talk about it here much, but I would like to get married. I don't JUST want to get married though. If I did, I would be married already. I want to be with a great person. Someone who makes my life better. Someone who loves Jesus and cherishes me. I'm picky. And I'm o.k. with that. Despite what this might seem like, I don't need pity, anecdotes or advice. Please resist the urge to leave any of the above in the comments. If I hear ONE MORE TIME, "It will happen when you least expect it," or any other platitude -- I WILL blow a gasket. I just decided I couldn't write this review and not be real with you about what it has helped me to realize. I have issues with fear.

The author writes, "The more we care about something, the more we dream, the more fear shows up. During the rough patches, understanding that fear is normal, and a natural sign of ambition, makes us more likely to hold on to hope and optimism -- qualities that increase our willingness to take the kinds of small steps that slip right past the fear." Realizing the fear that exists in me has been so helpful in and of itself. But I also feel empowered by some of the suggested small questions and steps I can take to bypass it.

Such a great book! I would highly recommend it for those of you who know you are facing a huge challenge as well as for those of you who, like me before I read this book, don't think you are :).
+ Comment +