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What's Stopping You?: Why Smart People Don't Always Reach Their Potential, and How You Can

Book Description

"This personal witty and insightful book teaches us about the fears that drive failure and the self-awareness that can help us navigate it. The great point about this book is that it is both philosophical with regards the nature of fear and its impact on achievement, and practical. For those that may be paralysed by a fear of failure, it offers a way through."

Luke Johnson, serial entrepreneur, Financial Times columnist and Chairman of the RSA

"This powerful, insightful book shows you how to unlock your unconscious brakes and step on the acceleration of your true potential!"

Brian Tracy, author of Maximum Achievement

"Kelsey offers a successful and eloquent analysis of fear of failure as a mass condition in the modern world, and one we ignore at our peril."

Donald Kirkpatrick, psychoanalyst and a founder of the London Association for Counselling and Psychoanalysis

Do fear and doubt hinder your progress in life? Are you paralyzed at key moments by your insecurities?

Millions of smart people are held back from achieving their potential by a fear of failure. Many of them don't even realize that this recognized condition is limiting their progress.

What's Stopping You? offers no quick-fix solution. Why? Because the key to unlocking you potential for success lies in understanding the root causes of the fears and insecurities that hold you back and in accepting who you are, rather than trying to become someone you are not.

Based on extensive research, recognized science and stark reality, this book will help you navigate the barriers that hold you back: at work, with people and in life.

"Robert Kelsey has combined thorough research, careful thought and the lessons of his own experience to produce a valuable, original and eminently readable book. I can strongly recommend it to anyone whose progress has been impeded by fear of failure."

John Caunt, author of Boost Your Self-esteem

"Confidence is the ultimate secret weapon of any successful entrepreneur. If Robert's book can help you find yours then it will be worth its weight in gold."

