Book Review: What’s Really Holding You Back?: Closing the Gap Between Where You Are and Where You Want to Be
Publication Date: Mar 15, 2005
List Price: $14.99 (store prices may vary)
Page Count: 240
Imprint: WaterBrook Press
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
Book Reviewed by Kam Williams
"I strive to help individuals explore their unique path in life- the path that makes the most of their natural gifts and talents, fulfills their life purpose, and leads to extraordinary success in every area of their life. But as I've talked with readers, coaching clients, and friends, I've learned that even those who know their purpose and recognize their path often appear to be paralyzed, unable to make progress towards their goals. Basically, there is a gap between where they are and where they want to be, and an invisible force seems to be holding them back.
Do you feel as if an invisible force is holding you back from reaching your goals and achieving your dreams? The purpose of this book is to identify that force, to determine what's holding you back and then conquer it. It's time for a breakthrough!"
Separation of Church and State notwithstanding, God seems to be enjoying a much more prominent role in our everyday life. For the Red State/Blue State cultural wars are currently being played out in plenty of places previously secular in nature. For instance, judging by its jacket, What's Really Holding You Back? Closing the Gap Between Where You Are and Where You Want to Be appears to a run-of-the-mill, self-help book. Superficially, the most remarkable thing about it, appears to be the attractive black woman on the cover, it's author Valorie Burton.
But I guess you still can't tell a book by its cover, because not only does this how-to offer some very sound advice, but it arrives heavily layered with references to God and Biblical citations. Now, if this work had been released by a publisher of religious texts, I wouldn't have been surprised when I started reading it. However, when the imprint is Random House, this subtle spiritual trend is certainly worthy of note.
That being said, I nonetheless commend Ms. Burton for her having crafted a solid, common sense guide for folks with relationship, employment, weight, health, debt, career, faith or other issues. This is the third book by Valorie, a noted inspirational speaker, syndicated columnist and lifestyle guru.
While I can't find fault with her generic-sounding ideas on avoiding procrastination, controlling your emotions, overcoming fears, eradicating bad habits, dropping friends who drain your energy, maximizing your potential and making meaningful lifestyle changes, I'm just a little suspicious when every strategy is followed with a footnote directing me back to the Bible.
Otherwise, What's Really Holding You Back? turned out to be very well-written and likely worthwhile for anyone stuck in a rut. Just be aware that it's also a thinly-veiled recruitment tool intended to get all you heathens back to Church.