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The Tools: A Simple Brilliant System for Building Courage (and more)

The New Yorker first alerted me to this wondrous book, The Tools.  It's by a pair of psychotherapists, both of whom wanted to be able to give clients  immediately usable, effective tactics for dealing better with life.  It's based on using your sticky situations as a cue/springboard to big leaps forward.

The subtitle is: Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity.   I read it several weeks ago and have been using (intermittently) one of the tools.  It has worked startlingly well.  As with exercise machines: if you use them, they work. 

The one I've latched onto is called Reversal of Desire.  It's not what it sounds like.  The basic idea is that you rush gratefully and happily into the threatening situation, foreseeing the happiness and new strength and greater opportunities you'll enjoy on coming out the other side.  The mantra:  Bring It On.   The authors, Phil Stutz and Barry Michels, explain this much better than I have; the book is exciting.  And the video here explains this first tool in charming diagrams.  I love the one of the stick figure scurrying sheepishly back to his comfort zone.

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Going by the anecdotes in The New Yorker story, the methods — there are 5 of them — have been well-tested on cllientele that includes a lot of movie people, including screenwriters. The stories include one of a guy who lost his fear of going on "Charlie Rose."

But if you need courage and unhesitating confidence for any good purpose, I highly recommend The Tools book.  You may find out how to solve your problems, or at least deal with them more successfully.

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  • aiki
    September 26, 2012 at 11:22 am Reply

    Isn't Tool 1 specifically for getting unstuck from avoiding pain/fear of pain that's keeping you stuck & not moving ahead w/ something important?  I've been finding it quite useful, & it is part of their program toward Courage & confidence.  Aiki

    • September 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm Reply

      That’s the way I understand Tool 1, Aiki. How have you found it useful?

  • September 27, 2012 at 7:26 am Reply

    […] The Tools: A Simple Brilliant System for Building Courage (and more) […]

  • September 28, 2012 at 8:07 am Reply

    Wow, this sounds great. I have recently become aware of the crippling amount of fear I have in regards to my writing and am trying to work through it.  This sounds like it might really help!  Thanks for sharing!!

    • September 28, 2012 at 8:45 am Reply

      Wonderful! Do let us know here how it turns out, Beth.

  • September 29, 2012 at 9:23 am Reply

    WOW, Peggy, I had not heard of this book and I'm going to buy it RIGHT NOW. Thanks so much.

    • September 29, 2012 at 11:20 am Reply

      I’ll be interested to hear what you think, Frances.

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