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Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  807 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Practical, proven self help steps show how to transform 40 common self-defeating behaviors, including procrastination, envy, obsession, anger, self-pity, compulsion, neediness, guilt, rebellion, inaction, and more.
Paperback, 177 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by Tarcherperigee
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Elizabeth Black
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
I was not impressed with this one. I think what he was going for was practical application to every day life, but the stand alone lessons seem nothing to do with one another and are too simplistic to address the deep roots from which self defeating behaviors stem.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Let me start my review by stating that, people are blessed in many ways. Some are intellectuals and some are emotionally intelligent. You can’t have everything or be everything at the same time, but the cool thing is: you can build, you can evolve and change.

I loved this book, for what it is. A guide to those who are emotionally troubled, or have no previous training or knowledge when it comes to handling their emotions.

I’m not saying that this book is going to radically change your life, and
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing

As I began to read this book, I recalled the core concepts in The Knowing-Doing Gap co-authored by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton. Briefly, they assert that “so many managers know so much about organizational performance, say so many smart things about how to achieve performance, and work so hard, yet are trapped in firms that do so many things they know will undermine performance." Many (most?) people have a “gap” between knowing what to do and doing it, not only at work but in all other are
Jennifer Poliskie
Apr 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
The authors break down 40 different self-defeating behaviors in 180 pages. Some of these behaviors can take years to establish in a person’s life. A measly 2-3 pages with bullet points at the end of each section is hardly enough to scratch the surface of each behavior. It’s also sprinkled with several famous and not so famous quotes which don’t really do much to add to the material. They end up looking more like space filler than anything. I pushed through to the end hoping for something helpful ...more
Ali Albaijan
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The book has demonstrated very beneficial advices on how to conquer very commons obstacles that we face. Obstacles that exist within our mentality and feelings when we handle various aspects of life. 40 common questions that we have that we urge an answer of it is available in this book. Some are obvious but there is no harm to be reminded on how to solve it accurately.
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
There is absolutely zero depth in this book.
"Procrastinate? Well, don't."
"Hold grudges? Well, stop"
"Unable to say no? Then say no"
Douglas Gibson
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
My teaching partner and I are previewing self-help books for a unit we are going to do with our seniors next year and I think this book will be perfect for them.
At first I wanted more out of this book, and found the 3 to 4 page chapters to be too brief to actually discuss any of these issues sufficiently. The more I continued to read, the more I enjoyed the fact that these chapter were not trying to go into great depth on any one topic, yet were simply trying to get the reader to acknowledge s
Jordan Shipman
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Probably 3.5 stars but I rounded up. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend to anyone looking for accessible advice. The chapters are short, 2-4 pages each. I found it difficult to sit down and read for extended period due to the fragmentation. It wasn’t written to have a single narrative throughout, but that is what I personally find most enjoyable. It would be an excellent book to keep by the toilet and read in short dumps. :)
Sep 16, 2020 rated it liked it
A lot of great advice and takeaways but the style of the book with a chapter per problem, means most people will have a few chapters that are irrelevant to their personality or situation... Which makes it strange to read.
As a side note, I enjoyed the narration but was a bit shocked every time a chapter was announced because the announcement was almost twice as loud as the rest of the book.
Marjorie Silvestrini
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very practical way to learn about our own behaviors and to deal with other people’s behaviors too. Really recommend. Easy to listen and short book.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
Full list of ways how you can ruin your life but no plan and almost no advice how to fix yourself.
Seetha Ravindran
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
2018 has been a year full of ups and downs, safe to say one of the toughest years ever. But I’m proud of myself that I could pull thought it well. The best highlight how I learned to uphold my self confidence. I personal and workplace issue, which’s consequences were pretty bad and challenging. This book discusses on self, relationship, work, life and general psychological issues. If you’re into self-help books then you could give this book ago too. It’s direct and easy read.
Amy Sanchez
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all my friends
Recommended to Amy by: My friends at Borders recommended this to me... thanks
Cant get enough of these kinds of books. Just another book that screams "Stop Whining and Do something about it" ... (sometimes we need to hear the truth about ourselves)
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Can't remember anything memorable from this book 2 months later. Maybe I need to get out of my own way and overcome self defeating behavior.

Excerpts my 👂 picked up on....👇

Sometimes the easy way out is the right way in
Turn your self contempt into self determination
Like vampires these people maintain power by sucking it from others
I'm not threatened by anyone else's success
Just because you act hurt doesn't mean I'm hurting you
Feeling is more powerful then meaning
Anger is a short madness
Close yo
Daniel Stern
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I felt and knew in my heart that I needed to make changes in my life. I wasn't fulfilled, I was bored and dissatisfied with my career , friends, life. When I finally came to terms with the fact that I had to do something to improve my outlook on life,Dr. Goulston's book is an insightful work and offers many practical ways to overcoming self-defeating behaviors. Each chapter describes a behavior and gives examples, with references to various patients he's couseled over the years. I took Dr. Goul ...more
Brian Sachetta
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
The title of this book really grabbed me. I just love that phrase. “Get out of your own way.” For me, it means turning off my mind or emotions and just “doing it” when anxiety and fear hold me back. I mutter it to myself in stressful situations sometimes and find it to be pretty helpful.

