Fear, Taking Action & 10 Fabulous Non-Fiction Books to Take Back Control!

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As the COVID-19 crisis continues, we’re all getting used to a “new normal”. One of the hardest things is the uncertainty; When will this end? What will they want us to do/not do next? What will this mean for me/all the people and businesses without work and customers?

Feeling powerless is unpleasant. In fact Dr Karl Albrecht names ‘Loss of Autonomy’ as one of his 5 Types of Fears, describing it as, “the fear of being immobilized, paralyzed, restricted, enveloped, overwhelmed, entrapped, imprisoned, smothered, or otherwise controlled by circumstances beyond our control.”

This fear goes beyond the physical to include feeling emotionally trapped, restricted and unable to take care of ourselves. It could also include feeling trapped by – or dependent on – others as we might do in a smothering or care-taking relationship. And importantly here, this would also include situations like enforced physical isolation…

So, what can we do to feel better when we’ve lost our autonomy, feel powerless or trapped?

Well, we can take action! Any time we do something, we feel better (and I think this might explain the flurry of people buying bathroom tissue!). So, over the next little while, I’m going to be sharing a number of things we can “do” to improve our lives. Starting with learning!

Stuck at home, this is a great opportunity for all of us to increase our knowledge – and get smarter and wiser!

How this all came about:

Well, last week we were having our windows cleaned, I got chatting (at a safe physical distance of course!) to one of the cleaners, David. It turned out he was a commercial airline pilot. He was out of work (except for a rescue flight to pick up stranded travellers the next day) and was helping a friend with his window cleaning business. He said he liked to keep busy.

Anyway, we hit it off! And he told me his life had improved dramatically over the last year. All because he had committed to reading one non-fiction book a week. He told me it had changed his life: that he was financially better off, had learned new skills, hugely expanded his knowledge and importantly – he was happier too.

Now I have always been someone who makes the best of a situation, and I instantly thought, “I have to share this! Perhaps at the end of this strange COVID-19 situation we could all be healthier, smarter, wiser and better informed!”

Be wealthier, learn new skills – and happier!

So, what do you think? Are you interested in the challenge of reading one non-fiction book a week? (Remember that goals are there to inspire you, not beat yourself up with!). So, even if you only read half that, just imagine what brilliant new ideas and knowledge you’ll have to take back into your life and work…

So, I’m creating a list of great non-fiction books to inspire and make us smarter! I plan to expand this list to 52 books over the next little while (or maybe more if I get book nominations from you!)

Here are the First 10 Non-Fiction Books to Enhance Your Life

NOTE: The links below go to Amazon (Canada), so you can learn more about the book – and purchase online. Usually I recommend supporting your local bookstore wherever possible! You can also, buy many books second-hand through Amazon, which is another good thing to do 🙂

These are David’s Top 3 Book Recommendations:

2) Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)

by Robert B. Cialdini (Paperback)

& Here are My First 7 Book Recommendations:

4) The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know

by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

I haven’t read this myself yet, but it’s NEXT on my list! It’s been recommended by so many people I love and respect (thank-you in particular to Delaney Tosh!)

5) Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist

by Kate Raworth

Yes, this is a book about economics – and why Capitalism isn’t working with suggestions. But it’s EASY and (I found!) fun to read and it really makes you think. And while there are some chapters in the middle which are (I think) a little idealistic, it’s inspiring! Oh – and the doughnut is a metaphor – but you’ll have to read it to find out what!

6) Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts

by Brené Brown (Hardcover)

I’m a big fan of Brené Brown. This book is about more than just tough conversations and leading in the work place; I think it’s a great summary of all her ideas to date – and with her usual humour and story-telling, it’s about learning to be a leader in our own lives…

7) Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

by Barbara Ehrenreich

This shocking book follows Barbara (a journalist with a number of books to her name) over the course of a year as she actually tries to survive on minimum-wage jobs. I love this because she doesn’t just write about it – she actually LIVED it. After reading this book, you won’t look at that diner waitress or Walmart employee the same.

8) Hero Within – Rev. & Expanded Ed.: Six Archetypes We Live By

by Carol S. Pearson

OK, so this is one of my absolute favourite personal development books. And that’s saying something as I’ve read hundreds! Carol writes about the hero’s journey as it applies to each of us. And importantly, unlike Joseph Campbell’s work (which by the way, I also love), it’s written for both sexes.

With 6 archetypes to help us understand where we might be on our life journey, it helped me understand why I couldn’t let go of the past, giving me permission to BE where I was as well as helping me figure out , “Where next?”.

9) Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen

This book is definitely a little drier than some – but it is PACKED with helpful information, examples and explanations (and it’s also a slim volume 😉 ). Did you know that when our identity (how we see ourselves) is attacked, it’s hardwired straight into our nervous system? No wonder we react so strongly. If you find conflict a challenge, read this book!

10) Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

by Matthew Walker PhD

I haven’t read this book yet, but my hubbie did – and he shared so many interesting and fascinating facts. For example did you know if someone is deprived of sleep for long enough, they will die (no, no, not you! But there is a rare neurological disease called Fatal Familial Insomnia). Written by a neuroscientist – and based on solid scientific research, this book shares tips as well as the indisputable power and necessity of sleep.

  Watch for more books to choose from soon!

Join the Be Fierce Kindness Facebook Group here >> (discuss your books, what you’ve learned, get further book recommendations and more!)

You may also like last week’s newsletter article on managing our feelings and fears:

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