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The Flinch

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  3,795 Ratings  ·  278 Reviews
A book so important we refuse to charge for it.

Julien Smith has delivered a surprise, a confrontation, a book that will push you, scare you and possibly stick with you for years to come.

The idea is simple: your flinch mechanism can save your life. It shortcircuits the conscious mind and allows you to pull back and avoid danger faster than you can even imagine it’s there.
Kindle Edition, 131 pages
Published (first published December 7th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kurt Gielen
Jan 23, 2012 Kurt Gielen rated it liked it
To me this was "Poke the box" rewritten. Until I came to the end where he mentioned that "the goal isn't to get used to he pain. It's to understand that pain is something you can survive." And the next day I broke 2 bones in my hand skiing and realized why he wrote this book: for the last year I have been working to take my life to the next level with great success, finance, health, personal development, career and relationships all have made massive progress towards the goal. And now this happe ...more
Emma Sea
Sep 07, 2015 Emma Sea rated it it was ok
The cover copy reads, "A book so important we refuse to charge for it." The last page of this book tells us "That's why we made this book free." However, it cost me $3.02 on Amazon i.e. not free. And it ends at 42% (the rest is samples of other books)

I like the flinching exercises, and overall this is a pretty good motivational read, that lasts the length of a long commute or a lunch break. Undeniably, though, I would have been a happier bunny if it was free.

which does raise the possibility tha
Jun 02, 2012 Apteris rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one.
"Words are wind", says a proverb in a popular contemporary fantasy series. Here we have solid evidence supporting that saying.

The Flinch is a pamphlet on the topic of "face your fear". Specifically, "face your fear of doing things, where there is no significant downside to attempting those things." Which is good advice in general, but which does not automatically turn a pamphlet offering said advice into a good work.

I keep saying pamphlet becaus The Flinch, sadly, is not a book. It has neither t
Dec 31, 2011 Kevin rated it liked it
Another E-book that is really an essay. I saw this on Twitter and since it was free, picked it up.

I think your reaction depends on a lot on your worldview, perspective, place in life, etc. Reading the reviews you can see that some people thought it was BS while others found it very helpful.

I think it is a little bit of both. If you need a pep talk to get you out of your rut and start thinking about achieving the things you have always claimed you would, this can be a helpful book.

I think it can
Jun 16, 2012 Cherry rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
I'm giving this as few stars as possible.
The basic message of the book is fine, good even... it's good to face your fears.
But you really don't need a whole book to say that.
The main message I received from reading this, was: People who don't flinch are brilliant and great and brave and heroic and accomplish great things with their lives, and if you're a "flincher" you are useless and pathetic, you won't get anywhere with your life and you need to change.
And that's not a good message. Take co
Nick Lo
Dec 22, 2011 Nick Lo rated it did not like it
Short version: Have a cold shower. Done.

Long version: Even on skim reading I just thought this was a load of pretentious bollocks. Even the opener shows how strained the use of the "flinch" metaphor is:

"It's about an instinct - the flinch - and why mastering it is vital. This book is about how to stop flinching. It's about facing pain."

So are we mastering the flinch (i.e. controlling and using it) or just stopping it? The author is correct though: If I stop flinching I will have to learn to face
Dimitris Hall
Jul 30, 2012 Dimitris Hall rated it really liked it
Quote from near the end of the book: "At this point in most books, the authors promise you that if you do what they say, you’re sure to succeed.
In this case, you’re sure to fail. To be rejected. To discover wrong paths. To see what
humiliation is like, firsthand".

Me, after reading the above:I don't like it, it sounds dangerous...

"You’re sure to live.
And then yes, maybe, you might reach your goals.
Would you have it any other way?"

So, is The Flinch a book or not? In theory, it is; to me, all it tak
Jan 17, 2012 Morgan rated it did not like it
Shelves: monkeytraining
I read this because it was both free and short.

This was a mistake.

It's all glib, empty platitudes, ill-thought-through metaphors, and shallow, even bad, ideas.

