FEARLESS LIVING: Live Without Excuses and Love Without Regret
There's no denying Britten's earnestness, evinced in the powerful example of her personal transformation, years after a singularly horrific experience: at age 14, she watched her father kill her mother, then himself. By her account, Britten drowned her grief in self-defeating behavior for 20 years until she decided to make herself whole by exploring how others overcame legacies of shame and fear. Her observations led her to create the Fearless Living program, in which she works as a life and career coach. Britten defines fear generally as a self-esteem problem—the conviction that one is "not good enough"—that results in a range of unpleasant or harmful behavior from addictions to people pleasing to negativity. Tackling the problem in a simplistic way not grounded in a psychological context, she offers a collection of well-meaning, possibly beneficial exercises for gaining assertiveness, taking positive action, determining what triggers fear, etc. While many strategies seem worthwhile (building strong support networks, fostering self-acceptance, avoiding toxic people), the work feels too gimmicky to be persuasive as a cohesive program. Though the writing is aimed at a mass audience, unfortunately, Britten profiles subjects whose stories are less compelling than her own. (Apr.)
Forecast:Britten's feel-good advice pales in comparison to Don Greene's highly disciplined Fight Your Fear and Win (see review, p. 81), which analyzes the components of successful behavior and appeals more directly to those who want to improve performance. Britten's sales may suffer accordingly. Readers interested in getting in touch with their essential nature , meanwhile, will find more insight in the intelligently written Finding Your Own North Star (Forecasts, Feb. 5).
Release date: 04/01/2001