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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a different kind of self help book - tough talking and carefully researched, the author aims it especially at previous 'victims' of self-help manuals, those who have had no help from them in the past. The premise behind many of these books is unrealistic, says the author, in that the 'I want' attitude so prevalent in our culture does not address basic differences in personality types. If you do not 'know yourself,' to paraphrase the wording over the temple door at Delphi, you will never be able to change yourself. This book is not a glib easy read, and contains real 'homework' for those who actually want to benefit rather than those who just enjoy reading self help books. Suitable for those who are serious about personal development and change, especially those who feel that their efforts have been a spectacular failure in the past.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What I liked about this book is that it's written from the personal experiences of the author, a self-confessed 'fear of failure' chap. He does summarise what he's found useful from the psychological and self-help literature in a very pragmatic and practical way. This is useful for those not familiar with the genre, but might come across as a bit of a rehash from others who've read more widely.

However, it will appeal to those looking for 'proof in the eating' - a more personal reflection of the problems that negative thinking causes and what you can actually do about it. There's no promises of quick fixes or super-cures (unlike some of the gung-ho life coachey stuff out there!), just measured and common-sense advice about taking sensible steps from being stuck to moving forward.
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VINE VOICEon 26 March 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
You can tell from the outset that this is written by a Britsh author, as the whole book is referenced to other reading. It can distract at times but is helpful if you like proof along with your dose of self help.

The basics are a background to McClelland's motivational research where he came up with 3 basic needs; achievement, affiliation and power. Achievement becomes the focus of the book with a view to why some people do achieve and some don't despite great potential. The latter group are refered to as High Fear of Failures or High FFs.

A wide variety of background research is covered and is very relevant to the recommendations provided. The physiological understanding of fear and deep encoding of fear situations is spot on.

This book explains why people don't always get what they are after despite their talent. As an approach this is great as a lot of people need to "get" why they have a problem so that they can frame the solution. Unlike some books of this ilk it is not about blind belief of a few success principles but based on why we have problems and then how we can pull ourselves ahead.

Well written and easy to understand, this is a great read and comes highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 15 June 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What's stopping you isn't like other self-help books. The intended end result is the same but 'What's Stopping You' goes about it in a completely different way.

What's stopping you is aimed towards those who have a self-fulfilling fear of failure. For those who have all the potential in the World. But never pursue their dreams, for fear of falling short. So instead they focus on meaningless easy tasks which are effortless to achieve to convince themselves of success or to give themselves a sense of triumph. Or they set their sights for something near impossible, so that if they fail, it was failure at the highest level.

Instead of providing you with a work-around for your problem, `What's stopping you?', leads you on a path to understanding what makes you tick, and through this knowledge, accepting who you are so you can begin to flourish as an individual. `What's stopping you?' allows those with fear of failure to build sensible goals, maintain successful relationships and even venture down the road of becoming an entrepreneur.

Although this book is aimed at a very specific personality types, specifically those with a fear of failure, it contains information that can be found in countless other self-help books, but just worded differently. I do believe that this book does contain valuable information for people with fear of failure, but they need to recognise having this condition before they can do anything about it, which makes me think, those who need this book, may never find it.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There are a lot of self help books out there, and many of them follow a standard pattern of saying 'here's your problem' and 'here are some quick ways to solve it'. This book on the other hand starts with a story of personal self-discovery and then discusses the fundamental psychological principles that get in the way of people achieving their own success. It's not densely cited (you won't be drowning in in-text references), and it is not academically written, but it's a book that is clearly being written from a position of deep understanding.

The tone too is (mostly) perfectly pitched - encouraging but not cheer-leading, somber but not discouraging, and firmly in the camp of 'you need to take the responsibility for making your life better'. That's not to say it doesn't come complete with helpful tricks, techniques, advice and even some outright unconvincing platitudes - it is, don't get me wrong, still a self-help book. It's just one that's unusually well done.
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on 29 January 2012
I bought this book after a brilliant course I'd just done in Hypnosis. I loved the weekend course (which also included NLP and counselling techniques) but left with a strange question mark hanging over my head which I couldn't quite shake (or identify). The train home was late so I wondered over to the station shops and over to the self help shelves (as I was in this frame of mind). This yellow book stood out anyway, but the title made me buy it. For the first few pages I remember I thought "ANOTHER self help book I won't use - this is not really me" but the journey was long, so I read on. A few pages later I realsied this was actually going to be the only one I ever needed, as the author was actually talking to me! As a fairly successful business woman I should not have fitted the FF (fear of failure) profile, and my friends might be surprised at my recognision of this - but (and this issue was what was bugging me as I left the course); I am succeesful 'TO A DEGREE' - to the point I am COMFORTABLE in life - but something always holds me back from breaking through a self imposed ceiling and that something is the 'monkey on my back' of which he speaks.

