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VINE VOICEon 4 July 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book can be summed up in one word: practical. While most self-help books are heavy on the aspiration, 'What's Stopping You?' is a no-nonsense guide to acknowledging, understanding and overcoming fears, especially the fear of failure. Robert Kelsey doesn't promote complete banishment of fears, nor does he promise happiness or spiritual enlightenment. By understanding the reasons for the often-paralysing fear of failure, Kelsey contends, we can short-circuit it and channel our energy towards effective goal-setting, after which we can make incremental - and measurable - progress towards these goals. The techniques described are scientifically sound, their roots straddling psychotherapy, psychology and motivational theory without veering off into NLP/hypnosis territory (which Kelsey considers a form of delusion). The book's advice on time management and people skills is also excellent. My only criticism is of Kelsey's sweeping statements in relation to people's hard-wiring being unchangeable. This is by no means an unmalleable truth: radical changes have occurred in many people's 'default' settings, often as the result of intense psychotherapy, trauma or sheer force of will.

For procrastinators, business people at all levels, blocked artists or those who feel that they aren't achieving their potential, this book is a godsend. Or if you just fancy a motivational kick up the backside, 'What's Stopping You?' is just the literature to do it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 18 October 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is an interesting and helpful `self-help' book that provides a lot of good quality facts, advice and information, but perhaps it could be viewed as specialist advice.

The author very clearly separates people into only two camps: High-FFs (Fear of Failure) and High-AMs (Achievement Motivated) and the whole book is based on giving a frank and detailed account of what life is like as a High-FF and the coping strategies he used. A lot of research has been put into this and many people and resources are cited throughout the book - perhaps too much at times.

This is a super guidebook for High-FFs to negotiate the world, but you really do need to experience a fear of failure for the book to be of real benefit. I thought I experienced some fear of failure during periods in my life, but having read this, I now fully understand the condition and have realised that I am not a High-FF or a High-AM.

If you have a fear of failure, this is probably the book for you.
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on 5 February 2012
I've grown exhausted of Self-Help over the last couple of years; becoming rather cynical of every book, event and programme set to put me on the road to righteous self improvement, where the destination looks distinctly like that of a HelloK centre spread: footballers and pop singers alike - skills that I'm completely devoid of- you seriously do not want to hear me sing whilst playing football. So what 'pricked my ears' with this book? Firstly the title: so much better than 'be the best...' or 'you're a tiger... let's hear you roar', sort of books that pepper the pages and shelves of bookstores. Secondly the advice: no superficial nonsense or quick fixes. Instead a focus on perfecting your life and making it a master piece over years, not seconds. Thirdly, well this one is an odd one, it's the first time ever that I've felt motivated enough to follow-up on the advice - there is no 'whilst flying my jet' stories. Also the writing style is very good and easy to read and it is, one can't ignore this, a well referenced and argued book. My advice: BUY THE BOOK! It ain't gonna break the bank and you may actually see something going back into your accounts if you follow up on the advice.
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VINE VOICEon 8 February 2012
Robert Kelsey is the founder of a PR company called Moorgate Communications. In this book he outlines the errors he has made in his career and how he has sought to remedy his failures. In so doing he became a prolific reader of self-help literature and this book is then a collection of the combined wisdom he has found most useful. As such the book is very useful as a reference to further reading on relevant topics such as dealing with depression, goal setting, time management and becoming a successful entrepreneur.
He gives a very honest appraisal of the self-help industry, and this is an important point, he emphasises that this is an industry and that profit and sales are the primary aim. He makes us wary of those books promising to change us overnight into goal achieving, money spinning machines ready to rival Richard Branson. The book though is not overly critical, but very constructive and linear in flow from deciding on our values and goal setting through to time management, strategies and tactics. All the time relevant books are quoted and referenced in each section.
It's not a large book, but is very valuable all the same for the quite clear path that Kelsey has used personally and still uses on a larger scale when handling client accounts at Moorgate.
Like all 'self-help' books there are sections that a particular reader will find relevant and helpful and other sections that are wide of the mark. For me about 80% of this book was good readable advice that I can implement now and where I need further depth Kelsey gave me many ideas for further reading.
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on 10 December 2011
This is probably one of the best books I have ever read on self development and for me it linked together many areas of my life which I had hitherto seen as separate and in some cases even forgotten. The analogy I used was one of me at the centre of a wheel, the parts of my life past and present were revolving around me on the rim, but there were no spokes connecting me to them anymore. This book provided the spokes and helped make my wheel complete!. I think I derived more benefit from it because I have seen a little bit of life! Many of the aspects and factors, which Robert identifies, were familiar to me but Robert helped me understand my personality and therefore place these in order and instill some sense into my life based on the type of person I am.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to develop themselves and has a fear of moving forward, for whatever the reason.
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on 15 June 2011
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 21 May 2011
Really, really good book. After the avalanche of self help books that stupidly say "you can do it" (without any real explanation of why you couldn't do it in the past, except maybe not having enough "will power") or heavier psychological tomes about personality disorder and dysfunction, this book addresses how to recognize your own stumbling blocks and evaluate the environment around you so you can be more successful in your life. He writes about real people with silly habits and bad tempers and half-baked ideas, not about idealized Super People who are supposed to achieve great things after doing a few writing and visualisation exercises and thinking good thoughts. Dividing the world into High-FFs (Fear of Failure) and High-AMs (Achievement Motivated) seems a bit arbitrary, but Kelsey isn't trying to carve out a new psychological stratification of humanity, he's using those categories for practical, illustrative purposes. Kind of like life -- using what works. Well, I could say a lot more. I highly recommend the book.
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on 17 June 2011
(This is a hard review for me to write - it's not an easy subject to admit to needing help on. Here goes...)

I picked up a copy of this book after seeing a large ad for it at London Bridge station. The wording of the title spoke to me: I often wonder about why I don't fulfil my full potential and seem to grasp failure from seemingly simple situations (whilst succeeding at very difficult tasks).

The book put this behaviour into perspective for me. Basically the premise is that people with a high fear of failure (HFF) have a number of tendencies which determine how they perceive situations and cause them to avoid attempting often straightforward problems for fear of humiliation. They either attempt problems that are so diffult that they won't be judged for failing or choose things that are so simple they can't be failed. The counter to this entrenched behaviour is to be motivated by achievement rather than fear of failure... The book then outlines ways to move towards this, without negating our intrinsic character.

There's a huge amount of insight in this book. The observations are also slightly uncanny - most of the tendencies outlined fit me directly which startled me somewhat - I had no idea my behaviours conformed to a type of pattern / outlook. A real eye opener and the articulation of the tendencies is worth the price of the book alone. It has led me to wonder how many other people suffer from HFF.

The book is also alarmingly frank. The author outlines his own struggles / failings with commendable honesty. The situations he outlines are similar to ones I have faced myself, but this approach allows us to see our problems from a detached perspective. Some of the situations he describes must have been painful to go through. Kudos for being brave.

So, I got a lot out of the book. I was shocked at how closely it described my situation / tendencies and I am already starting to implement some of the approaches suggested such as keeping a diary (to avoid purely negative recollections) and setting goals (to become more achievement motivated). Good stuff.
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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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on 17 December 2011
This book made me go out and buy a page per day diary and start writing it all down. It also made me think about my true values, and set my 10-year vision for my future. And it made me think about a strategy for achieving my goals. Of course, I'd tried all this before but got nowhere because I had never joined the dots. Thanks to Robert Kelsey, I now have. A remarkable book - so different to all those other self help books that over promise, trying to turn you into somebody you can never be. This book really is different.
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