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Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life Paperback – August 21, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 349 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

An inspiring book on self-esteem - NEW WOMAN 'Light, humorous and enlightening' #NAME? --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer was the bestselling author of 20 books and had a doctorate in counseling psychology. He lectured across the country to groups numbering in the thousands and appeared regularly on radio and television. He passed away in August of 2015.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1st HarperPerennial ed edition (August 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060919760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060919764
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (349 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
YOUR ERRONEOUS ZONES is deservedly a bestseller. It takes the fundamental insights of cognitive therapy and makes them accessible to a large and diverse audience. The chapters of this book each pertain to important domains of human experience such as approval seeking, guilt and worry and self esteem. However, this book also goes beyond cognitive therapy concepts and adds the inspirational insights of humanistic psychology. The book concludes with a chapter on what it looks like to overcome your erroneous zones (maladaptive beliefs) and achieve self-actualization.

When I first encountered this book, I read it at least a half dozen times. There is a wealth of excellent practical advice that can be immediately applied to whatever your life situation happens to be. Dr. Dyer also has a gift for putting his ideas across in a simple, straightforward manner without a lot of jargon.

At least one writer pointed out that this book was written prior to Wayne Dyer's New Age phase. This is true and it does have a different tone from some of his later books. It is more likely to appeal to a wider audience than some of his later material which does have a stronger New Age flavor. PULLING YOUR OWN STRINGS, also from this earlier period is another excellent book and builds on the concepts developed in this one.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is one of the best books, perhaps even the best book I've ever read in terms of gaining control over one's life. It is truly empowering in the best sense of the idea. It comes down to the fact that you are a "choice making individual". No matter what the situation is that comes up you can still choose how to react to it.
To illustrate... I used to believe that I had certain tendencies (like "worrying" about all the "what ifs" for example) that were somehow out of my control. The idea of buying into the idea that some things were just "family traits" that I was helplessly born into, that "we come from a family of neurotic people who worry".
I have a particular favorite story which is on the audio tape version of the book (I can't remember if it's in the printed version of the book.... the audio seems pretty much like he's extemporizing on the principles outlined in the book). He tells of how he was in a restaurant and the manager/owner of the restaurant is getting very upset and emotional at an employee. Dr. Dyer says to the guy something like "Look at yourself, you're going to give your self a heart attack by the time your fifty" to which the gentleman replies "I am fifty two and I had a heart attack two years ago" to which Dr. Dyer says something like "Then why do you do this to yourself ? " to which the fellow says "What do you want from me.... I'm Italian !" ..... as if that was an explanation for why he was getting himself all worked up.
Wayne really helps one realize that they don't have to "buy into" feeling like they are helpless victims of their cultural background, family dynamics and, Genetic tendencies etc.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
First things first: there are some very fundamental principles to learn in this book if you were not aware of them already. These include trusting in yourself and not having to rely on others, present-moment thinking, the rejection of negative emotions, separating your self image from other-oriented criticism and failure, etc. Indeed, there is a lot of good content here. Dyer can get repetitive, sometimes filling out a chapter with the same information said over and over in different ways, but I guess that's okay.

Okay, now that that's out of the way...

I was very confused with the numerous sexual references in the book. Sometimes it seems mildly inappropriate, and other times it just outright catches you off guard. This occurs mostly toward the beginning of the book. One incident in particular occurs in chapter 2. In regards to leaning how to love yourself, Dyer suggests standing nude in front of a mirror, exploring yourself sensually, with the aim of achieving "goose-bumps of shivery pleasure." I haven't read other self-help books. Maybe this is a common theme? I sure didn't see it coming.

Another complaint I had was in Dyer's perception of ideal relationships with others. He argues that holding any person above yourself is a grave mistake. No one is better than you. It's a bad idea to have idols or heroes, says Dyer. He brings forth obscurities as refusing to call your dentist "doctor," for that gives him prestige for his title that he doesn't deserve. Really? Wow. There are numerous nit-picks like this throughout the book--strange rituals between the lines.

Furthermore, one should never, according to Dyer, aid someone who needs you. He says it is better to refuse to help them, with the goal of teaching them to help themselves.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book when it was first published in the '70s. A lot of it was helpful, but the best stuff had already been written by Dale Carnegie "Stop Worrying and Start Living" and "How to Make Friends and Influence People" in 1948. Those books had many of the very building blocks upon which, subsequent "self help" books were written. For example: "Live in day-tight compartments" or A person's name is the single most important thing to him/her.

After reading "Your Erroneous Zones" I think I felt more confused than settled. I was left with a background "noise" that said that the book, itself, was somewhat erroneous to me. Then I read "Pulling Your Own Strings" by Dyer, which made me more suspicious of Dyer's approach.
For example, in the book, it seems that if your child goes running around a restaurant bugging people, it's OK and it is their own fault for "Feeling" bugged. In other words, it always seems that, with Dyer, our feelings are invalid, especially if they're negative. I found this very troubling.

My more recent approach is to avoid most of the "self help" oriented books which actually sorta TELL you how to act or feel and substitute them with books that are a study on how the mind and brain actually work. The more we understand how our minds work, the more we understand ourselves and, thus, address some of the problems we deal with that are so common in life. That is, educate ourselves about how the "machine" works, then help ourselves by using our new knowledge, to control the "machine" better. Education resulting in action is true self help.

Some suggestions are:

1) "
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