This book is an exploration of self-defeating behaviors and how to overcome them. These behaviors include procrastination, overeating, chronic disorganization, staying in bad situations, excessive worrying, risk taking, passive aggression and self-medication and many more.
The author draws on psychology and brain science to understand why we engage in self-defeating behaviors and how to overcome them through a better understanding of how our brains are “wired” and how we can “re-wire” them. He calls our propensities to engage in these behaviors our “undertow”.The author, a psychotherapist, describes the mind as divided between a conscious self and an automatic self. Many of our self-defeating behaviors are rooted deeply in the automatic self (subconscious). Habits are formed largely in this automatic self. Bad habits are in fact “wired” into your brain and this makes them difficult to overcome. To overcome bad habits we must learn to re-wire our brain.