5 Takeaways from Do It Scared by Ruth Soukup

This summer I read a pair of books back to back that utterly and completely changed my life. The first of these was the book Do It Scared by Ruth Soukup (the second one I’ll share in an upcoming post).

While I’ve been following Ruth for some time as a student of her blogging program and a fan of her decluttering challenges, I had never heard much about her personal story.

Recently author Ruth Soukup has begun to share how she battled major depressive disorder in her early 20s; including self-harm, multiple suicide attempts and hospitalization. Given that she is now the CEO of a 7-figure media corporation as well as a happily married wife and mother, her personal story is incredible and inspiring.

So when she released her book Do It Scared late last year, I knew I was going to read it. If I hadn’t already been convinced, the subtitle would have convinced me: Finding the courage to face your fears, overcome adversity, and create a life you love.

To get the full experience and benefit of the book, you really need to read the whole thing, but here are five key takeaways from Part 1 of the book. A second five takeaways from part 2 and 3 is coming next.

Takeaway #1: Fear is present for everyone

This is one of those things that’s obvious when you think about it, but not something you keep top of mind as you’re moving through life. In your day-to-day, you just assume that everyone else has their life together, that they know what they are doing. That they are confident and unafraid. But the truth is that everyone has fears.

I’m not talking about phobias and disorders, though many of us have those too, I’m just talking about the everyday fear that keeps us from doing what you dream of. Somehow, knowing that we are all in this crazy life thing together makes it a little easier, and the stories the author offers to illustrate the various ways that fear holds us back are super helpful.

Takeaway #2: Fear takes different forms for different people

Again, something that’s obvious when you think about it, but not so obvious if you don’t. Thankfully, Ruth Soukup and her team have spent a substantial amount of time thinking about it!! Fascinated by the concept of overcoming fear, they wanted to know how fear affects people, so they undertook a massive research project. Along the way they realized that the way people experience and express fear has some common patterns.

The book describes these as “fear archetypes” and just like other types of personality tests, discovering your fear archetype and the fear archetype of those closest to you is like turning on a light. Suddenly you just see and understand so much more than you did before.

Takeaway #3: You might be wrong about the form of your fear

I thought for sure that my fear archetype was what Ruth Soukup calls “The Procrastinator,” or what I would call a perfectionist. You know, people who are so afraid of being less than perfect that they never get anything done. And I’m sure that comes into play. But after reading the book (and taking the online assessment—more on that in a bit) I was absolutely flabbergasted to realize that my fear archetype is absolutely and completely “The People Pleaser.” I would have sworn that this was not important to me, that I didn’t care what people thought. I would have been lying, albeit unwittingly. Turns out that what people think is THE MOST important thing to be. Or at least it used to be, because….

Takeaway #4: Recognizing your fear archetype is half the battle

As soon as I realized the truth, that my fear archetype was People Pleaser, I found myself looking at everything in my life with new eyes. All the commitments on my calendar, all the promises, all the drama and anxiety about the neighbors and their anger (a story for another day). ALL were things that I had brought upon myself because I wanted to impress others, to please them, to make them think that I was something special. What a mistake. Instead I was over committed and canceling things, or absorbing more responsibility for a situation than was really appropriate. Neither serves me or the other people involved. So I quit. I still am affected by my People Pleaser nature, no question. It comes up every single day. But now I know what that is so I can see it, name it, and move forward in a balanced, thoughtful way instead of just taking everything on myself.

Takeaway #5: All fear archetypes have positive attributes

One of the things I appreciated most about this book after the major insights and power of recognizing my own fear archetype was that author Ruth Soukup also made sure to build up the positives of each archetype. Like all characteristics, they have both benefits and challenges. People Pleasers are known for being exceptionally warm and making people feel welcome and comfortable in social situations. This is something that I have always felt that I was good at—one of the few things that I was proud of about who I am. It makes perfect sense. Caring about other people’s feelings makes you empathetic and aware of others. This can be a power for good as long as you can rein in the extreme that causes it to be come a detriment instead.

That’s it!

On the back of the book, there’s a question, “What would you do if fear no longer stood in your way?” It’s a powerful question and the tools inside are powerful tools. The journey I am on now, six months later, is in large part to the journey that began when I read this book, recognized my fear, and started taking action anyway.

I mentioned the online assessment. I recommend it, it’s a fun introduction to the concepts. But I definitely think you should read the book (or listen to the audiobook) and honestly I would do that before I took the assessment. I found that while the assessment was fun, it was the book that really helped me to clarify and understand my fear and gave me the tools and strategies I needed to be able to overcome that fear.

Here are links to the book and the other resources I’ve mentioned:

If you check any of them out, let me know what you think!! Comment below or come and chat with me on Facebook or Instagram!

Love, Angela



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