Get out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior Paperback – 30 Oct 2003
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From the Author
Self-Defeating Behavior causes life's biggest tragedy.
Life's biggest tragedy is waking up at the end of your life only to discover that it has been a terrible life and then realizing that you have done it to yourself and it's too late to get a second chance. Few things make you feel worse about yourself than engaing in self-defeating behavior and having to live with the consequences. Fortuantely, however, few things make you feel better about yourself than overcoming self-defeating behavior and replacing it with life-enhancing behavior.
From the Back Cover
Self-defeating behavior is the single most common reason that people seek psychotherapy. It is a poison, preventing us from achieving the love, success and happiness we want in our lives. And what really drives us crazy is feeling we have to change and not knowing how - or knowing how but being unable to stick with change. Get Out of Your Own Way is an antidote - it explains why we sabotage ourselves, going back to childhood origins of various behaviors. More important, it offers proven steps of action to transform behavior from self-defeating to life-enhancing. With anecdotes and usable insights drawn from twenty years of psychiatric clinical practice, Dr. Mark Goulston shares ideas that have helped thousands of patients overcome pain, fear, and confusion - to approach life's challenges with dignity, wisdom, courage, and even humor. By encouraging you to reflect upon your behavior - and providing practical steps toward change that you can work into your everyday life - Get Out of Your Own Way shows you how to stop being your own worst enemy - and become your own best friend.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I related to many of the 40 self-defeating behaviors, but none more than procrastination, which has caused me to miss many boats over many years. Dr. G's insight is that procrastination is related to loneliness, and that if we can find ways to partner with other people, it helps us stop procrastinating. I've been putting that technique to work on writing projects (talking about lonely!) and it has been helping me for the past several months.
When I first read of the relationship between procrastination and loneliness, I told our friend Veronica about it. Veronica is a single parent, the mother of two young girls. She told me that the night before, tired after a full day at work, she had faced the task of cleaning out the kids' closet. She wanted to go to sleep rather than face that closet alone. Instead, she called a friend on her portable phone and talked to the friend for two hours while cleaning out the closet. Veronica overcame loneliness and procrastination, and confirmed Dr. Goulston's insight, all with one phone call.
My wife was also impressed with the book, although she tends to dismiss pop psych books. She says I should definitely use the book to overcome my self-defeating behaviors (I've noticed her employing a few of Dr. G's suggestions as well). Now I'm going to reread it.
I would say it is ideal as a self help book, but is not in depth enough for clinicians or those on a professional study course who will need more information.
Goulston and Goldberg identify 40 different examples of self-defeating behavior and briefly discuss each, also including relevant quotations and a "Usable Insight" for each. I immediately identified with several (as will other readers) and, after reading "10 Things You Can Learn from Each" and then the Introduction: "How to Beat Self-Defeat," zeroed in on caught my eye. Here are five:
#6 Behavior: Getting So Angry When you Make Things Worse
Comment: I have far more patience with others' mistakes than I have with my own and really become upset when others are somehow victimized by what I have said or done, albeit unintentionally.
Usable Insight: "Anger makes you wild, but conviction makes you strong." Perhaps.
#16 Behavior: Trying to Change Others
Comment: Psychologists call this the "Rescue Fantasy." It can also be an indication of arrogance. Whatever the explanation, I hate to give up on anyone and become very upset with those who give up on themselves.
Usable Insight: "Don't try to change people; accept them as they are and hope they'll change.Read more ›
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