Renowned performance coach Don Greene, Ph.D., leads readers on a strategic, goal-reaching mission in this compact, powerful, and often fascinating handbook. A former Airborne Ranger and Green Beret (among a long list of other impressive credentials), Greene believes fear is only conquered by action--not by lying on a therapist's couch. To that end, he urges readers to assess their current skills (by taking a relatively simple survey provided in the book), pinpoint their weaker performance tendencies, then "embark on a training regimen" to flex seven specific fear-conquering muscles: determination, energy, perspective, courage, focus, poise, and resilience.
Greene uses each chapter to tell a story or two about a client--ranging from Olympic athletes to professional musicians to SWAT teams--whose fear scenarios provide a steppingstone for analyzing the seven skills mentioned above (determination, etc). He then quite eloquently describes how fear attempts to thwart each particular skill, and offers clear methods for retaliating ("centering down" to counteract ineffective nervous energy, or using anger constructively to develop resilience). The eight appendices outline his three-week prescription for mastering each skill, plus the key for scoring the skills survey. While his occasional military references and sports analogies offer glimpses into his commando training and sports psychology background, Greene never comes off as a stony General nor as a hyped cheerleader. Rather, his graceful writing style is rich with humor, candor, and valuable information. Forgivably cocky at times ("Nobody in the world has done as much as I have to bring out people's best"), Greene simply knows his stuff and--to the reader's benefit--presents it beautifully. --Liane Thomas