I KNOW I am going to live by this book as I have started to do something I never normally do (as I hate it) which is writing IN the book - notes, squiggles, highlighting.. and when I've read it I'm going to read it again and DO the exercises he prescribes. In addition I have recommended it to plenty of my professional friends. In our business (Personal Training/health) there are plenty of 'gurus' to follow, but their advice falls on many fellow deaf FF ears (UNTIL we've read this book)! The gurus, through all ther energetic urging for us to change, and chase real success, would never understand us, and our hesitancy, as they are simply not FF's! I now know change will come.
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on 10 June 2011
Absolutely a superb book and must read for anyone wanting to achieve more.

Having read a good amount of self help books all have a very similar theme. It is these themes I try and incorporate into my own life. Around the main themes of the self help books I find irrelevant padding. However with this book all of it I found relevant and a superb help.

Whilst it does not provide all the answers it does provoke thought around a magnatude of issues that could be affecting your goal achievement. The author, I found, left me wanting to explore more of the concepts via the bibliography and put into action the ideas submitted. The book encourages you to explore furter key for your own understanding so you learn and implement the concepts.

A must read for anyone looking to improve however you must be willing to implement the changes. Reading the book is excellent and informative, however it is down to you to change.

I could not recommend this book highly enough because it has given me the structure to go achieve more. It's as though this book makes the other self help books make sense.
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VINE VOICEon 17 May 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'd probably give this 3.5 stars if I could. I like it, but is it 4 star material? But then, like the target audience for this book I'm a bit of a negative thinker!

Most self-help books involve a Catch-22: they require a rational self-assessment and a call to action in order to change behaviour. But these are exactly the qualities lacking in anyone who needs to read one!

To be fair, Robert Kelsey recognises this and is his own toughest critic as a member of the HFF - high fear of failure - character type. Despite having what most of us HFFs would consider a pretty successful career, he's been dogged by delusions of inadequacy and low regard for his abilities (stemming from childhood) - factors which can crush anyone's prospects - and has consequently spent a lot of his time researching what he can do about it.

This book represents the distillation of that quest - and provides the rest of us with an overview of the advice available for our own further investigation, along with a collection of the salient points.

Mr Kelsey is at pains to stress that there is no 'quick fix' and, for the recovering HFF like the recovering alcoholic, no realistic possibility of a 'cure'.

The basic premise is that HFFs are doomed to either give up too easily for fear of failure, or go the other way and seek unrealistic goals which rarely come off but which can be rationalised precisely because the chances of success are low and therefore less blameworthy - which is why, paradoxically, many high achievers that do overcome the odds can also be HFFs, constantly convinced that their success is a fluke.

Kelsey's approach is to take small steps to increase our self-awareness and try to pan out those glints of positivity amid the sludge of pessimism that holds us back. His message is that practical actions such as keeping a diary, along with better planning and more realistic expectations can aid the road to recovery. And there's the catch: how many HFFs can keep up this change of attitude before sinking back into the old ruts and ways of thinking? Ultimately, whatever the underlying causes of that negative outlook (and upbringing is probably the most powerful influence) it's down to us to break free from these patterns and behavioural traits.

Libraries across the country are stacked to the rafters with books promising to guide the way, but few transcend the platitudinous. To his credit, Kelsey does try to steer clear of the folksy homily and New Age jargon, and emphasises the interminable nature of the task while offering a glimpse of silver lining.

So, I would say it's definitely worth a read.

(OK, I've upped it to four stars in a spasm of positivity.)
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on 7 May 2012
The problem with self help books is their dewey pointlessness. The problem with business books is the dry writing style. So where do you go if you've got nagging doubts, need good advice and don't want therapy or a three day Launch Your Career seminar for $250,000? This book is a good place to start.
Blending psychological research, personal anecdotes and practical advice, Kelsey's thoughts are entertaining and useful - even if the cover is so alarmingly bright and obvious I had to high it in a magazine when reading it on the train.
I was given this by a friend, put off reading it for a bit then devoured it in two days. What the market's been missing in my view. Buy Imagination by Jonah Lehrer too - they complement each other, although they're very different.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This isn't a book that I could read in one sitting. Or even several. Accordingly it has been digested in very small sections, which is why I got around to writing this review quite some time after I got the book.

The cover is challenging and makes you want to look inside, what you find is something much more useful - and dare I say it, more "British" than the usual over-optimistic self help book. If you avoid this kind of publication because the culture is wrong, you may find that this is right for you. I did, and I found that I kept returning and re-reading parts of it.

Both my wife and I found that it provided tools to help us begin to turn around from our fear of failure; and additionally analyse and discover why we 'self-sabotage' perfectly reasonable courses of action.

It's a book you can return to, ours lives in places where a 5-10 minute review can take place and often lead to an 'aha' moment. There's lots you can learn in those times and the author doesn't pad the book out with 100s of examples like so many other selfhelpers. It's throughly practical and achievable.

One word of advice if you get this book. Make sure you know the meaning of the terms "High-AM" and "High-FF". Once they have been described early on the book assumes that you will have understood that point and moves on. If you do miss the meaning of this jargon, you will be constantly refering back; if the book goes to another edition I would hope that the author would consider either a glossary or perhaps a more memorable piece of shorthand.

But that is not to distract from its strengths. If you are looking for help for overcoming fear of failure, the small price of this book may be your best investment.
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