Also, half the pages of the thing are actually ads for other books.
Dec 21, 2011 Pinder rated it it was ok
I'm inspired to stop reading free Kindle books about inspiration for a while.
Jan 08, 2012 Cheree rated it it was ok
This book was okay. If you haven't read anything before about facing your fears and doing it anyway (good book by Susan Jeffers), or any of Seth Godin's material on the lizard brain, then this might be a good introductory lesson. It is not totally without value.

You will have to be able to look past being talked down to when you simply choose to not participate in the exercises suggested to help you get past the flinch. The tone is somewhat reminiscent of those annoying emails that promise catac
Erik Marcus
Dec 12, 2011 Erik Marcus rated it it was ok
A good idea and potentially life changing, but this could have been executed just as powerfully as a 2000-3000 word magazine article. But yeah, Smith has sold me on the value of discovering the actions you fear doing, and "flinching forward" until they're complete.
Chris Conrey
Dec 12, 2011 Chris Conrey rated it liked it
I read this book before I think - it was called Linchpin.
Snark aside this was a pretty decent book, and a quick read - I read it on the first half of my flight from PHX-SFO. Good stuff but as a part of the Domino Project, most people will have read all of this before.
Phil Larson
Dec 11, 2011 Phil Larson rated it did not like it
I feel stupider for reading this hedonistic Oprah trash.
Jun 13, 2013 George rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, ipad

“The flinch is your real opponent, and information won’t help you fight it. It’s behind every unhappy marriage, every hidden vice, and every unfulfilled life. Behind the flinch is pain avoidance, and dealing with pain demands strength you may not think you have.” —loc 51/1303

“Before the bicycle helmet, the seat belt, and the bulletproof vest, there was the flinch.” “It’s one of the few instincts you’re born with, and keep, all your life.”—loc 84/1303

It isn’t ‘R
Sep 21, 2012 Noetic_Hatter rated it really liked it
"Today, right now, eliminate all excuses from your vocabulary. Refuse to mince words or actions. Refuse a scar-free life." (42)

This little book talks about how we build up defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from real or imagined pain. Because of it, we flinch away every time something new or challenging comes along.

The second half of the book is actually just advertising for other books, with short excerpts. I guess you could consider it an extended "for further reading" list. The author's
Jan 19, 2017 Lauren rated it did not like it
This book tries to be didactic and comes up woefully short by the author's assumption that he has mastered this incredible talent that no one else has thought of before and also all of his readers are idiots who won't be able to understand these basic concepts without (1) burning themselves on a stove (2) dropping their mobile devices on the ground (3) breaking a mug?? (4) taking cold showers

Meanwhile, anyone who has ever had a basic conversation about anxiety already knows what they have to do
Oct 27, 2015 dVicko rated it really liked it
The Flinch.
A good and resonating title. Appropriate for...... bringing atention to the flinch. :)
The writer gave a name to a feeling, to a barrier, to a stopper-of-life. It is the flinch. The feeling everyone feels at some point and at some situations. The feeling that will make you pass on some things where you could go forward, where you could try something and where you could get a new experiance and new information. Be it about the world around you or the world within you.

The first half of
Ravi Sinha
Jun 26, 2012 Ravi Sinha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
It's a small, feel-good book; basically about how to overcome some irrational fear/ flinches preventing you from doing something you would like to do. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

'Focus your energy on the fight that matters'
'Without scars, there is no evidence or strong memory'
'You can't settle for reaching other people's limits. You have to reach yours'
'The anxiety of the flinch is almost always worse than the pain itself'
'Start doing the opposite of your habits'
'Judgment and fear wil
Indy Hart
Jun 15, 2012 Indy Hart rated it really liked it
The Flinch was an entertaining and enriching book and I am glad to have read it. I really enjoyed the light, fast-paced, and fun style of Julien Smith.

I have touched on the subject of fear in my blog and I had planned to circle back again to it again. The Flinch gave me some new inspiration, physiological experiments, and a different perspective for a familiar topic.

