This Little Miggy Stayed Home: The Gift of Fear Revisited

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Gift of Fear Revisited

Hmmm, no comments on the last post.  Could it be you thought I was serious?  See, I like to joke.  Sometimes I "joke" by exaggerating a lot (also called hyperbole) and I pretend that I'm not exaggerating by trying to sound serious, only I'm exaggerating so much that it sounds funny.  Get it?  Moving on...

A while ago I posted about this book The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker.  Well now that I've actually read it I'd like to follow up with a strong recommendation.  Ahem... I'd like to strongly recommend that you read the book The Gift of Fear.  It was actually much better than I expected.  I thought it was going to be about fear! and how we sense fear! and fear! this and fear! that blah, blah, blah.  Instead he breaks down the process of feeling fear with many first hand examples about using fear to our advantage.  He explains our intuition and that how our intuition is based on information our brains process at lightening speed and how complex and even scientific that process really is.  Thus, we should look at our instinct as concrete information rather than silly thoughts that should just be shooed away.  And when we truly feel fear it's not as paralyzing as we may think, but it's informing us of what to do and can often move us into action.  What I really love is that the book explores violence from the standpoint that it (violence) can be predicted and usually stems from people who were mistreated early in their lives (the cycle of abuse).  Coming from an LDS perspective and our belief that families are the basic and fundamental unit of society, he supports those ideas by saying that good families are important and one's upbringing can be one of the better predictors of violence.  He actually says that one of the best ways to ensure our children don't act out in violent manners is to be a good and loving parent.  I know it's not groundbreaking information, but I always find it interesting to hear Gospel/spiritual principles discussed in a non-Gospel setting.  He knows about violence first hand as he was a victim of child abuse and grew up around extreme violence in his home, which is essentially what propelled him into his line of work.  He owns and operates a security firm whose clients include everyone from famous celebrities to the CIA.  He's considered the worlds leading expert in security.  I also think the idea of listening to our 'instinct' is much like (if not the same thing) as listening to the Holy Ghost.  I feel that this idea of listening is familiar to Mormons (and many others I'm sure) and again it's interesting to see it discussed in this way.     

I was worried that reading a book about fear would make me more fearful--as some of you know I'm sort of a scardy cat--but it's not so.  He discusses that living in paranoia will only stunt your ability to recognize true fear and thus we should live our lives as if we are safe and in doing so only then will we be able to recognize when our intuition is trying to speak to us.  I think this is a fascinating and informative book and I really think all women would benefit from reading this.  I found it useful on many different levels.  FYI, he also has another book entitled Protecting the Gift about keeping children safe--I'll probably read that as well.  If anyone else has read The Gift of Fear chime in and let me know what you thought.  


  1. A friend lent me this book awhile ago and I haven't read it for the same reasons you didn't want to read it at first. I'll have to go back and give it a shot.

  2. It's going on the list.

  3. Yeah, I avoided it for the same reason - I'm already paranoid enough. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Also, I just read your last post. Very funny. Strong smells actually keep me awake, so the onion thing would be really annoying. I'm glad we live in the age of the scientific method.

  4. Yeah I think you'll really like it (all of you) and to be fair there are some scary stories, but like I said I have felt less need to be afraid.

  5. Anonymous1:05 AM

    thanks to you, I own this book now. Our library had a sale and I just quickly browsed through thinking they wouldn't be selling any good books...until I saw this title and snatched it up for $1. I loved this book, because even though I'm not scared easily, I always wonder how I would react in a scary situation. This book reassured me that my intuition would help me know what to do and I'd probably just act quickly without going through a long thought process anyway. He had some great real-life examples I thought. Thanks for the recommendation!