- Paperback: 278 pages
- Publisher: Capstone; 2nd Revised edition edition (20 July 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857083074
- ISBN-13: 978-0857083074
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.7 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 180,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
What's Stopping You?: Why Smart People Don't Always Reach Their Potential and How You Can Paperback – 20 Jul 2012
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′Commonsensical advice for the intelligent reader’ (Management Today, June 2012)
′A good book to dip in and out of if you have a fear of failure or have confidence issues….a fluent, readable style’. (Talk Business, August 2012)
“This book will resonate with anyone, from student to senior manager, who doubts their ability or worries that they are not capable or could achieve more with the opportunities that have been presented to them.” (Nursing Times, February 2016)
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Top Customer Reviews
I am cynical and not easily fooled, especially when it comes to anything self help related.
I bought this on a punt (as in a gamble, not a boat ride) as an audiobook when it first came out, and I wish I had left a review then as it didn't have any yet and the author probably could have done with it. I don't normally review anything as I am very cynical (did I mention that?) and don't like endorsing anything unless I am 100% convinced about it - and even then I'd rather not. But the truth is I think it's taken me a couple of years to realise just how much this book has changed my life. I don't mean that in a silly "lottery win" type way, I'm not suddenly good looking and rich (typical high-FF fantasizing), I am still near the beginning of my journey to recovery, but now I have a map which enables me to navigate my own way out of my troubles rather than waiting for someone to come along with a 'cure'. It has shown me some of the most pathetic sides of myself, but in doing so has given me my self respect. And with self respect you can start to build a life.
After having tried so many self help books and audiobooks over the years, I was considering writing a blog myself about what works and what doesn't, what I think is snake oil and what is worth a try. But not only had Robert Kelsey beaten me to it, he has taken it to levels I never would have thought of.Read more ›
Though I can certainly see the logic of this, for me, the book had two main problems. One is that personally I didn't warm to Robert Kelsey and his own story (though lots of other reviewers did, I notice with relief). Kelsey writes a lot about his struggles to deal with his career in finance and then writing and publishing a novel and I found it a bit hard to really feel for him as a 'under-achiever' when clearly he has achieved a lot (he now runs his own PR company).
Secondly, and for me more serious a criticism: I felt that much of the text was made up of sections from other self-help books. Kelsey is totally open about this - he quotes from writers he finds inspirational, studies and statistics too, but I just felt that it ended up feeling a bit like a compilation or review of other books without much to amaze, enlighten or interest me.
The irony is that in all the case studies he gives absolutely grounded, intelligent advice to the people he deals with and I imagine that in real life I would find him convincing and charming. But I just didn't really like the book.
Read this book, and you're saving yourself the time of reading 100 other self-help books. But what about that "fear of failure" twist? Is it applicable to you?
If you're a doctor, a solicitor, a chartered accountant or any other career that is well-paid and takes a substantial amount of professional qualification to practice, you probably don't have a fear of failure. If you're an entrepreneur, an artist, a shop worker with dreams, somebody who just feels unfulfilled but there's always an excuse for why you don't take action, you probably suffer from fear of failure.
I have consistently over-achieved in my career to date, and so I was sceptical as to whether this would apply to me, until Johnson pointed to a study of people throwing hoops over a stick: those with fear of failure either stand so close it becomes trivial to make the shot (what I always thought fear of failure types did), or so far away that they could use the excuse it was "impossible anyway" - bingo, that's me. Doing the absurd, because who can blame me when it doesn't work out? That's the exact attitude I've taken to my career. And the "standing too close" is what I've done in other parts of my life. Suddenly I realise why I've gone down the paths I have, and why I've sometimes felt I've lacked the focus to follow through and really work towards my strengths. That insight alone makes this book worth the read.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An eye opener indeed. There is so much to learn. When initially browsing through the book, it was like talking to me. Read morePublished 10 months ago by ray
At last a self help book for the Brits. No icky American touchy, feely- go chant in a mirror stuff. Cuts to the chase and makes sense, especially if like me you are unable to get... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Japes75
Like any motivational or self help book, it does exactly what is should do which is get you thinking about yourself and how you approach everything in life. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Sure beats
I read an article by the author In a flight magazine which was awesome! So, I did purchase the book. Read morePublished on 6 Sept. 2014 by John Mclean
Great book, having come to a cross roads in my career and wanting to find work I love I was looking for some help. Read morePublished on 12 April 2014 by Gavin Street
This is a non-fiction "self-help" book. To some people, that term sounds bad. To some people, self-help books are something only sad failures read. Read morePublished on 17 Feb. 2014 by George Kelly