Awaken Your Strongest Self
Break Free of Stress, Inner Conflict, and Self Sabotage
by Neil Fiore, Ph.D, psychologist and personal coach
Author of The Now Habit and The Road Back to Health
We often make our worst decisions when we act from a weak, limited sense of self; our best decisions when we expand our identity to include more of our brain and inner resources. In Awaken Your Strongest Self (McGraw-Hill; October 2006; $21.95, 0071470263) Dr. Neil Fiore, Ph.D. introduces a revolutionary four-step program that shows you how to break free of self-destructive habits, increase productivity and creativity, and draw on your innate strengths by using the newest part of your brain — your Strongest Self.
Waking Up Your Human Brain
Fiore describes how to ignite the new brain’s leadership capabilities to organize the multi-levels of one’s brain — the reptilian, the mammalian, and the primate. He shows you how to access the “new human brain,” located in the prefrontal cortex, to maximize efficiency and enjoy a sense of confidence and ease. Through examples, case studies, and exercises, you will learn how to make your life more joyful and effective by expanding your brain-cell power and applying the five qualities of your Strongest Self: Safety to shut off the stress response; Choice of actions that are congruent with your higher values; Focus on finding solutions rather than blaming yourself for problems; Presence in the moment rather than regrets about the past or worry about the future; and Connection to the deeper resources and support of your larger brain that results in ease rather than lonely struggle. These five qualities minimize and replace five major problem areas: stress and worry; procrastination and indecision; self-blame and lack of confidence; feeling overwhelmed and confused; and struggle and self-sabotage.
Awaken Your Strongest Self shows you how to access the deeper resources of both sides of the brain — the practical and the creative; the waking and the dreaming — and awaken the new human brain to play its proper role of setting a mission and integrating all parts to achieve your higher goals. Most people act as if they are simply their lower brains’ reactions and their feelings of being overwhelmed and vulnerable to negative patterns and addictions. Fiore announces that you no longer have to struggle from a limited sense of who you think you are. “You are more than your problems, your habits, or your emotions.”
Awaken Your Strongest Self shows you how to access your higher brain in a four-step process that puts you in a leadership role in your life and shifts your sense of self to one that is more robust and effective.
Step 1: Step Back From Your Old Ineffective Patterns
Step 2: Step Up to Your New Brain and Your Strongest Self
Step 3: Awaken the Five Qualities of Your Strongest Self
Step 4: Awaken the Leader in You to Achieve Your GoalsJust learning that the truly human part of your brain rests atop three ancient brains — similar to the entire brains of modern reptiles, mammals, and primates — clarifies why it’s so important to put your higher, Strongest Self in charge. With the help of this book’s exercises, and a few weeks of practice, you’ll awaken your new human brain to organize your lower-brain functions and make your life more joyful, more balanced, and less of a struggle.
Integrating All Parts to Achieve Your Goals and Stop Self-Sabotage
With your Strongest Self in the role of a leader or chairperson, all parts of your personality can be heard and integrated into a powerful team. Through exercises and examples, you learn how to call a committee meeting that eliminates resistance, worry, and self-sabotage while maximizing your chances of achieving your goals. In a committee meeting, every part performs its duty of alerting you to its survival concerns; you hear them, reassure them of internal safety, and make executive decisions about what to do. They are now ready to cooperate with, and contribute to, your leadership mission. The strong leader finally has awakened and taken charge.
Your Awakened Self and Effective Habit Change
In the last four chapters, Fiore offers a condensed and more accessible version of the latest research on effective habit change and long-term maintenance of healthy habits, based on NIH (National Institute of Health) studies of programs to manage weight, adhere to exercise, and quit smoking. Using examples from his own case studies, Dr. Fiore explains step-by-step how one patient used the Awaken Your Strongest Self program to overcome his stressful and unhealthy work habits; and how another lost thirty-six pounds by gaining the cooperation of every part of herself to achieve her goals of increasing exercise, conquering binge-eating, and adopting healthy eating habits.
Awaken Your Strongest Self gives you what you might achieve after five to ten years of psychotherapy or meditation — the ability to observe your primitive reactions from the perspective of your higher, Strongest Self and to then exercise your uniquely human ability to choose how to act in accord with your values and vision.
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About the Author
Dr. Neil Fiore (CA) is the bestselling author of The Now Habit and The Road Back to Health. Dr. Fiore was a paratrooper with 101st Airborne, He was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne, a manager for Johnson & Johnson, and has worked as a psychologist at the Counseling Center of the University of California, Berkeley. Neil now conducts seminars and lectures at major schools and businesses, including the Smithsonian Institute, the University of California, Berkeley Extension, and the New York Open Center.