Defeating Self Defeat

12 Ways to Get Out of Your Own Way

Dr. Mark Goulston

Dr. Mark Goulston

Former FBI Negotiator Trainer & UCLA Professor

  • Overview
  • Episodes
  • Recommended for you


One of the greatest tragedies is having your life be less than it could be. Mark Goulston is a former UCLA professor of psychiatry and FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer, as well as a widely read author who has been featured in The Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, and Business Insider. Partly adapted from his best-selling book Get Out of Your Own Way, these 12 lessons will help you defeat the self-defeating behavior that is keeping your life from being what it could be.

What You'll Learn

  • Strategies for overcoming procrastination
  • Better ways of relating to other people
  • Skills for approaching major problems and opportunities  


13 Episodes



1. Procrastination


What if you’re not lazy, you’re just lonely?

2. Taking Things Too Personally


Try out the 72-hour rule for the times when you feel offended or hurt.

3. Not Learning from Your Mistakes


Reparent yourself to stop being afraid of failure.

4. Quitting Too Soon


Widen your perspective of past experiences to evaluate whether you should or shouldn’t quit current (or future) undertakings.

5. Trying to Change Others


It’s impossible. So why do we try so hard? Learning why will help us to stop.

6. Holding onto a Grudge


Learn why we hold grudges in the first place, and how forgiveness is accepting the apology you will never receive.

7. Thinking “I’m sorry” is enough


Practice the three A’s of an effective apology.

8. Talking Too Much


Use the Traffic Light Rule to stop talking before the other person stops listening.

9. Feeling Sorry for Yourself


Support groups solve the problem that self-pity is trying and failing to solve.

10. Making Bad Situations Worse


Try out the 72-hour rule to let breakdowns lead to breakthroughs.

11. Taking and Not Taking No for an Answer


Use surgical empathy to turn “No” into an opportunity, instead of a source of awkwardness.

12. Letting Fear Run Your Life


Find courage using stories from your past to unlock the way forward.

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