The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness by Dr Steve Peters

The Chimp Paradox
The Chimp Paradox
The Chimp Paradox


Publication Date:
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: ISBN10: 009193558X ISBN13: 9780091935580
Synopsis: The Chimp Paradox is a self help book about overcoming fear, anger, and lack of confidence in order to regain control of your life and emotions.
Availability: This book is available from online retailers and in all major bookstores in hardback, paperback, and ebook format.



Total Score

User Rating
1 total rating



The book has sound theories and is clear, interesting, and well-written.


It is guilty of the occasional self-help cliché.

Bottom Line

Self help books can seem to blend into one another. This book takes a different, more authoritative approach and is much more effective as a result.

Posted June 13, 2014 by

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The Chimp Paradox

Dr Steve Peters is a leading psychiatrist who has worked with a diverse range of athletes including Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, and Ronnie O’Sullivan. His book is geared towards those experiencing a lack of confidence in their personal and professional lives, and aims to help people overcome the impulses that prevent them from fulfilling their full potential. The Chimp Paradox claims to offer a “mind management” programme that will allow readers to conquer their fears and order their minds, therefore allowing for success.

The book is based on the theory that our minds are made up of three elements: the Human, the Chimp, and the Computer. According to Dr Peters, the Chimp is representative of the irrational mess that is human emotion. The other two parts of the mind are the Human (the rational “you”) and the Computer (where we store data). The Chimp is strong but, using the methods in the book, it can be tamed. The purpose of the book is to allow the Human to come to the forefront, preventing the Chimp from forcing us to leap to conclusions and form irrational fears. While this is going on, the book also aims to undo the damage caused to the Computer after years of false information being filtered through the irrational Chimp.

Does this all make sense? Possibly not, but the book certainly does. Peters has a knack for taking complex psychological concepts and breaking them down into digestible analogies, allowing you to work through these issues at your own pace without feeling intimidated. The main focuses of The Chimp Paradox are overcoming fear, taking responsibility, accepting fundamental truths about the world (laid out in the book) and building confidence. Attaining happiness and coping with stress are also emphasised as end goals.

So what separates The Chimp Paradox from the thousands of other self-help books out there? Well, a number of things. Although it is guilty of slipping into what can be termed stereotypical self-help language (The Guiding Moon being one example), the book is still entertaining and compelling. It is also hard to doubt the pedigree of the author: prior to the 2012 Olympics Dr Peters received a lot of praise for his work with Team GB, and he is highly respected in his field. Unlike many self-help authors, Dr Peters gives the reader faith that he knows exactly what he is talking about and has based his work on years of research and experience.

If you are looking for a self help book that will enable you to make actual progress without drowning you in jargon and sentimentality, The Chimp Paradox is a great choice. If you are interested in actually reading about chimps, you may have come to the wrong place.

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Mary D

Mary D


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