The Problem is YOU: How to Get Out of Your Own Way and Conquer Self-Defeating Behavior

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Mark Goulston has written an excellent book whose advice is as timely today as it was when it was first published in Its predecessor, Get Our of Your Own Way co-authored by Goulston and Philip Goldberg , provided a great deal of salient information for dealing with the self-centeredness that prevents us as humans from having good relationships with others, whether in the family circle or at work. Goulston himself follows the philosophies of pragmatism and empiricism; he wants to know Dr. Goulston himself follows the philosophies of pragmatism and empiricism; he wants to know what works, what doesn't work, and why.

This book's focus is wider in scope that the previous book. Goulston consistently stresses the importance of having a positive self-image and mindset; this helps avoid the self-defeating behaviors that sabotage the workplace such as procrastination, not delegating properly, getting defensive, and making excuses. In all, 40 of such behaviors are discussed in the book. Understanding the cause and effect of such behaviors can prevent confrontations at the workplace when we face threats, whether real or perceived.

Goulston directly addresses the reader, and this proves very effective in getting his point across. He shares his no-nonsense thoughts, empathic feelings, and practical suggestions without getting in his reader's way. Apr 15, Leslie Graff rated it really liked it. Despite my high rating, I'm somewhat on the fence on this book.

I like the format of small chunks of advice and coverage of many, many topics, but I'm not sure that the approach does much to actually address any of the work problems addressed. It feels like the kind of thing that you could read a lesson or two a week and make improvements so long as you're not really struggling with any of these issues. If you need more than a simple overview, you're going to need more than this book provides.

Ho Despite my high rating, I'm somewhat on the fence on this book. However, I do like the exercises provided for each topic and the general grounding in psychology.

This is the kind of reference book to have on hand to pick up and browse a chapter or two every now and then as a sort of "tune-up" or refresher on issues that you more fully explore elsewhere. Nov 12, Kai Palchikoff added it Shelves: biz-econ.


In quick, to-the-point chapters, Goulston explains that if a professional does one or more of the following, they're getting in their own way-and limiting their success: - Expecting thier boss to appreciate th The co-author of Get Out of Your Own Way goes on-the-job. Good advice. I could pinpoint myself or someone I work ed with for pretty much every point. View 1 comment. And not stupid. I got this from the library and now I've bought a copy for my office. Stephanie rated it really liked it Mar 03, Masha rated it really liked it Mar 15, Rachel rated it really liked it Sep 01, W rated it liked it Oct 28, Laura rated it liked it Dec 09, Johanna rated it it was amazing Nov 11, Elisa rated it it was amazing Dec 16, Roman rated it liked it Dec 24, Aleksey rated it really liked it Mar 18, Bill Donhiser rated it really liked it Jun 19, Kristie deRuiter rated it it was ok Mar 10, Michele rated it really liked it Sep 02, Bart Fisher rated it really liked it Feb 25, Simon Stanton rated it it was amazing Apr 29, Michael rated it liked it Aug 09, Rogelio Rodriguez rated it really liked it Jun 21, Fernando Infante rated it it was amazing Jun 13, Brian Sommer rated it liked it Feb 02, Baikov rated it liked it May 30, The added pressure you experience is only coming from you.

It is your low self-belief which causes you to place unrealistic expectations on yourself and, if left unchecked; it quickly becomes a vicious cycle. While many people use self-deprecation as a form of humour, passive people tend to be quite serious when they resort to it. They put themselves down at the first opportunity, over the smallest things, often to the bewilderment of anyone within earshot, e. I grew up in rural Ireland and one thing which I remember vividly is people saying that someone loved themselves.

8 Ways to Stop Self-Sabotaging Your Success

It was not intended as a compliment. It was seen as being arrogant and thinking that you were better than you were. If you stood out in anyway, there was always somebody waiting to cut you back down to size. I am not a fan of arrogance but loving yourself is not arrogant — it is essential for a happy and healthy life.

It is no coincidence that here in rural Ireland, we also have a strong tendency for self-deprecation.

2. Get moving

It forms a big part of our humour and, it creeps into many other areas of life. Most people use self-deprecation in a flippant manner i. Unfortunately, those who use passive behaviour have generally taken it a step too far. They use self-deprecation in inappropriate places and they take their own comments to heart. Self-deprecation was never meant to be a serious endeavour.

