The Gift of Fear Book Cover

The Gift of Fear

Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence.
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What’s inside

Fear as a concept is quite different from feelings of anxiety and panic. To put it in another word, we can say the perception of fear often causes anxiety and panic. In his widely acclaimed book, Gavin de Becker provides us with accounts of real-life crime incidents from which we can learn how to deal with similar situations. We can learn about safety tips, not just basic ones, but also tips no one told you about. It is a one-of-a-kind self-help book that helps us identify offenders capable of committing a criminal act, such as stalking, domestic abuse, and even assassination. We learn strategies used by predators to harm their targets. In retrospection, it is observed that the perpetrator leaves signs that indicate violence. However, people ignore their intuition or discredit it with logic and end up in situations of inconvenience. Though the book is heavily reliant on American criminal culture, the insights have a high degree of generalizability.

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Lesson 1- Learn to Sense the Danger

Nature has provided every animal with a chance at survival in the presence of imminent danger. While human beings did not get the sharpest claws, strongest jaws, or toughest shells, we got the biggest brain.  Like every other animal, we, too, can sense the presence of danger. We call it our intuitions which are the basic instincts that seek to warn us. Violence is a part of human nature. Human beings are at the top of the food chain, so to speak. Humans are unopposed and dominate the entire planet. The only threat to humans are humans themselves.   

It is found that most predators tend to offer help before striking their victims. Let's take the example of Kelly-a 27-year-old woman who was subjected to rape. In the course of an interview, we learn how she had a bad feeling about the stranger all the time. But since the stranger was too cordial and polite, she suppressed her intuition, thinking that she might be overthinking. However, her intuition turned out to be correct, but it was too late. She managed to escape imminent death and lived to tell the tale not by a stroke of luck but due to her ability to trust her intuition and look for signs of further violence. The devil is in the details- like the closing of windows by the criminal, or instead of using the gun, going to the kitchen on the pretext of drinking water, which in reality was to fetch a knife. These cues are enough to trigger fears that murder can take place. Kelly was able to assess these cues and managed to escape and not just by sheer luck. However, she went through a horrible ordeal and in no way Gavin is blaming the victim. Instead, he teaches us not to suppress our gut instincts.

There are times when our dreams can trigger our intuitions. Some may even call it a premonition of sorts. Let's look at another example- involving two police officers named Michael Cantrell and David Patrick. Patrick had a dream that he was shot, and Cantrell advised him to take it seriously as a signal of danger. But Patrick brushed off the idea. One day, they pulled over a car with three men. They asked the driver to step out while the two men in the back seat avoided eye contact and kept looking ahead. Though Patrick was oblivious to the situation, Cantrell sensed something was off, which made him extra alert. Due to his intuition, he spotted a gun on the car's floor and quickly reacted. His intuition saved the day. Some years later,

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About the author

Gavin de Becker. Image

Gavin de Becker is a three-time presidential appointee whose pioneering work has changed the way our government evaluates threats to our nation’s highest officials. His firm advises many of the world’s most prominent media figures, corporations,...

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The Gift of Fear Book Cover
Chapter List
  • Lesson 1- Learn to Sense the Danger
  • Lesson 2- Intuitions are your Biggest Strength
  • Lesson 3- Appearance can be Deceiving
  • Lesson 4- Learn to Call Bluff.
  • Lesson 5- Addiction to Abuse- The Plight of Women.
  • Lesson 6- Children are not Safe
  • Lesson 7- Stalkers are Pesky
  • Lesson 8- Fear is A Gift
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In the summary of The Gift of Fear book, there are 8 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1- Learn to Sense the Danger
  2. Lesson 2- Intuitions are your Biggest Strength
  3. Lesson 3- Appearance can be Deceiving
  4. Lesson 4- Learn to Call Bluff.
  5. Lesson 5- Addiction to Abuse- The Plight of Women.
  6. Lesson 6- Children are not Safe
  7. Lesson 7- Stalkers are Pesky
  8. Lesson 8- Fear is A Gift

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. was published in .

Once you've completed The Gift of Fear book, We suggest reading out Built to Last as a great follow-up read.

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In the printed version of The Gift of Fear book have over 300 pages and usually takes 8-10 days to finish. However, with the Wizdom app, including its summary and audiobook, it can be completed in just 15 minutes.

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