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The Dance of Fear

The Dance of Fear Cover

The Dance of Fear

Rising Above the Anxiety, Fear, and Shame to Be Your Best and Bravest Self

By Harriet Lerner

Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060081584, 238pp.

Publication Date: May 3, 2005


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. With stories that are sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking, Lerner takes us from "fear lite" to the most difficult lessons the universe sends us. We learn:

how a man was "cured in a day" of the fear of rejection -- and what we can learn from his story

how the author overcame her dread of public speaking when her worst fears were realized

how to deal with the fear of not being good enough, and with the shame of feeling essentially flawed and inadequate

how to stay calm and clear in an anxious, crazy workplace

how to manage fear and despair when life sends a crash course in illness, vulnerability, and loss

how "positive thinking" helps -- and harms

how to be our best and bravest selves, even when we are terrified and have internalized the shaming messages of others

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. Fear and Other Uninvited Guests shows us how.

Praise For The Dance of Fear

“Powerful mind-medicine.”
-Martha Beck, O, The Oprah Magazine

“This spirit-lifting book leaves the reader braver, wiser and laughing. Lerner’s advice is the best you will find.”
-Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Driven to Distraction

“A flat-out life-changing book.”
-Betty Carter, M.S.W. Director Emerita, Family Institute of Westchester, New York