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The First Rule of Mastery: Stop Worrying about What People Think of You

The First Rule of Mastery: Stop Worrying about What People Think of You


Book Overview: The First Rule of Mastery: Stop Worrying about What People Think of You

High-performance psychologist Michael Gervais presents a groundbreaking guide for overcoming what may be the single greatest constrictor of human potential: our fear of people's opinions (FOPO).

FOPO shows up almost everywhere in our lives--and the consequences are great. When we let FOPO take control, we play it safe and small because we're afraid of what will happen on the other side of critique. When challenged, we surrender our viewpoint. We trade in authenticity for approval. We please rather than provoke. We chase the dreams of others rather than our own.

But it doesn't have to be this way.

In The First Rule of Mastery, Michael Gervais shows us that the key to leading a high-performance life is to redirect our attention from the world outside us to the world inside us. He reveals the mental skills and practices we need to overcome FOPO--the same skills he's taught to the top performers in the world, including sports MVPs, world-renowned artists and musicians, and Fortune 100 leaders and teams.

Filled with fascinating stories from the worlds of sports and business, leading-edge science, and insights from the frontier of human performance, The First Rule of Mastery is a much-needed wake-up call that when we give more value to other people's opinions than we do our own, we live life on their terms, not ours.

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PublisherHarvard Business Review Press
Publication Date2023
EditionFirst Edition
Dimensionsin x in x in
Weight lbs

"...Gervais's ability to intertwine theory with actionable strategies make this a worthy addition to collections. Will appeal to a broad, general readership." -- Library Journal

Advance Praise for The First Rule of Mastery:

"I love Mike Gervais--his insights, his straight talk, and his pitch-perfect advice! Mike draws on the latest research and his own practices and principles to explain why we care so much about what other people think of us and what to do about it." -- Angela Duckworth, bestselling author, Grit; cofounder, The Character Lab

"Whether our pursuit of being our best is in business, in parenting, or in sports, Michael Gervais's The First Rule of Mastery helps us place attention on those elements within our control rather than wasting focus and energy on those that are not." -- Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

"With each page, Michael Gervais gently guides us toward a liberating realization: our worth is not defined by the judgments and opinions of others, but by our own self-awareness, passion, and commitment to our craft." -- Misty Copeland, principal dancer, American Ballet Theatre

"The First Rule of Mastery eloquently and convincingly shares modern insights and timeless wisdom to free us from the fear of other people's opinions (FOPO)." -- Brady Brewer, Executive Vice President, Starbucks Corporation

"This book is an indispensable road map to self-mastery for us all." -- Kerri Walsh Jennings, five-time Olympian and four-time medalist

"I so wish I had read this book earlier in my life. This is absolutely a game changer for anyone looking to become their very best self. . . ." -- Julie Foudy, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion; two-time Olympic gold medalist

"An essential read for leaders seeking to inspire a culture of learning over external validation." -- Kathleen Hogan, Chief Human Resources Officer, Microsoft

"This book is a master class on looking inward to determine our own value." -- Apolo Ohno, eight-time Olympic medalist

Michael Gervais, PhD, is a highly respected high-performance psychologist renowned for his groundbreaking work in the field of mental mastery and personal development. Dr. Gervais has a profound understanding of the human psyche and has dedicated his career to helping individuals and organizations unlock their full potential. Earning his PhD from the School of Professional Psychology, he has journeyed through the intersection of neurosciences and the art of excellence, challenging individuals to overcome personal hurdles to achieve success. For more than twenty years, Dr. Gervais has been in the grit of high-stakes and high-performance domains. As the co-founder of Compete to Create, he has influenced a wide range of clients from professional sports teams to Fortune 500 companies, teaching techniques to perform at optimal levels. Viewed as an industry visionary, Dr. Gervais was also engaged as the resident psychologist for the Seattle Seahawks, leading them to their first-ever Super Bowl victory in 2013. A dynamic speaker, Dr. Gervais not only imparts knowledge behind closed doors but also reaches much broader audiences. He hosts the widely popular podcast, "Finding Mastery," where he explores the psychology of excellence by sharing his conversations with world-class performers. His commitment to imparting his knowledge onto others defines him as a thought leader in his field; his approach to individual and team wellness and growth depicts the essence of his philosophy — that all humans have untapped potential waiting to be unleashed.


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