I COULD DO ANYTHING IF ONLY I KNEW WHAT IT WAS

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I COULD DO ANYTHING IF ONLY I KNEW WHAT IT WAS

Postby BarbaraSher » Thu Dec 20, 2001 10:38 pm

> December 12, 2001

Hello Barbara.
My Mother recently presented me with a copy of your book I COULD DO ANYTHING IF I ONLY KNEW WHAT IT WAS. She has been watching me (and supporting me) as I transition from teaching to???? (she's also a gigantic fan of yours!) Anyway, on page 21 you write "Do it first, learn how second" and well, I'm doing just that! I've been writing a book ...and now I am in the process of putting together a class/workshop proposal for the local Adult Education Program. The program coordinators are interested in my idea and would like to hear more. I was wondering if by chance, I would be allowed to mention your book and use some of the goal writing techniques from it? I'm not sure if this is legal and wanted to double check before 'bragging about your book!' If I could mention your name and present some parts of your book in my course, I'm sure my presentation will be a success as I find your advice, your writing, and your ideas truly inspirational.
Please let me know your thoughts and thanks for what you do.

(I said Okay, of course.)
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Postby BarbaraSher » Thu Dec 20, 2001 10:44 pm

My friend recommended your book I Could Do Anything because his > friend in New York said it was the turning point in his life which enabled him > to create his own career. His therapist worked with him diligently from your > book.
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Postby BarbaraSher » Thu Dec 20, 2001 10:45 pm

> I just discovered your wonderful book "I Could Do Anything..." and am finally > feeling hopeful about my next-step career moves.
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Postby BarbaraSher » Thu Dec 20, 2001 11:11 pm

> > Barbara: > > I am a big fan. I have read Wishcraft and I Could do Anything...more than > once. I have bought many copies of each which I gave away, before I developed > the lending book concept. I now have copies to lend plus my own. I'm going > to read your other books, now that I know about them. > When my daughter was about 10 we used to have mall races. You pick a finish line and say, Go! Then you race to the spot, but you have to step in every > single floor tile. There is a lot of exertion and laughter, but not much > forward movement. People nudge each other and smile. When you're done you > buy one fresh-baked cookie and a soda apiece. > > It's wonderful when you find someone else who understands.
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Postby BarbaraSher » Sun Mar 17, 2002 11:58 am

Amazon.com reviews -- I decided to move them here so you could see them easily. The most recent are first. Thanks to everyone who wrote them! Today's rank is 1296. Pretty good!

One of the best books I have ever read, March 1, 2002
Reviewer: Serona Elton from New York, NY United States
I have spent many hours agonizing about what I want to be 'when I grow up'... even though I am already grown up. I have read many books about how to analyze your skills and the job market. Those books only skim the surface of the issue.

This is the ONLY book I have read that speaks to the heart of the matter -- the reason you do not know what you want to do. You will absolutely find yourself on the pages of this book, wondering if the author somehow has been spying on you.

This is the only book I have read that I have gone back into and highlighted passages of to read and re-read. Buy it. Read it. Read it again. ...until you are truly happy with what you are doing.

The world's best career advice, February 4, 2002
Reviewer: Saima Huq from Washington, DC United States
This book was published right when I graduated college and I bought it on impulse. THE BEST THING I EVER DID! Barbara Sher demonstrates marvelous insight in a witty writing style that forces the reader to face themself and what they really want, and challenges them to set a date to achieve their most heartfelt desire. Getting what you want is SCARY -- you have to face that fear or all you will do is stagnate! Sher recognizes this and sets forth different introspective exercises to help the reader figure out what it is they really want and are not admitting to themself.

Then she gives tips on recruiting your friends to help you stick to your goal of finding work you really love. Best of all, she recognizes that people will actually have many different careers throughout life --- life is long, despite the popular adage --- and that you can indeed achieve all that you really want. If you're ready for a change, Sher shows you how.

