Fear protects us and warns us of danger, but often it gets too loud, too involved in our choices and has the power to cripple us. We experience fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of bad things happening and fear of getting it 'wrong'. Fear prevents us from speaking up or showing up as our best self. So, how can we quieten fear so it doesn't control what we do?
In the new book, The Loudest Guest: How to change and control your relationship with fear author and psychologist, Dr Amy Silver, draws upon her extensive experience to provide a practical seven step guide to managing fear to create a more powerful you.
The Loudest Guest is for those who:
• want to explore how much fear controls your life choices (you'll be surprised!)
• are prone to ruminating, worrying, being hesitant or overly concerned about future events
• desire to do something new but worry they couldn't, shouldn't or that they'll fail
• talk yourself down either out loud or in your head
• desire to feel freer to experience more from life
• are too "in their head", full of doubt, regret or indecision about what the 'right' thing to do is
• can get paralysed by worrying about what others' think
• people pleasers and 'yes' people
• would like to create deeper trust or connections with others
Researched-based and accessibly written, The Loudest Guest guides the reader neatly through exercises, stories of everyday relatable courage, tips and tricks. This methodology is THE way to change and control your relationship with fear – for good.
About the author:
Dr Amy Silver is a highly sought-after speaker and mentor in the area of fear and fear management. Her programs drive remarkable team performance at work by teaching people to be more courageous and have more courageous conversations. She is the founder of The Courage Club, the place to outgrow your fears. As a psychotherapist she is experienced in many therapies, Behavioural, Cognitive Behavioural, Cognitive Analytic, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
The Loudest Guest
Transit Lounge Publishing
Author: Dr Amy Silver
Question: What originally inspired the idea of The Loudest Guest?
Dr Amy Silver: After the disruption and tragedy of this year, I did feel compelled to put together in a really simple, usable way, the solutions to manage the difficult emotions of doubt, worry and fear. There is so much to give from the world of psychology and it's usually trapped in the world of academia and therapy and I wanted it to be available for all of us.
Question: What did you learn, about yourself, whilst writing The Loudest Guest?
Dr Amy Silver: I realised that I am pretty good at managing my own fear particularly as I've made big directional changes in my own career e.g. from Oxford University teacher to actress, from actress to facilitator, from facilitator to keynote speaker. In many areas of my life I manage to identify and then chase my fears so that I can play with my potential. It also made it clear to me which areas of my life I am less courageous, and it has highlighted the choices I am making around these.
Question: What's the main message you hope readers take from The Loudest Guest?
Dr Amy Silver: That fear, no matter how loud it is in our head, is normal, natural and helpful if we can learn to use it rather than let it control us. When fear controls us it tells us what to do, we react classically with avoidance (flight) and/or we arc up (fight) and these behaviours take us further away from our goals. When we hand control to fear we become more indecisive, sadder, overwhelmed, and irritable. The idea that fear is just a guest in our minds means that we can evaluate what it has to say and decide whether it is being helpful. When we decide it isn't, we can experiment to take back control and move further towards our goals.
Question: Can you share some tips with us featured in the book?
Dr Amy Silver: Let us imagine that fear is a guest in your mind, and you are hosting a party, with lots of different guests. You have goals and ambitions, wants and needs but if fear really dominates it tells you what to do. Learning how to host your own party is a skill we can master if we learn these six strategies: recognition, self-compassion, separation, evaluation, decision and experimentation. The book takes you through simple exercises to move practically forward. By focusing on how fear is taking you further away from what you want, you can remind yourself that you are the host of your own party, not any of your loudest guests. Making friends with your fear so you can use it but not allowing you to be controlled by it, you will keep moving forward.
Question: What research did you do, prior to writing The Loudest Guest?
Dr Amy Silver: Only about 30 years worth! I have been researching and learning about how fear gets in our way since 1993. As a psychotherapist and psychologist I have been privileged enough to hear thousands of people's stories about their fears and worries, doubts and indecisions. My doctorate thesis was on how fear prevents people recovering from chronic physical fatigue.
Question: What can you tell us about The Courage Club?
Dr Amy Silver: The Courage Club was born out of an acknowledgement that we get braver when we are in company that inspires us to do so. We all have different worries and fears but our reaction to fear is always the same (flight, fight, freeze). When we see this pattern again and again in each other we can normalise it and hold each other safe and accountable while we progress. This Club is for all those who are ready to have a different relationship with their fear, to use it to better and reach their potential, be happier and more fulfilled living the life they deserve. It is currently all online with a powerful curriculum and network.
Question: What advice do you have for aspiring writers or artists?
Dr Amy Silver: Don't let your fear stop you giving what you have to others. It is too selfish to put your own emotions (fear and doubt) above the creativity and value you have to offer to others and to the world. Learn to manage your fear so that you can shine.
Question: What or who inspired your love of reading/writing?
Dr Amy Silver: Reading is an insight into lives that you haven't lived and choices you could make. I love reading anything that makes me think about my own choices in life. If it is a novel I think about what I would do in that situation. If it is a leadership or self leadership book I think about the choices I could make with this new information.
Question: What's next, for you?
Dr Amy Silver: My corporate programs are all about courage and courageous communication. I am working internationally now, and I am loving watching my messages get incorporated, to really shift the way in which we work. Our performance is maximised when we feel safe enough to be compassionately courageous. My work will stretch further into this and I remain a champion of moving beyond fear towards our full potential as individuals and as a collective.
Interview by Gwen van Montfort