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Book Review – On Becoming Fearless by Arianna Huffington

On Becoming FearlessArianna Huffington released her book ‘Thrive‘ earlier in the year. When I went on maternity leave, I wanted some books to read whilst I waited for baby number two to arrive, so I jumped online and searched for Arianna Huffington. I was pleased and surprised that Arianna has written numerous books. I had a bit of catching up to do! At the time, I was feeling somewhat daunted by having two children, and also a little unsure of how well I was doing as a business owner. When I spotted her title ‘On Becoming Fearless‘ I decided that it would in fact be this book that I would order, saving ‘Thrive’ for another time.

“A book about how women can be bold, bulletproof, and positively bullish, just like Arianna.” Rolling Stone

I found this book to be inspiring and revealing. Arianna relates every chapter to her own personal stories, sharing when she has encountered fear and detailing how she overcame them. You genuinely feel that she is just like you and I, and that you could happily pick her brain over a cup of coffee.

Arianna also includes stories from other women she knows. The best part about this is knowing that everyone encounters fear, that we aren’t the only ones. I know how important it is for me to remind myself of this and Arianna does it particularly well.

I found the messages in the book to be somewhat similar to those in Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’, yet it was published some 7 years prior. It covered a lot of the work related barriers women place in front of themselves as read in ‘Lean In’, plus Arianna looks at fearlessness in relation to the body, love, parenting, ageing, illness and death.

I particularly resonated with the concept of the supermum. Arianna says “our fears about our children’s safety become mixed up with our fears about our worth as a parent.” She then quotes Bill Lohmann from the Richmond Times-Dispatch – “You send your daughter off to preschool with her dress on backwards, you show up late to pick up your child at the bus stop……you lose your temper……It can be awfully frustrating when you mess up. No matter how tiny the gaffe, no matter how honest the mistake. All of the good work seems somehow blemished. It still gnaws at you after you have forgotten, fumed, or failed in some way as a parent.”

Arianna sums up her book by saying, “The single most important thing I hope you – and everyone else – take away is the notion that a fear-driven life is a life not fully lived. And that by living in fearlessness we can change ourselves and change the world for the better.”

If you’re feeling held back at work, unsure of yourself, or afraid to take on a dream, then this is the book for you. I would recommend it to women of all ages, and it would be the perfect gift for a new mum, to celebrate a promotion, or to read at the start of a new business venture.

My copy also includes an interview with Arianna, as well as a Reading Group Guide which I believe would be a wonderful way to explore more of what Arianna has to say.

Have you read “On Becoming Fearless”? I would love to hear what you thought.

Do you have any other books you recommend I read? I’m always tallying a list of books on my iPhone, so please share away!