You may spend some time self-deprecating, so it is even more important to spend some time truly caring for yourself; and reaffirming your belief in your own value. Read Why you must put yourself first for some great tips. There will be enough people who want to put you down in your life. There is no need for you to join in with them. They tend to lack confidence both in themselves and what they have to say. Therefore, keeping their voice down helps them to avoid drawing attention to themselves. As they approach the end of what they have to say, their volume lowers and tapers off.

The same happens when you speak softly and reduce your volume at the end. Passive behaviour prevents you from speaking clearly and confidently. You are effectively saying that what you have to say is not important. There is a lot of information to process in everyday life so, shortcuts are needed. And, if somebody is telling you that they are not worthy of respect, it can seem like an appropriate shortcut to take.

One of the greatest pieces of advice I have ever received is that you teach people how to treat you. If you would like to be respected, teach them that you are worthy of respect by demonstrating that you respect yourself. Do this by speaking confidently and clearly, highlighting the fact that you value your opinion.

The way you deliver your message tells the other person whether they should listen, or not. Ditch the passive behaviour and deliver your message with confidence.

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Avoiding eye contact is one of the most common signs of passive behaviour. Due to a lack of confidence, shame, guilt or a host of other negative emotions; the passive person is unable to look into the eyes of the other person. They try to look away, often at the ground, in order to avoid eye contact. I honestly think that a small part of this problem arises from an excessive focus on body language and, each little gesture; in recent times. Of course, body language is important, but it is easy to give people so many things to focus on that they get confused, even paranoid, about what they should and should not be doing.

If you want to improve your body language, focus on one thing to improve at any one time. Get that right before adding something else. Eye contact is important so, if you struggle with that, it is a good place to start.

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

A bigger part of the problem is self-esteem. Being able to look others in the eye is a sign of your own self-belief and, your belief in your own value. If you are someone who shies away from eye contact, you need to do some work on your self-esteem because your external behaviour is usually a reflection of your internal belief.

At the same time, you can practice making eye contact with people. Make it an intention for each day to look people in the eye and smile as you say hello. As you get better at making eye contact, you can start to work on maintaining eye contact. Coupling this with self-esteem work will mean that you are tackling the problem from both sides, internal and external, and will allow you make quicker progress. Eye contact is a natural behaviour but when you have lost self-esteem, it is a behaviour you can become fearful of. It just takes a little practice, intention and some self-esteem work to get to grips with this problem.

Whether with their facial expressions or their body language, passive people send clear signals of their discomfort. Even when they are trying to act confident, their appearance of discomfort will be a giveaway. It is easy; to get worked up and anxious when you experience discomfort but there is no real need to do so. This can cause you to close down and try to make yourself smaller, in the hope that nobody will notice you — typical passive behaviour. When you are feeling uncomfortable, you are just realising that there is something which you could do with changing.

In some cases, e.

How to stop a downward spiral before it starts.

It may seem obvious, but the best public speakers are generally those who have a lot of experience with public speaking. And the only way to get that public speaking experience is to speak in public — the very opposite to what passive behaviour leads to. In other cases, e.

Rather than shy away from the problem, as passive behaviour would lead to; you can create a learning and development plan for yourself which will help you bridge the gap between the knowledge and skills you need and; the knowledge and skills you possess. Discomfort is simply a sign that a situation needs to be remedied.

Discomfort should lead to positive action; not passive behaviour. View discomfort as the opportunity to learn something valuable about yourself. It is a learning and development opportunity; not something to be feared. You become more assertive and start to speak up for yourself. Passive behaviour is driven by your need for the approval of others. Rather than risk upsetting them, you put their preferences and needs before yours.

This is not healthy behaviour. It is important to have respect for others, but you will never accomplish your goals and dreams unless you learn to give them the respect they merit. Passive behaviour is ineffective because there is only so much self-sacrifice you can take.

Confidence Quotes That Will Help You Believe In Yourself

Eventually you will snap, either with yourself, or with the people whom you have been trying to please. Neither of these outcomes is desirable as they can create long lasting damage to both your health and your relationships. The list above is certainly not exhaustive but it will provide you with a good idea of the behaviours which you need to be looking out for. If you find yourself displaying any of these behaviours, do not be harsh on yourself. Simply, identify the changes you need to make and make them. It will take a little time but you will become a more assertive person.

Image credit: Chance Agrella. Are you being too selfless? Hesitant approval-seeking speech. Key point. Click to Tweet. Belittling their own views. There are two main reasons for the passive behaviour of belittling your own views. Putting the preferences of others first.