In terms of said helpfulness, however, I think that last sentence is about as far as this book got me. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good, surface-level ideas here, but they’re just that — quick lessons. I t
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is the perfect go-to book whenever you feel anxious, uncomfortable, angry, or overly emotional. Chances are, the problem you have is mentioned in the book and you can find practical action points to take to solve the problem. I found the book to be immensely useful and it helps me see a different perspective of what I might be feeling in the tense moment of a problem, whatever that might be.
It also gives you a rational view of human interactions and what you can do to improve them on
Amy Christensen
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn’t adore this book but I did find it useful. My rating soared with the chapter Thinking “I’m sorry” is Enough. I knew that making amends was an important aspect of repairing a relationship but I honestly was stumped about how to go about it. Considering remorse, restitution and rehabilitation was precisely the tool I needed for clarity and perspective. I am going to implement this device and attempt to heal a terrible rift with my siblings.

It may not work but if I try then I know I have at
Treasure Box Of Books
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Short and to the point chapters, which is great! Not a ton of fluff as other self-help books have. This book has tips for everyone. Some of the tips may not be relevant to you, but others are. Gets you thinking about your actions and how they can affect other people. Actions you may not even know you are doing that can have a negative impact on yourself and others. Actions and thought processes that can keep you stagnant and unable to move forward - unable to get out of your own way!

Will recomme
Mattheus Guttenberg
Good, useful information on how to overcome self-defeating behaviors, but most of the book wasn't relevant to me. My main takeaways involved learning how to curb my habit of talking too much and being more genuine in my interactions. I wish the chapters were longer and more detailed, though. Reminds me of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Read it because a friend recommended it. in can't relate news, the Holding a Grudge example made me hold a grudge on the wife's behalf. That Albert...

The Judith chapter, I think that's her name, had me ticked off on her husband's behalf.

I don't think my mind was ready to soak in any of these lessons. Maybe if I read it at a later time I'll be better able to absorb the information.
Ben Lampert
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Useful Book to Keep you Thinking Clearly

I have displayed a lot of these behaviors and really wanted to find ways to start implementing change. This book really works at providing actionable advice that can work from day one. I plan to reread this book as many times as needed to internalize the message.
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked how this book was set up. Each "problem" has a real world example and the advice he gave to solve it. They are about 3-4 pages each with a helpful short tips on questions to ask yourself to help solve where you are stuck in. It is a short read but something I will probably continue to reread as time goes on.
Rob Stamm
Aug 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Solid book. Especially liked the short chapters, making everything digestible. I would have like for more detailed explanation / examples on how to solve specific problems. Feels like plenty of self defeating behaviors were identified, but the solutions felt extreme highly level. I would have preferred longer chapters with more granular / actionable next steps.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017, personal-growth
There were 3 excellent pages (xi-xiv) and the rest was awful (cheesy, cliche, mansplainy...). This book maintains the trend I see with my research on the writing out there about self sabotage in high performers: no bueno.
Tamara Evans
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick read which provides helpful tip the reader can apply immediately after reading. Although the author advises the reader to read the book all the way through, or pick and choose to focus on topics that are specific to you.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very insightful book! I've learned about self-defeating behavior only recently and this book helped a great deal in understanding some of my reaction. There just could be more comprehensive advice than just a few tips.
P Michael N
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A thorough and actionable account of self defeating behaviours and how to overcome them. I found I could easily relate to and make use of so many of the scenarios covered. Pretty timeless and worth revisiting.
Alec Lifschultz III
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lot of times we don't realize that we are the problem in situations. Negativity comes our way but we blame the universe. Mark explains how and why certain situations are caused by us and he uses specific instances.
Greg Hernandez
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You’ll hear a lot of people complain that their therapist only asks questions and doesn’t tell them how to tackle their issues. get out of your own way is like the antidote;Straight forward advice you probably should have picked up on before but maybe haven’t yet processed. Actionable self-help.
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MARK GOULSTON, M.D., is a business psychiatrist and consultant, author of the bestselling Just Listen, and subject of the PBS special “Just Listen with Dr. Goulston.” He writes a Tribune syndicated career column; blogs for Fast Company, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and Psychology Today; and is featured frequently in major media including The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fort ...more

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