January 26, 2002
Reviewer: Chris (see more about me) from Upstate NY
Maybe you're just out of college wondering how you ended up with a business degree when you hate business. Or you've been spending way too much time on the job/in life daydreaming about some other job or life. Or maybe, like me, all seems right with your world, but you have a nagging feeling there's something else you should be doing. Barbara Sher's book will help you sort it all out. She'll help you figure out what's at the root of these feelings and how to understand and handle them. Through a series of exercises, explanations and examples she guides you to discover just what it is that you truly want to do. And then she shows you how to get to do what you want.

You have to be ready to do a little psychological work on yourself, think hard about your past and realistically about your future. You have to be ready to put aside the excuses and fears, and Sher knows them all, and commit yourself to working towards the life you want to live. If you're looking for something easier, like tests or checklists to tell you what you should be doing, this book might not sound like it's for you. But buy it anyway. I read all the books with the tests, the checklists, the affirmations and the goal making, etc... and they got me nowhere. This book finally got me somewhere.


Not a Career/Vocational Guide, January 22, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Burke, VA USA If you are looking at this book as a way of finding a new career or vocation you are way off base. This book is about finding out what you want to do with your life not what job you want to do. Sure, there are chapters that deal with jobs but the main point of the book is that you can find what will truly fulfill you in life. Your job (the thing you do to make money) is not who you are - it's just the thing you do so you can finance your life. Barbara Sher wants your life to be worth financing and your job to be rewarding too. Who can fault her for that?

Stands out from the sea of self-help baloney books,

January 3, 2002
Reviewer: zzzshopper (see more about me) from Quiet Little Town, USA
I am an incorrigible hater of the self-help genre, because imho self-help publishing industry is a den of thieves preying on human misery and confusion who provide no value whatsoever except a 5-min feel-good "high", and in fact don't shy away from telling harmful lies. I'm not a s.-h. junkie but I believe I've had enough exposure to be qualified to make this statement.

Now, why am I bringing this up? I'm bringing this up because this is the first s.-help book that not only is worth something but moreover, is quite good. It's truly unique in that, and it is for that reason that I gave it five stars, even though it's far from flawless when evaluated in its own right.

Even though the book claims to have a slant towards adult career changers, I think it is *more* useful to the young (along with a few reviewers below, I sincerely regret I didn't have it in my hands some 15 years ago.)

The reason: this book's main achievement is correct, exact, and well worded insight into the state of mind of people exasperated by their career tribulations. If you're older than 25/30, you will utter many HOW-TRUE!s, OH-YEAs, and AHAs when reading this book - you'll recognise yourself many times and you'll have many of your guesses/vague (yet) feelings clearly and precisely articulated for you.

And this is why it's good for the young, I think: a young person can properly prepare for likely worklife experiences BEFORE he has, so to speak, "paid his dues" and thus acquired this capability to AHA over this book. He'll be able to avoid spending too much time in consternation. However, if I were to evaluate this book in full detachement from the similarly targeted works, I'd give it a four, rather than a five. That is because while it will give a good general-psychological advice and offer many tricks in that department, it is not *ultimately* practical. When you're through, you'll feel better equipped mentally and somewhat more serene than you were before reading it, BUT! practically you'll still have to find out what and how and even whether to do your thing and decide (on your own) if you're not an idiot after all to even contemplate whatever you're contemplating.

No guarantees or super-confidence in the method come from this book, it's still too general, it leaves you about where you were before - though, I stress, in a much better shape. Here, for example: the many case stories of those ubiquitous "John M, 31, photographer" and "Suzan F, 45, CEO of blah blah company" have many gaps in all important places that'll make you wonder if it isn't all works of fiction. I wish this kind of books were written fully responsibly - based on verifiable research rather than unsubstantiated reports on some virtual personalities that look like they may have been made up to fit the theory. Not that I know it's the case, of course... One can't help but wonder though.

That aside, this little book, overall, is head and shoulders above the rest, and anyone will benefit from reading it - slowly and carefully. Again: especially the young. Give it to your son/daughter/niece - forewarned is forearmed - you'll save them tons of wasted time and, potentially, psychological turmoil.

