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Living Like You Mean It: Use the Wisdom and Power of Your Emotions to Get the Life You Really Want



Living Like You Mean It: Use the Wisdom and Power of Your Emotions to Get the Life You Really Want

Ronald J. Frederick, Ph.D.

ISBN: 978-0-470-49671-8 March 2009 Jossey-Bass 208 Pages


In LIVING LIKE YOU MEAN IT, author Ronald J. Frederick, does a brilliant job of describing why people are so afraid of their emotions and how this fear creates a variety of problems in their lives. While the problems are different, the underlying issue is often the same. At the core of their distress is what Dr. Frederick refers to as feelings phobia. Whether it s the experience of love, joy, anger, sadness, or surprise, our inborn ability to be a fully feeling person has been hijacked by fear--and it s fear that s keeping us from a better life.

The book begins with a questionnaire-style list that help readers take an honest look at themselves and recognize whether and how they are afraid of their feelings. It then moves on to explore the origins of fear of feeling and introduces a four-part program for overcoming the fear: (1) Become aware of and learn to recognize feelings--anger, sadness, joy, love, fear, guilt/shame, surprise, disgust. (2) Master techniques for taming the fear. (3) Let the feeling work its way all the way through to its resolution. (4) Open up and put those feelings into words and communicate them confidently. With wisdom, humor, and compassion, the book uses stories and examples to help readers see that overcoming feelings phobia is the key to a better life and more fulfilling relationships.




1. To Feel or Not to Feel.

2. How the Heck Did I Get This Way?


3. Step One: Becoming Aware of Your Feelings.

4. Step One, Continued: Becoming Aware of Your Defenses.

5. Step Two: Taming the Fear.

6. Step Three: Feeling It Through.

7. Step Four: Opening Up.

8. Putting It All Together.

Conclusion: Making a Choice.

Appendix: Seeking Professional Help.


The Author.


"Finally, someone is helping us get closer to our emotions and who we are—instead of further away from our power. A moving and inspirational read for anyone in the challenging times we're all going through." —Melody L. Beattie, NY Times bestselling author of Codependent No More

"What a joy it is to read Dr. Ron Frederick’s Living Like You Mean It. Well informed, accessible and engaging, this wonderful book is full of powerful strategies that will enliven your soul, enrich your relationships, and help you have a more deeply meaningful life. I recommend it with enthusiasm!" —John Bradshaw, NY Times bestselling author of Healing the Shame that Binds You

"With compelling insight into the way emotion shapes our lives, Living Like You Mean It invites us on a tremendously useful journey into the mind and brain and shows us how the day-to-day ways we defend against feeling our feelings keeps us from living the lives we really want. But no more! Through practical suggestions, compelling stories, and powerful insights, this book dishes up a readily accessible plan to free us from the prison of our own fear of feeling. Frederick is a liberating guide—and after joining him on this trek, you’ll be ready to feel fully alive!" —Daniel J. Siegel, MD, director, the Mindsight Institute, and author of The Mindful Brain

"Brimming with heart and soul, and scientifically sound, Living Like You Mean It is a brilliant book for anyone wanting to get unstuck and live a happier, more fulfilling life." —Marci Shimoff, NY Times bestselling author of Happy for No Reason

"Ron Frederick is a master therapist and a gifted teacher. With energy and passion, he guides the reader through the vibrant inner landscape of the emotions. The tools and insights he offers can help prevent depression and anxiety. Even more, they point the way toward a vital and engaged life—a life fully lived." —Henry Emmons, MD, author of The Chemistry of Joy