- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins - US (13 September 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006242341X
- ISBN-13: 978-0062423412
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.7 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 522 g
- Customer Reviews: 51 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Art Of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won't Work and What to Do Instead Hardcover – 13 September 2017
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"Kristen Ulmer's The Art of Fear causes a radical shift in our relationship to this companion in life called Fear, shapeshifting it into an ally on which we may rely to wisely guide us on the path of the unknown."--Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation and Life Visioning
"Ulmer unpacks this misunderstood emotion and lays out strategies for experiencing fear in an empowering way."--Parade
"...[A]uthentic, original, and deeply helpful guide for turning fear to your advantage. Kristen Ulmer offers us a manual for living with freedom and joy in the midst of all the competing voices that arise to derail us on the journey.'--Sally Kempton, author or Meditation for the Love of It and Awakening Shakti
"Beautifully blending practical, personal, and philosophical insights, Kristen Ulmer has expanded my mind and changed my life. Read The Art of Fear and you'll always be scared again--but only in the best possible way."--Michael Finkel, bestelling author of The Stranger in the Woods
"Everything you ever wanted to know about fear. Ulmer takes a radical approach to an age-old problem and delivers smart, exciting, and extremely fresh ideas."--Steven Kotler, bestselling author of Stealing Fire and The Rise of Superman
"For years, I dangled my ski tips over the edge of cliffs. Kristen got me to actually jump. Whether on snow, in your career, or just life itself, no one owns fear better than Ulmer."--Christopher Sacca, Founder and Chairman of Lowercase Capital
"Learning how to have an intimate relationship with fear is one of the best things you can do, and Kristen is masterful at teaching you how to do that."--Dr. Andy Walsh, director of high performance at Red Bull
"People have been avoiding or medicating away fear and anxiety for too long...Finally, someone who is clear about this enormous and important subject, with great practical advice that is simply spot on. This book will turn the fear and anxiety world on their heads."--Kate Maloney, PhD, conscious living and social change innovator
"Read this book if you want to know the reason behind many of your struggles. It explains, simply, everything."--Michael Staenberg, entrepreneur and head of the Staenberg Group
From the Inside Flap
A REVOLUTIONARY GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING FEAR AND FOR DEVELOPING THE TOOLS WE NEED TO BUILD A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS CONFUSING EMOTION--AND USE IT AS A POSITIVE FORCE IN OUR LIVES
We all feel fear. Yet we are often taught to ignore it, overcome it, push past it. But to what benefit? This is the essential question that drives Kristen Ulmer's remarkable exploration of our most misunderstood emotion in The Art of Fear.
Once recognized as the best extreme skier in the world (an honor she held for twelve years), Kristen Ulmer knows fear well. In this conversation-changing book, she argues that fear is not here to cause us problems--in fact, the only real issue we face with fear is not fear itself but our misguided reaction to it.
Rebuilding our understanding of fear from the ground up, Ulmer starts by exploring why we have come to view it as a negative. She goes on to unpack fear and shows that it's just one of 10,000 voices that make up our reality, helping us come alive alongside joy, love, and gratitude. Introducing a mindfulness tool called "Shift," Ulmer teaches us how to experience fear in a simpler, more authentic way, and transforms our relationship with this emotion from a draining battle to one that's more in line with our true nature.
Influenced by Ulmer's own complicated relationship with fear and by her more than fifteen years as a mind-set facilitator, The Art of Fear will reconstruct the way we react to and experience fear--empowering us to easily and permanently address the underlying cause of our fear-based problems, and setting us on a course to live a happier, more expansive future.--Parade
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I find her pattern of generalizing lacking professionalism & awareness- “every anger management class will tell you...”, “every therapist will say...”- she appears convinced that she is the only one who would believe in the concept that fear should be acknowledged and experienced- vs. conquered or fought. “Every (fill in the blank)...” is a broad inaccurate statement and illustrates a need to stroke her own ego. It is disheartening to hear her imply that individuals on medications (given they make that choice) are less than “warriors”. And that ppl should “fire their shrink”.. under-acknowledging the connectivity, work, & opportunities one has in the therapeutic relationship. I find many statements in her book negligent and insensitive. I’m concerned for those that could benefit from the work she is trying to do.... especially bc they may pick up this book at time they are in despair and vulnerable, only to be misled at this critical time. The author limits the opportunity for this book to be useful & effective with a ‘my way is the only way’ message.
Halfway through the book, however, I was in serious difficulty. I found myself re-reading entire sections, trying to puzzle out the author’s meaning. Finally, I decided to put the book down for 48 hours and come back to it, assuming that perhaps I needed to take a breath.
Coming back two days later--feeling that I could approach the book with fresh eyes--I decided that it wasn’t me, but simply that this book was a hot mess.
Ulmer starts from an excellent premise: fear is something that is inescapable, and rather than be repressed or ignored, it has to be accepted, and embraced. This is an excellent approach in many situations, especially when discussing common anxieties about social situations or performances. The approach is hardly novel (as she claims) but it is not one that is often discussed, and it certainly needs more exploration in popular books like this.
Ulmer has some excellent seeds of thought in this book. However, they are buried in a tremendous amount of chatter, clumsy metaphors, outright contradictions (you will solve your relationship with fear in a few hours, but later mentions that it may take much time), and occasional segues into personal accounts which often didn't seem to relate to the point her text is trying to make. At random intervals, a zen story or koan is thrown in. Sometimes at an appropriate place, sometimes not.
My impression of Ulmer is that she is someone who chose to write this book after an experience with zen--as a method or with an instructor--that resonated with her very strongly. In a rush to get her excitement about this experience on paper, she has put down 300 pages or so of nearly stream of consciousness writing that is occasionally baffling, sometimes illuminating, but mostly frustrating to read.
It would have been good if her editor had accepted their own fear and had gone through this book with a much stronger hand. There is a good message in “The Art of Fear” but if you can find it, you probably have already heard it.
If you want to read a literary masterpiece then buy a novel. If you want to understand your relationship with yourself and how to better navigate the human life journey then read this book!
After reading the first 100 pages, I couldn't tell you if there was a cohesive theme or message other than the first sentence I wrote above. Getting into the book a little further, I was disappointed at the author's recommendation that you "fire your shrink," which struck me as irresponsible and arrogant. I don't know if the author had a bad experience with therapy, but the thinly veiled hostility towards it (over and over!) was a huge turnoff. In essence, she meets with clients and serves in some theraputic role, whether she wants to call it by some other name ("coaching").
As the book matches forward, there's a vibe of black and white/rigid thinking that becomes more obvious and harder to ignore. Throwing in a zen koan or Buddhist principle now and again just made them seem all the more out of place and made the book seem discombobulated.
I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn't even finish it. I'm sure that could be interpreted as having my "teacup upside down," but I'll take what I liked and leave the rest.