I think the last reviewer read a different book!
, July 9, 2001
Reviewer: Heather Wardell (see more about me) from Markham, ON Canada
"I could do anything if I only knew what it was" is NOT about blaming anyone in any way. It is about analysing yourself, to see what you liked doing and were good at back throughout your life (and I was only 27 when I used it, so you don't have to be able to go that far 'back'!) It's an absolutely wonderful book, which saved me from a dull and unfulfilling but high-paying career. I'm now in one that I ADORE and am great at. Well worth reading!

Blame Your Parents!, June 9, 2001 Reviewer: A reader from Wilton, CT USA This is another touchy-feely book for people who need to feel that their problems are the results of their parents child-rearing techniques. It's a promotional guide for therapy that gives no practical help that I could tell.

However, it does give some interesting anecdotes and insights into human behavior and should help the reader identify just where their parents went wrong.

Help for the vocationally clueless,
May 26, 2001
Reviewer: k_b (see more about me) from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
A lot of people had told Barbara Sher that her book "Wishcraft," about getting what you want, was of little use to them because they didn't know what they wanted. So she wrote this book for those of us who need help figuring out what we want. After three introductory chapters, the remaining eleven chapters discuss eleven different forms of resistance to knowing what you want. I suspect that most readers will, as I did, find a few of the chapters especially relevant and won't bother reading past the opening sentences of some other chapters.

I particularly related to the chapters about being afraid to commit to something prematurely, and about not being interested in anything at all. There's also a chapter for you if you're afraid to take risks; if you're afraid of succeeding and leaving your loved ones behind; if you want too many different things; if you're succeeding spectacularly at something you don't really want; if you feel that what you really want is trivial or unworthy; if you've just been through a big life change and don't know what to do next; if you had a dream but it's become unattainable; if you resist doing anything ordinary or mundane; and if you're trying hard to love something you don't really want.

Lost Adult, April 10, 2001
Reviewer: A reader from Tigard, OR United States
This book actually got me to the point of putting in writing what I want to do... now, do I think I will actually do it? I guess thats up to me. the truth is - i'm a "scanner." but I'm a scanner whos stuck in a "good" job - meaning its high-paying - and for me to go off and "scan" the other things I'm so interested in would mean a great loss of stability for me... I DID definitely recognize myself in the pages. Just being able to define my style and know that theres others like me helps me feel better. I don't know what I'll do with this knowledge - but I guess at least I know why my heart tells me I'm in the wrong place at my job...
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Postby BarbaraSher » Fri May 10, 2002 3:10 pm

Your insights into human nature (mine especially) are uncanny. How did you learn all that? I believe you're some kind of genius. I especially like the way you get your tough and tender voice into everything. AS
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Postby BarbaraSher » Thu Jul 25, 2002 10:44 am

Barbara, All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. I am slightly overwhelmed with your book, "I could do anything..." Finally, I am able to see self-respect just beginning to replace shame, and satisfaction beginning to replace feelings of worthlessness. I realize I've only just begun, but it's a start...and I wanted to start by expressing pure gratitude for stumbling on your book last week. I consider that day to be the first day I really began to live a normal, healthy life. That's all I can say right now. (I'll tell you more somday, but right now, I have work to do!!) Thanks for this feeling of complete emotional support. It's really remarkable what that does to a person. God bless you. And thank you!
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Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Nov 12, 2002 10:22 am

Dear Barbara
I just recently read your book "I Could Do Anything" and I wanted to share my experience. I used to worked in the not for profit sector. I went back to school at 30 and went into the private sector. I went from work that gave me an incredible sense of purpose to work that met my entrepreneurial needs but not my sense of contributing. For 10 years now I have been struggling with the question of what next. I've made all the poor people around suffer greatly.

I had always been a person of action and had found myself very stuck and losing self-esteem rapidly. I took quite a few self-help courses and were excellent, read lots of books and yet I still could not make a move. Nothing ever felt right, like it had in the not for profit sector. Everyone said go back to what you were doing but something just felt wrong about doing that.

