You Are Not Your Brain Book Summary - You Are Not Your Brain Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

You Are Not Your Brain summary

Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding

The Four-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life

4.5 (329 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

You Are Not Your Brain by Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding is a guide to overcoming negative thoughts and behaviors by reprogramming your brain. It provides practical tools to break free from automatic thinking patterns and take control of your life.

Table of Contents

    You Are Not Your Brain
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    Your brain sends you false messages, but you aren’t defined by them.

    Do you ever find yourself caught up in things you don’t want to be doing, or feel helpless when you “go” somewhere, emotionally and mentally, that you don’t want to be?

    We all experience these slips and it results from deceptive brain messages that breed false thoughts or harmful impulses, which lead us astray from our true goals and intentions. Not only that, but deceptive brain messages cause problems such as overthinking and anxiety.

    Consider one of the authors’ clients. He was a talented Broadway performer when his deceptive brain messages started to coerce him into believing he was unworthy of any good coming to him. Eventually, this led to him suffering from intense stage fright as well as fear of rejection for years.

    Aside from stemming from his childhood experiences, he was impacted by one specific experience when he was twenty years old: he froze in front of a famous Broadway producer. And since then, his brain had been ignoring his positive qualities and honing in on his imperfections.

    He paid attention to these discomforting false messages and, as a result, he started avoiding auditions completely – an unhealthy chronic response which only reinforced the messages in his brain that he was no good!

    But he isn’t defined by these deceitful messages, and you aren’t by yours either.

    Even though it may appear that we have no choice but to follow what our brain tells us, we must remember our biology isn’t our destiny.

    You aren’t fated to live a life based on your genes. You actually have the power to break through many of the obstacles you inherit by changing the way your brain works.

    Want to see all full key ideas from You Are Not Your Brain?

    Key ideas in You Are Not Your Brain

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is You Are Not Your Brain about?

    You Are Not Your Brain explores our deceptive brain messages which program us to have harmful thoughts such as “I’m not good enough.” And it tells us how we can change this detrimental wiring by challenging these brain messages and focusing our attention elsewhere. In doing so, we can rewire our brain to make it work for us, not against us.

    You Are Not Your Brain Review

    You Are Not Your Brain (2012) is a thought-provoking book that challenges our understanding of the brain and offers practical strategies for overcoming negative thoughts and behaviors. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • With its empowering techniques, it teaches readers how to rewire their brain and take control of their lives.
    • The book provides real-life examples and relatable stories, making the content accessible and compelling.
    • Through its engaging explanations of neuroplasticity and mindfulness, the book effortlessly captivates readers' interest.

    Best quote from You Are Not Your Brain

    Clearly, the brain can exert a powerful grip on ones life — but only if you let it.

    —Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding
    example alt text

    Who should read You Are Not Your Brain?

    • Anyone who wants to deal with their negative thoughts effectively
    • Anyone whose brain could use some rewiring
    • Anyone who is interested in the practical implications of neuropsychology

    About the Author

    Jeffrey M. Schwartz is a medical doctor and research psychiatrist at the UCLA School of Medicine. His research focuses on the field of self-directed neuroplasticity and its application to obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Rebecca Gladding is a medical doctor and was a clinical instructor and attending psychiatrist at UCLA. Her expertise lies in mindfulness, anxiety and depression.

    Categories with You Are Not Your Brain

    Book summaries like You Are Not Your Brain

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    You Are Not Your Brain FAQs 

    What is the main message of You Are Not Your Brain?

    The main message of You Are Not Your Brain is that we have the power to change our thoughts, behaviors, and lives.

    How long does it take to read You Are Not Your Brain?

    The reading time for You Are Not Your Brain varies, but it will take a few hours. However, you can read the Blinkist summary in just 15 minutes.

    Is You Are Not Your Brain a good book? Is it worth reading?

    You Are Not Your Brain is a valuable book that offers practical insights into understanding and controlling our thoughts. It's definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of You Are Not Your Brain?

    The authors of You Are Not Your Brain are Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding.

    What to read after You Are Not Your Brain?

    If you're wondering what to read next after You Are Not Your Brain, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Reclaim Your Brain by Joseph A. Annibali
    • The Ultimate Introduction to NLP by Richard Bandler
    • Rewire by Richard O'Connor
    • Neuro-linguistic Programming for Dummies by Romilla Ready and Kate Burton
    • Stress Resets by Jennifer L. Taitz
    • Fluent In 3 Months by Benny Lewis
    • The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • Untangle Your Emotions by Jennie Allen
    • Soundtracks by Jon Acuff