Book Summaries

Book Summary – The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest.

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In The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery, bestselling author Brianna Wiest writes about self-sabotage. Why we do it, when we do it, and how to stop doing it—for good. 

Self-sabotage is when you have two conflicting desires. One is conscious, one is unconscious. You know how you want to move your life forward, and yet you are still, for some reason, stuck.

Leaving your comfort zone

As forest fires are essential to the ecology of the environment—opening new seeds that require heat to sprout and rebuild a population of trees—our minds also go through periodic episodes of positive disintegration, or a cleansing through which we release and renew our self-concept. We know that nature is most fertile and expansive at its perimeters, where climates meet, and we also transform when we reach our edge states, the points at which we are forced to step out of our comfort zones and regroup.

Rock Bottom

When we can no longer rely on our coping mechanisms to help distract us from the problems in our lives, it can feel as though we’ve hit rock bottom. The reality is that this sort of awakening is what happens when we finally come to terms with the problems that have existed for a long time.

The breakdown is often just the tipping point that precedes the breakthrough, the moment a star implodes before it becomes a supernova.

Your Mountain

Just as a mountain is formed when two sections of the ground are forced against one another, your mountain will arise out of coexisting but conflicting needs. Your mountain requires you to reconcile two parts of you: the conscious and the unconscious, the part of you that is aware of what you want and the part of you that is not aware of why you are still holding yourself back.

Without breaks,faults, and gaps, nothing could grow and nothing would become.

The mountain is often less a challenge in front of us as it is a problem within us, an unstable foundation that might not seem evident on the surface but is nonetheless shifting almost every part of our lives.


Self-sabotage is simply the presence of an unconscious need that is being fulfilled by the self-sabotaging behavior. To overcome this, we must go through a process of deep psychological excavation. We must pinpoint the traumatic event, release unprocessed emotions, find healthier ways to meet our needs, reinvent our self-image, and develop principles such as emotional intelligence and resilience.

In the end, self-sabotage is very often just a maladaptive coping mechanism, a way we give ourselves what we need without having to actually address what that need is. But like any coping mechanism, it is just that — a way to cope. It’s not an answer, it’s not a solution, and it does not ever  truly solve the problem. We are merely numbing our desires, and giving ourselves a little taste of temporary relief.

Self Concept

Your self-concept is an idea that you have spent your whole life building. It was created by piecing together inputs and influences from those around you: what your parents believed, what your peers thought, what became self-evident through personal experience, and so on. Your self-image is difficult to adjust, because your brain’s confirmation bias works to affirm your preexisting beliefs about yourself. When we self-sabotage, it is often because we have a negative association between achieving the goal we aspire to and being the kind of person who has or does that thing.

The greatest act of self-love is to no longer accept a life you are unhappy with. It is to be able to state the problem plainly and in a straightforward manner

Homeostatic Impulse

Your subconscious mind has something called a homeostatic impulse, which regulates functions like body temperature, heartbeat, and breathing.

Your subconscious mind is the gatekeeper of your comfort zone. It is also the realm in which you can either habituate yourself to expect and routinely seek the actions that would build and reinforce the greatest success, happiness, wholeness, or healing of your life.


Think of microshifts as tiny increments of change in your day-to-day life. A microshift is changing what you eat for one part of one meal just one time. Then it’s doing that a second time and a third. Before you even realize what’s happening, you’ve adopted a pattern of behavior.

If you want to change your life, you need to make tiny, nearly undetectable decisions every hour of every day until those choices are habituated. Then you’ll just continue to do them. 


The human mind is something called antifragile, which means that it actually gets better with adversity. Like a rock that becomes a diamond under pressure or an immune system that strengthens after repeated exposure to germs, the mind requires stimulation in the form of a challenge. If you deny and reject any kind of real challenge in your life, your brain will compensate by creating a problem to overcome. Except this time, there won’t be any reward at the end. It will just be you battling you for the rest of your life.

Antifragile things need tension, resistance, adversity, and pain to break and transform. We get this by deeply communing with life and being part of it, rather than fearing our emotions and sitting on the sidelines. You can’t stay there forever, nor do you really want to. Embracing the grit of it all was what you were made for. Leanin and start living.

Psychic Thinking isn’t Wisdom

Psychic thinking is assuming you know what somebody else is thinking or what they intend to do. It is assuming that the least likely outcome is the most viable outcome, because you feel it most strongly. It is believing that you have missed out on “another life,” a path you did not choose, that you were possibly more meant for. It is believing that the person with whom you have the most electric connection is your most ideal life partner.

Psychic thinking detaches us from reality. In place of logic, we put emotions, ones that are often incorrect, unreliable, and wholly biased toward what we want to believe.

Faulty Inference

A faulty inference is when you come up with a false conclusion based on valid evidence. This means that what you’re seeing, experiencing, or understanding might be real, but the assumptions that you are piecing together from it are either not real or are highly unlikely. One example is a hasty generalization, which is when you make a claim about an entire group of people based on one or two experiences you’ve had. This is the bias at the base of a lot of racism and prejudice.

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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