Rachel Bridge, author of How I Made It

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Series page
  3. Title page
  4. Copyright page
  5. FOREWORD BY LUKE JOHNSON
  6. INTRODUCTION
    1. Fear of failure
    2. The monkey on my back
    3. A practitioner in failure
    4. An addiction to self-help
  7. Part ONE: What is Stopping You?
    1. 1 FEAR
      1. Blind to office politics
      2. Emotions and their role in survival
      3. Impaired mental capacity
      4. Experiments in emotional manipulation
      5. Task perseverance, task avoidance
      6. Mastery or ego orientation
      7. Self-help books aimed at High-FFs
      8. Dream fulfilment is a false promise
      9. “Attribution theory” and the “locus of control”
    2. 2 NEURAL HIJACKINGS AND EXTERNAL RESPONSES
      1. Post-traumatic stress disorder
      2. Daniel Goleman and high EQ
      3. High-FFs are capable of emotional intelligence
      4. Getting on top of our external responses
      5. Anger as concealment and control
      6. Frustration and anxiety
      7. Depression is a thief
      8. Taking responsibility
      9. Focus on the present and future
    3. 3 FAILURE AS A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE
      1. Failure is a question of interpretation
      2. The link with low self-esteem
      3. Reframing failure
      4. Depersonalizing failure
      5. Company failure is a transformed concept
      6. “Fail better”
    4. 4 PRODUCING BETTER RESPONSES
      1. Cognitive behavioural therapy
      2. Start a diary
  8. Part TWO: Goals
    1. 5 ACT
      1. Circle of influence
      2. Goals are a major differentiator
      3. Outsourcing our ambitions
      4. The grey zone
      5. Avoiding avoidance goals
      6. Setting the right goals
    2. 6 VISUALIZATION
      1. NLP needs tempering
      2. Visualization of goals
      3. Parcelling up the 10-year goals
      4. Lurid fantasies
      5. Picking the right jungle
      6. The Character Ethic
      7. The principles come first
      8. Our own constitution
      9. A dynamic towards appropriate goal setting
      10. Goal-setting may take several goes
    3. 7 LANGUAGE AND BEHAVIOUR
      1. Write down your goals
      2. Behave as if we are already there
      3. Positive self-talk
      4. Pre- and post-visualization exercises
      5. The Reticular Activating System – our “antennae”
      6. Luck and the winner’s curse
    4. 8 APPROPRIATE GOAL-SETTING FOR RECOVERING HIGH-FFS
      1. Setting the wrong goals can be fatal
      2. Money’s diminishing returns
      3. Setting goals beyond our goals
      4. If we could have our goals now – would we?
      5. Recognize the milestones
  9. Part THREE: Execution
    1. 9 STRATEGY AND TACTICS
      1. The strategic bridge
      2. Strategies are not always obvious
      3. Advantages of a strategy
      4. The strength of adopting “objectives, strategy, tactics”
      5. The SWOT
      6. A strategy based on strengths and opportunities
      7. Be different
      8. The “jumping out of the aeroplane” moment
      9. The required fight
      10. Rules for tactical execution
    2. 10 JUDGEMENT AND IDEAS
      1. Judgement calls in three stages
      2. The joy of crises
      3. 50 : 50s
      4. The false hope of ideas
      5. A technique for producing ideas
      6. No ideas are final
    3. 11 MANAGING THE PROCESS
      1. Anyone can adopt efficient practices
      2. Covey’s four activity boxes
      3. Rethinking the notion of time
      4. Create a timetable
      5. Proactively managing interruptions
      6. Clearing roadblocks
      7. “Sharpening the saw”
      8. “To do” lists and “checklists”
      9. Deal with the worst thing first
      10. Prioritization and efficiency
      11. Endeavour is the key
  10. Part FOUR: People
    1. 12 SELF-ESTEEM
      1. People skills are vital
      2. Low self-esteem – the distorting mirror
      3. Deconstructing low self-esteem
      4. The fight back
      5. Judged by intentions, not actions
      6. See the best in others
      7. Spreading positivity
    2. 13 DEALING WITH THE BOSS
      1. Three types of bad boss
      2. The Pisstaker’s Charter
      3. Developing better responses
      4. Understand their weaknesses
      5. Developing win : win situations
    3. 14 PROGRESS AS AN EMPLOYEE
      1. Understand the organization
      2. When opportunity knocks, open the door
      3. Become the boss’s adviser
      4. High-FFs and delegation
      5. Commit to the organization
      6. “Thank God it’s today”
    4. 15 NETWORKING AND INTERVIEWS
      1. Forget playground experiences
      2. Generating rapport
      3. Networking potential
      4. Networking don’ts
      5. Should any openings come up . . .
      6. Dealing with interviews
    5. 16 LEADERSHIP
      1. Leadership suits the High-FF
      2. A new approach to leadership
      3. The crucial ability: empathy
      4. The paradox of success
      5. One minute management
      6. Make others feel important
      7. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
      8. The hiring gambit
      9. Spotting curious people
      10. It won’t always work
      11. Inspiring leadership
      12. Motivating a team
      13. Loyalty runs down the hierarchy, not up
  11. Part FIVE: ME INC.
    1. 17 THE HIGH-FF ENTREPRENEUR
      1. The entrepreneurial myth
      2. Traits for sustainability
      3. Terror is unavoidable
    2. 18 FUNDING, BOOTSTRAPPING AND PARTNERSHIPS
      1. Raising cash for a venture
      2. The joy of bootstrapping
      3. Partnerships – a significant milestone for the High-FF
      4. Typical High-FF partnership failings
      5. Towards strong partnering
      6. When partnerships go wrong
      7. The positive side of partnerships
  12. CONCLUSION – THE POINT OF RECOVERY
    1. Quit obsessing
    2. Be self-critical
    3. In defence of melancholy
    4. Choosing to serve
    5. Empower others
  13. SUMMARY BY DONALD KIRKPATRICK, PSYCHOANALYST
  14. BIBLIOGRAPHY
  15. RECOMMENDED READING
  16. ABOUT ROBERT KELSEY
  17. Index