Here is where the story changes. I read your book and it got me moving. This even amazes me considering all the things that I had tried to get myself unstuck. But along came your book and not only did I read it but I read it from cover to cover and did all the exercises. I loved the whole book. You spoke to me. I related to your style, which is more about being real and telling the truth even if it isn't all pretty. It truly was great.

But what moved me was your commitment section. I read your 30 Day [Temporary-Permanent] Commitment and gave it a try and it worked. I choice, ironically, to do my own career exploration workshop. I had a fair amount of training and > facilitation behind me and I had taken all of the coaching courses from CTI and yet doing my own workshop was very threatening to me. The 30 day commitment allowed me to let go of the voices and as you say just do it because you said it was important.

The negative voices were huge. I wrote them all down but just kept going. I booked the dates of the workshop, sent out a group email, booked a room and then made it happen. It was scary, amazing, terrifying and energizing. I felt like I was being awakened from a big sleep. Best of all I used a lot of your concepts which I of course credited you with and highly suggested your book.

I have a lot to learn but for the most part I believe, based on evaluations, that the workshop was a success. I am started to plan my next workshop in September. My reason for contacting you was to tell you the impact your book on my life. I can only admire and be humbled by anyone who had the power to move me after 10 years of being stuck. So thank you. My friends thank you too.
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Re: I COULD DO ANYTHING IF ONLY I KNEW WHAT IT WAS

Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:07 pm

Name: christine n. Idaho Dear Barbara: I felt prompted to write you because I read "I Could Do Anything..." and found it to be the most helpful book, practically speaking, that I have ever read...What you are really doing, is healing, straight and simple. Have you realized this? I never imagined that that would be what this book is about, but I am forever grateful that it is. You are a healer!
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Re: I COULD DO ANYTHING IF ONLY I KNEW WHAT IT WAS

Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:03 pm

Of all the books focusing on career development, yours stand out for their substance and worth. Thanks again Barbara. Matthew San Diego
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Re: I COULD DO ANYTHING IF ONLY I KNEW WHAT IT WAS

Postby BarbaraSher » Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:36 pm

City: Melbourne Country: Australia Permission: Ok to publish Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm reading your book, "I could do anything, If only I knew what it was" I'm 22, and since I finished High School, I have been "drifting". Your book has giving me insight and direction. You have done more for me within the first 95 pages, than my psychologist has done within 3 years. My relationship with my parents, my self sabotage, my anxiety about the unknown, my drifting life. Before I didn't want to climb out of bed, now I want to climb every mountain, with a smile on my face. I never thought a book would be so difficult to read, I can't wait to take on every challenge, it will be great. My life will be great. Thank you. Leon.
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Re: I COULD DO ANYTHING IF ONLY I KNEW WHAT IT WAS

Postby BarbaraSher » Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:57 pm

Best Book I Ever Read!, July 14, 2007 By Rachael Woods "Booker Maid" (USA) - See all my reviews

This book covered every question I could think of about life transition like: (1) What do I really love and what do I want to do with the rest of my life? (2) What's keeping me from moving forward in my life? (3) What is resistance and where does it come from? (4) What part of me is my real-self and why has it been in hiding so long? (5) Why is action better than analysis when I'm in a low mood? (6) How to move beyond a hurtful past. (7) How to overcome narcissistic tendencies. (8) How to claim and create a new life for myself.

Barbara Sher demonstrates how understanding that there is a reason for everything and finding that reason, can literally transform one's life. She encourages compassionate understanding as opposed to deep analysis of problems. She supplies creative, fun exercises that help target and clarify the answers to a myriad of questions. Her suggestions are priceless, like how to create your own support system.

This book is an artful fusion of creative career counseling, wise therapy, motivational inspiration and plain old common sense teaching. I've never seen so much information given away in one book. You'd think it would have taken her a lifetime to write. Thank you Ms. Sher for the best book I have ever read!
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