I enjoyed the book enough to devour its entire contents in one sitting. I like to imagine that Smith had originally written more, t
Jun 16, 2012 Fran rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
First of all, yes, this is good book. Yes, it makes you get up and just do whatever you have to do. Yes, it is inspiration.
The thing is, I don't know whether this applies to everybody. People who are on the wrong path because they chose it themselves might just keep on there after reading this book, as I feel that, for people who do not have a strong moral background, this book may entice some behaviour that will, ultimately, not be the most correct. Feel free to disagree, though.

[read it becaus
Dec 07, 2011 Bob rated it it was ok
While the psychology and intended motivational aspects of this quick read are admirable, the recommendation to fight through EVERY flinch reaks of shallowness to the point of reckless irresponsibility.
Jarkko Laine
Dec 20, 2011 Jarkko Laine rated it really liked it
The Flinch is The War of Art without the supernatural, and less words. It's more like a long essay than a full book, but that's OK because the message doesn't any more length.

This is one of my Domino Project favorites. Go read it, it's free.
Apr 04, 2013 Dayle rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It is how we must manage the instinct to flinch. I look forward to reading this book again and again and doing the "homework" in it. Free Kindle book that also included excerpts from similar books more in line with those in business.
Sep 12, 2015 Ashwin rated it it was amazing
Spread the word. Read this book online. It's free! And it might just change your world view.
Hector Gonzalez Jr
Feb 28, 2017 Hector Gonzalez Jr rated it really liked it
The flinch reminds you what's it means to be human. Throughout our lives were pushed into positions to test our vessel. We start new journeys make new friends and face fears. This book rekindles our young flame with fear and anxiety. The fight or flight response that helps us decide wether a situation is to run from or not. This is the flinch. The tightening of the stomach, the sweat bead that forms on your head when put in an uncomfortable position. Julien tells us that this is good because alt ...more
Jan 06, 2017 Jelena rated it really liked it
This has become an example of a book arriving in the right moment. I began to read it some months ago and it made no impact at all. I had gone through some pages and left it. Somehow I took it up yesterday and I am done now. The right moment must have come.
Adam Wik
Sep 13, 2014 Adam Wik rated it it was ok
"Here’s a chance to read the book everyone will be talking about, before they do."

That quote from the blurb above in the book description perfectly captures the attitude of this pamphlet. The first thing you should know is it is a pamphlet. Were it fiction it might warrant the title 'short story', but I struggle to classify it as a book. There's nothing wrong with that in general, and its brevity didn't factor into my two-star rating, but you should be aware of that going in. It is free - you ge
Nov 25, 2012 John added it
If you read this, please do the most important part: the homework assignments. Do them. Every day for the whole week, I did the first one even though I was feverish with the flu. That actually made the lesson clearer.

The homework assignments can prove something to you because they are about you. And if you see from your experience that Smith is right, then something in you will grow. You will learn that the locked door was never actually locked. You will learn that you can choose what's scary bu
Max Nova
Nov 19, 2013 Max Nova rated it it was amazing
The Flinch is a book about fighting your gut reaction, accepting awkwardness and pain, and pushing through to achieve things that matter. It's about getting scars - and doing things anyways. One of my favorite thoughts in the book is that it's fine to start down a path that is too hard for you. The path changes you and you grow stronger as you continue on. The book offers useful flinch-fighting "homework" assignments like taking freezing showers and talking with strangers. I've personally starte ...more
Kiran Kumili
Jan 17, 2014 Kiran Kumili rated it it was ok
A self help book on a person’s inherent nature to draw back any action. ‘Flinch’ is a term used to draw back or offer resistance to any change or to any action that anyone desires to do.
Part of the Domino Project, the book reveals many real facts about how this strange character of a human being dwells in the brain and doesn’t allow many to reach out for their best. Many good examples and motivators have been used to urge the reader to overcome this dangerous inherent nature and get over many hu
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“You can't make yourself feel positive, but you can choose how to act, and if you choose right, it builds your confidence.” 133 likes
“You will never be entirely comfortable. This is the truth behind the champion - he is always fighting something. To do otherwise is to settle.” 106 likes
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