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Prisoners of Belief: Exposing and Changing Beliefs That Control Your Life Paperback – July 1, 1991

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

About the Author

Patrick Fanning is a professional writer in the mental health field, and founder of a men’s support group in Northern California. He has authored and coauthored eight self-help books, including Self-Esteem, Thoughts and Feelings, Couple Skills, and Mind and Emotions.


Matthew McKay, PhD, is a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He has authored and coauthored numerous books, including The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, Self-Esteem, Thoughts and Feelings, When Anger Hurts, and ACT on Life Not on Anger. McKay received his PhD in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, and specializes in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety and depression. He lives and works in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; First Printing edition (July 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879237040
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879237049
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. on May 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
How do you deal with other people's anger? With their praise? With their criticism? How do you deal with mistakes? Do you cope well with stress? Are you comfortable trying new things? How do you express your feelings? Are you able to say "no"? How do you make friends? What are your beliefs around sex? We each have a unique way of managing our lives. But how many of us explicitly know the rules guiding our lives? Those rules were formed in childhood and may or may not serve as good guides as we mature. How do you expose them and check their objectivity - and revise them where warranted? When you've held wrong ideas for a lifetime, you experience them as factual, unchallengable and true. How do you then uproot them? This short self-help book offers ways to challenge wrong ideas.
McKay's and Fanning's book helps you get to the foundation of your own "self-portrait," i.e., how you see yourself. Do you see yourself as a loner, as shy, as an angry person, as a cynic, as a happy person, as an assertive person? The authors help you uncover the rules you live by (e.g., Never say anything that will hurt someone. Never let anyone really get to know you. If you do not do things perfectly, you will be rejected.) Some of these rules may be healthy (e.g., Be responsible. Speak your mind openly and tactfully.) Some of these rules may literally drive you crazy (e.g., Don't make decisions. Don't try anything new.)
The authors help you understand and uncover your own core beliefs. "Your most deeply held, core beliefs are the bedrock of your personality.
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Format: Paperback
Many people come to read this book because of consequences of one's beliefs causing harm in one's life & relationships, because of pain or misery our beliefs are causing ourselves or others. We often grow up believing what we know as facts, when they are rarely based on any actual evidence, but were beliefs formed by what others told us about life, ourselves, them, situations & so on. Absolute beliefs which are NOT facts, yet we treat them as if they were.

I grew up with many self-image beliefs that were extremely harmful to me & all my relationships with other people. This book helped me not only examine the origins of these beliefs, and the evidence to prove or disprove them, it helped me to observe a process I'd never known could be changed, nor seen. Our beliefs are often private, perhaps even secret to ourselves, are we ever aware of a belief and how it rules our life? Mostly we just believe them, and subconsciously experience the effects of those beliefs, never really thinking to question whether a belief if true--instead we'll blame ourselves or others for doing something wrong rather than think perhaps the belief is wrong.

One great example is being told one is stupid, ugly, fat, worthless, unlovable. One can grow up believing these things & acting on them, in effect destroying one's own life & relationships! However, these beliefs almost always come from sick or harmful sources, and are NOT true. I went back & looked at report cards, baby & toddler pictures, achievements, and found that I had all A's, was not in any way fat, or ugly, looked at the little girl in the pictures & knew she was lovable and worthy! Obviously the beliefs I'd held were ALL false, and had become a self-fulfilling prophesy in many ways!
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Format: Paperback
Prisoners of Belief: Exposing & Changing Beliefs That Control Your Life
by Matthew McKay

"Belief is ultimately the key to happiness. Your most deeply held, core beliefs are the stock of your personality. They determine your feelings of worth, competence, belonging, loveability, security, trust & self-reliance. Restricting negative beliefs can imprison you behind bars of conviction. This book shows you how to become a personal scientist, test your core beliefs objectively, subtly shift your more negative convictions, & escape from the prison of belief to a freer, more satisfying life."

In a nut shell, the foregoing statement forms the principal thesis of the book.

I have owned this book - & have reread it several times - since it was first published in the early nineties. It is a relatively good book. It has been written by a clinical psychologist, & hence it is comparatively more intense, partly attributed to its therapeutic undertones. The exercises also take some discipline on the part of the reader to follow them.

Personally, I prefer Anthony Robbins' book, 'Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical & Financial Destiny', particularly chapter 4, Belief Systems: The Power to Change & the Power to Destroy. This author does a much better job in expounding his more upbeat principal thesis: "All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs."

In reality, Anthony Robbins covers a much broader spectrum. Essentially, he provides a step-by-step program on self-mastery: how to discover your true purpose, take control of your life & harness the forces that shape your destiny.
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