The Dance Of Fear Book Summary | Rising Above Anxiety, Fear And Shame | Author Harriet Lerner

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Unhappiness, says bestselling author Harriet Lerner, is fueled by three key emotions: anxiety, fear, and shame. They are the uninvited guests in our lives. When tragedy or hardship hits, they may become our constant companions.

Anxiety can wash over us like a tidal wave or operate as a silent thrum under the surface of our daily lives.

No one signs up for anxiety, fear, and shame, but we can’t avoid them either. As we learn to respond to these three key emotions in new ways, we can live more fully in the present and move into the future with courage, clarity, humor, and hope.


We might be afraid of rejection because we have NOT experienced it enough

Action is powerful

Succeed by failing= if you fear something do it more

Risk feeling ridiculous = take health risks. There will always be shame

Invite in fear

Motivation matters

When we are rejected, we may be frightened by our own rage

If you are terrified KEEP SHOWING UP and hang on to your humor

Experiences bring comfort

When speaking:

Establish a connection

Make the subject clear

Let others make their own conclusions

Don’t go on too long or you’ll lose them

Figure out when you can be spontaneous and WING it but PREPARE

Meet people WHERE they are. Make other feel at ease

Treat every comment and question with respect

Don’t pretend you have all the answers

You can’t make anybody hear you


Fear could signal we are about to do TOO much too SOON

Pay ATTENTION when your anxiety tells you to act

What other factors are fueling the intensity of your anxiety?

Anxiety signals is to seek more connections when too much distance sets in

Sharing the more vulnerable parts of ourselves is one way we feel intimate with others and this keeps a relationship balanced

LEARN to function with FEAR

It is easy to come short of ourselves when we compare our inside with people’s outsides

When relationships get stuck in too much distance or blame, you can be sure that anxiety is the driving force and the capacity to calm down and think rather than automatically react is where the real change begins

Our obvious fears are those of failure

Less obvious ones are a fear of “GOING TOO FAR”

The more “set” we are in our thinking and our relationships, the more we may fear that driving into new learning will destabilize old beliefs and important relationships

You may hold yourself back without even intending to do so.

Unconscious loyalties are very powerful

Fear of success syndrome

The failure to register and validate change is also a change back

Real courage requires you to sit with the anxiety that change evokes and stay on course when the countermoves start rolling in

The challenge of change requires us to anticipate resistance from WITHIN OR WITHOUT

The work space is an anxiety system

Anxiety causes a loss of OBJECTIVITY and balance in individuals pushing people to the extreme

Observation is the first step in changing your own anxiety driven behavior so that you can become more comfortable and effective at work


6 Styles of Managing Anxiety


1 take responsibility

Do what is required of you before asking for special privileges

Be cautious about sharing personal and sensitive information to your workmates

2 think things through

When anxiety is high, it is far more important to be strategic than spontaneous

When anxiety hits we all withdrawal from the people we find difficult

Other people’s misconception about you will only Harden if you avoid showing your face. The more you distance yourself from your group the more you become a target

3 Hangouts rather than hideout

Show up, look people in the eyes smile and say hello and try to move towards the people who are most critical of you and show interest in their work ideas and give the difficult person credits for the good quality they have

Temporarily distancing yourself forever is very important gives you time to think calm down and plan

4 stay present and be direct

This doesn’t mean you should speak to every confrontation or injustice

Choosing your battles is an act of maturity

When an issue is important to you, you need to be able to ask clear questions about it

5 be straightforward

6 know when to stop



GUILT is what we feel when we behave in a way  that violates our core values and beliefs

Guilt can be good and bad.. It’s good when it helps us regulate our behavior by jolting is when we stray too far from being the descent, honest, responsible person we aim to be

SHAME is linked to who we believe we are deep down

GUILT is about doing, SHAME is about being

Shame can also be secondary ‘that’s when you feel it on behalf of another person’

Don’t be silenced and passed as something you are NOT


Me being Real helps someone else become real

SHAME keeps more people From showing up that FEAR


Many people can apologize for what they have done, but not WHO they are

Speak not because you expect results but because you want to RECLAIM your own sense of HONOR, PRIDE, AND SELF REGARD

Sometimes we don’t like our appearance because we learned not to


Our society does not promote self acceptance

Because it does not sell products

When a person shames another, it’s not about you, but their own shame

The world is in a way that what is not named does not exist. Discourse

Be brave and acknowledge your unhappiness and If I can do this, my unhappiness will help me be brave

★DOWNLOAD THIS FREE PDF SUMMARY HERE https://go.bestbookbits.com/freepdf

🕮 MY FREE BOOK TO LIVING YOUR DREAM LIFE” https://go.bestbookbits.com/first-seven-steps

🤲 SPONSOR BESTBOOKBITS BY USING PATREON https://www.patreon.com/bestbookbits



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