Some Nerve

Patty Chang Anker

SOME NERVE: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave (Riverhead), a Books for a Better Life Award finalist which calls “Downright inspiring,” is the story of one woman’s quest to conquer her many fears and to help others do the same. Drawing on interviews with dozens of teachers, coaches, therapists and clergy, Some Nerve from Patty Chang Anker provides practical advice and profound wisdom for pushing past our limitations in order to live a bigger and more joyful life. Fears addressed include failure, success, rejection, change, letting go, public speaking, clutter, water, heights, driving, death, and more. A Psychology Today “Recommended Read” and Parents Magazine “Must Read”

About Ready, Set… D'Oh!

It’s like every time the proverbial starting gun goes off, I trip and fall on my face. Since the new year, I’ve already resolved to go back to the gym pool and arrived without my swim bag, marked next week on the calendar to work on a book proposal only to discover one of the kids has 10:30 am dismissal every day of it, planned to write a blog about fresh starts and gotten interrupted so many times it’s become one about false starts instead. Not to mention my intention to forego wine during the week, which lasted til Thursday because sometimes you just really need the week to be over!

If you’re like me, all the things (from sick days to snow days to unexpected assignments and broken appliances) that can derail our good intentions can make it feel like we weren’t meant to follow through on those best-laid plans. I tried! It just wasn’t meant to be! There’s always 2016! But that way lies this old cycle of doing things one way and wishing I could change and feel better, hitting a stumbling block, giving up and then feeling worse about not having changed. For me, the only way to break the cycle is to:

  1. 1) Accept some delays. Things come up – that’s okay. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. It also isn’t a sign from the universe that I should stop trying. In fact, it may be a sign from the universe that I should keep trying.
  2. 2) Recommit to the important plans daily and remind myself why. The day I forgot my gym bag I went home and got it, and felt doubly virtuous when I finished my pool workout. This is important because I want to do a sprint triathlon this summer and if I don’t practice swimming through the winter I will drown! (Not everyone needs such dire consequences to motivate themselves to exercise but I do). And I will get the book proposal done because this story wants to be written and if I don’t do it no one else will – anyone want to take my kid for a day? Anyone?
  3. 3) Seek support or create support – I started a Team Some Nerve Facebook Group for people to post their fitness goals and workouts – please join us!

Selfishly, every time someone posts it motivates me. And I hope it will help you with information from guest experts and advice from fellow members.

How about you – how do you handle false starts? How do you keep going for your goals?

About the Author

Patty Chang Anker is the author of “Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave” (Riverhead Books), which was a Books For a Better Life Award finalist, a Parents Magazine “Must Read” and which calls “downright inspiring.” Named a Good Housekeeping “Blogger We Love” and a “Top 25 Funny Mom” on Circle of Moms for her blog Facing Forty Upside Down, Anker’s writing has appeared in numerous publications including O Magazine, Dr. Oz Magazine,,, iVillage and The Huffington Post. Anker blogs regularly for‘s Anxiety section.

A former director of media relations for The New York Times and veteran book publicist, Anker is also a a sought-after keynote speaker and workshop leader. TEDx:

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