From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
That's why this book is so valuable. It breaks down the cycle of expectation - effort - undesired result - failure and explains, in no uncertain terms, the "formula" for knowing who you are; not who other people SAY you are, not who you THINK you should be, but who you are at the CORE. I consider this book a hands on tool to evaluate and understand YOU. It's especially helpful for those who feel any or all of the following:
1. I have spent so much of my life trying to please others and live up to their expectations, that I have forgotten and neglected who I truly am.
2. When I do muster up the courage to do something for myself, (take on a new hobby, career, etc.) I feel guilty that doing so would be taking time away from my family and/or responsibilities to others.
3. I have bought into the labels others have placed on me instead of defining myself on my own terms. I have become what others said I would become.
4. I know there is so much more I could be doing with my life, but I don't have ______ (the finances, the support of others, the time, the energy, etc.) so I guess I have to just accept my lot in life and deal with it.
These are just of the few indications that this book is appropriate for you. It's helpful for anyone who is not living life to the fullest and cannot break the ties that bind from the past which confine them and hold them back from experiencing life in all its wonder.
Finally, and very importantly, this book is written in candid form. It is interactive with self-tests that will bring to light things about yourself you may have never considered before. Dr. McGraw gives you a clear cut, no nonsense schematic of how to go from point A to point B without all the psycho-babble and cuts straight to the chase, which is just the way I like it.
I would not recommend the abridged version. Make sure when ordering that the title does not indicate "abridged." Also, if you purchase any other titles by this author, consider ordering the accompanied "workbook" when available.
Dr. Phil's main point is simple: a person may be unhappy and tormented by internal pain but we create our lives "from the inside out." We have one shot on this earth and face a simple choice: are we going to live our lives as we would truly like to live them or are we going spend our time here being defined, "typecast," hammered down, discouraged, de-energized -basically, CONTROLLED -- by outside forces(relatives, friends, expectations and past events)? Do you live according to what he calls the "authentic self" or do you live a life and identity others have given you, much like a casting director fills a part? And how to do you find out what you REALLY want and who you REALLY are (not how friends and relatives typecast you)?
Here are several big reasons why you MUST buy Self Matters:
1. DR. PHIL WALKS THE WALK: He changed his life. Originally he'd start each day unexcited, not proud of who he was since "everything I was doing was chosen to please other people by meeting their expectations while totally ignoring my own...I knew I wasn't living the life I was meant to live." He realized he had "betrayed who I was and instead accepted a fictional substitute that was defined from the outside in. I betrayed myself, and mine was a life and an experience that was a fraud and a fiction."
2.HE GIVES YOU SPECIFICS THAT IMMEDIATELY GET ANSWERS: He writes
in "tough love" style, including exercises and tests that help you take stock of who you REALLY are. He helps you painstakingly trace the key influences in your life, defining moments (good and bad), influential people, pivotal choices you made that led to who you are now -- and then shows you how to make NEW choices and create NEW behaviors to create new, more productive results...and live the life you were truly MEANT to live.
3. USE IT AS POTENT MENTAL SELF DEFENSE for when people try to force you into roles or define you as THEY wish to define you -- whether in the job they expect you to do, the personality traits and flaws they insist you to have, the negative predictions they make about you or your success. "You can't be you if you don't know you," he writes.
4. IT WILL CALM YOU: Living for your fictional self, he writes, "is a dangerous state of being that diverts, absorbs, and robs your life energy." People "sell out" and get used to "living an assigned role, rather than living " to who they really are.
5. IT HELPS YOU DISRUPT MENTAL TERRORISTS IN YOUR LIFE: He teaches you to be acutely aware of the negative mental "tapes(values, beliefs and experiences) constantly playing over and over in your head, limiting you. And, most IMPORTANTLY: how to detect "life scripts" that others may be forcing on you --a set of instructions telling you how to run your life, based on THEIR fixed beliefs...including how things will turn out for you (more often then not you are given the message that you will fail or risk or change is doomed and these will be stated to you as FACT and reality).
6. MY PERSONAL TESTIMONY ON HIS IDEAS: Twelve years before reading this book I quit nearly 20 years in journalism to become an entertainer (ventriloquist). I now realize in reading Self Matters that I unknowingly had applied his techniques. They WORK. And I have no regrets. But the biggest problem I have since faced are "tapes" still playing in my head, put on "play" by others, who constantly also bombard me with the life's scripts drawn up many years ago, defining me THEIR way.
I bought Self Matters while being battered by relatives' life's scripts. These activated my internal mental "tapes," bigtime. Reading this book saved me from immobilizing depression this summer. After reading Self Matters, to my genuine surprise, I could quickly pinpoint when the internal "tapes" played, and when I was being pressured to be the character cast in one of their "scripts" (typecast in countless ways). I realized it did not reflect reality. Today they still try to define me with life scripts drawn up decades ago. But it's harder for them to succeed : I know who I am INSIDE -- and it's not who they think I am. I think they'll just have to cast another actor...
Well, I couldn't help myself: this book is chock full of good stuff.
Not only that, Dr. Phil's voice rings through his writing so clearly that I can literally hear him talking to me as I read!
The approach in the book is very much a step-by-step approach working with a foundation of gathering evidence from defining moments in your life and then creating a plan of action through taking action upon positive, empowering choices instead of being "stuck" in the quagmire of your negative life history.
Dr. Phil reminds us to "Know your history so you can walk out of it."
He tells on himself more than once, describing his own episodes of "creative stupidity" which had me howling with laughter.
Another lightbulb moment for me and a pure "Dr. Philism" was the
reality that we are, in every moment, contributing or contaminating our relationships. Wow. That alone is worth the purchase of the book: especially in reading the supportive paragraphs.
Like I said earlier, I didn't WANT to like this book. The main problem there is too much tangible substance that I can use to apply to my life in a positive way that I can't help myself in giving it a high rating.