gift of fearI just finished Gavin de Becker’s Gift of Fear, after breezing through it in just a few days. Like Lady Gaga, you’ll read my Poker Face, so I’ll just show my cards already.  I loved this book.  After reading this book,  I learned to trust my intuition, gained skills in how to talk to my children about safety, and determine which anxieties in life to take seriously and which I can let go.

There have been times in my life that I have met people that I immediately disliked because they made me uncomfortable or gave me a negative gut reaction.  Now, I understand more why I have these feelings and that it is very important to listen to them! Gavin de Becker goes through many examples of cases he has seen in his career and explains why we should listen to our intuitions, because they might just save our life.  Because of the nature of de Becker’s profession (he heads a company devoted to the physical and mental safety of his clients), he gives story after story to illustrate his points, which I found fascinating, helpful, and yet disturbing- there are in fact crazy, harmful people out there in the world.  Our first impressions or gut instincts are the details that we have sub consciously picked up on and we shouldn’t ignore them!

As a parent, I worry about the safety of my children.  From this book, I feel like I have specific questions I need to ask those that I ask to watch my children, as well as ways to talk to my children about their personal safety, and as they get older, safety in dating relationships.  Relationship violence, even in the teenage years does exist.

Finally, I loved the final chapter that discussed rational and irrational fears.  As a person who has favorite “pet anxieties,” it was helpful to hear that it is a waste of time to fear the things that won’t harm us, and realize what is panic, which is dangerous, and what is fear- which puts us into action that can safe our life.  So, my fear of sharks, unless in the ocean, is not helping me.  Maybe I should let that one go.

I really recommend this book.  It is well written, easy to understand, interesting, and thought provoking.  Women and men alike will benefit from reading it, and both will enjoy it.  It may even save your life.

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