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A self-help book for the rest of us?


We talked about this book together with the author on Bookcasting Episode 10, where we had the pleasure of having the author, Robert Kelsey, with us on the phone from London.

This review was also published on and If you found it useful please head over there and let them know!

If you're planning to buy the book, use the link on the left. You can also get the audio version for free today with a 30-day trial on

A review of Robert Kelsey's What's Stopping You?: Why Smart People Don't Always Reach Their Potential and How You Can.

If you have a high fear of failure, you may be choosing tasks at which you are either certain to fail or certain to succeed. That is, if you're throwing rings at a peg, you will either stand so close that you can just lean over and lay down the rings, or you will stand so far back nobody will laugh at you when you miss the target.

There exists, Kelsey argues, a dichotomy between those who fear failure and those who don't. Most self-help books are aimed at the latter, because this phenomenon is so poorly understood. Which is why most of these books don't help any of those who feel inclined to read them.

Those with High Fear of Failure (High FF's) must recognize their disability, then accept it for what it is, and finally plan for how to achieve great things despite of it — or perhaps with its aid.

In fact, when doing it right, High FF's may have better chances of becoming extraordinary leaders and successful entrepreneurs than others.

Kelsey's book is both personal, instructional and philosophical. Chances are high you will recognize yourself in his anecdotes, and find inspiration in his advise.