Harris, an Australia-based physician, therapist, and lecturer on stress management, reiterates and expands on concepts from his earlier book, The Happiness Trap. Here he focuses on the techniques of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a cognitive-behavioral treatment created by Steve Hayes in the 1980s. Harris applies it to helping readers learn to play the "confidence game." People in the confidence gap may desire a romantic relationship or want to find a better job, but when fear surfaces, they don't take action. Offering a solution to insecurities, shyness, and low self-confidence, Harris blends personal anecdotes, insights, and exercises to show readers how to get more out of life by overcoming their self-defeating patterns. For instance, he says, first, one must act with confidence; the feeling of confidence will follow. After showing readers how to "tame" their fear," Harris reviews strategies that lead to psychological flexibility and concludes with bringing the new skills together for ongoing success and peak performance. Newcomers to behavioral cognitive therapy and ACT may well find Harris's intriguing ideas of value. (Sept.)
This book could save you years of psychological struggle, yank you out of negative emotional patterns, and help propel you to a much happier, more productive life.”—Martha Beck, author of Finding Your Own North Star
“An exciting alternative to the usual approach of so many self-help books. Harris explains how we can work with ourselves as we are, rather than aggressively trying to alter ourselves. I’m impressed by the simple and effective methods of ACT.”—David Richo, PhD, author of How to Be an Adult in Relationships
“One of the most hopeful (and helpful) messages we can take away from this book is this: we can learn to do the things that matter, even when our minds say it’s not possible.”—Spirituality & Health
According to Harris (The Happiness Trap), confidence is a skillful psychological game and knowing the right rules will help develop genuine, lasting self-confidence. He proposes an approach known as A-C-T, or Acceptance and Commitment Training, which involves the practice of mindfulness, defusion, expansion, and engagement. Essentially, he advocates accepting one's thoughts and feelings, choosing a valued direction, and then taking mindful action. One needs to practice all of the above until the process becomes second nature. The advice seems sound, but readers have to wade through a lot of text to discover the nuggets of value. Unexceptional.