Excerpt from Self Matters by Dr Phillip McGraw, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Self Matters

Creating Your Life From Inside Out

By Dr Phillip McGraw

Self Matters
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  • Hardcover: Nov 2001,
    320 pages.
    Paperback: May 2003,
    336 pages.

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Question: Is it possible that, just like me, you have a great chance for a tremendously more satisfying and exciting life, but you are selling yourself short and missing out because you don't know it, or, if you do know it, you are just stuck in your life and aren't doing anything about it? Is it possible that you are, in fact, an excitingly unique individual with the need to do and be all of who you are, yet you are denying that powerful individuality and remain bogged down and buried in a world of "responsibility traps" and "don't make waves" conformity?

Well, I'll confess that I'm setting you up, because those are "loaded" questions, and I'm betting the answer to both is, in whole or part, a big fat yes! If I am right, your self-concept is in trouble and you're cheating not only yourself but your children, your spouse, and everyone else in your life, just like I was. Read on and we'll see if I'm right. If I am right, don't despair because, I promise, I'm about to save you those ten years that I wasted. Together we are about to light your life up like you can't believe.

Warning: This is an extremely direct, plain-talking, tell-you-the-unvarnished-truth, common-sense book about how to take control of your entire life. The control I'm talking about is a control that comes from reconnecting with what I call your authentic self. In order to understand what I mean by your authentic self, you need only think back to the times in your life when you have been your best. I'm talking about the absolute happiest time in your life: the most fulfilled and especially the most real you have ever been. Think back to the you at the heart of those moments. In those moments, your life flowed with an energy and an excitement. At the same time, you may have felt a quiet calm within. You may have been at work, but work was play. You probably felt as if you were exactly where you were supposed to be, doing just what you were meant to do, and with exactly the right people. You had an unshakable understanding of your own worth. You trusted yourself. You were having fun, and you didn't care what others thought. There was no room in your life for fear or anxiety or self-doubt. Every part of your life was in harmony with the other parts. You were living fully in the present moment, yet you had a sense of optimism, an expectation that tomorrow was going to be just as interesting and gratifying as today. Life seemed to be filled with vivid colors. Your own life was the most interesting one you knew, and you couldn't wait to see what would happen next. Perhaps most important was the fact that you accepted yourself for who and what you were. The result was a kind of bulletproofing from the judgments of others. Because you felt so good about yourself, because you felt self-determined and in control, you couldn't care less what others thought about you. It was you that mattered, not in a selfish way, but in a confident way. Without judgment you were proud of yourself and walked with a sense of pride and self-assurance. You weren't sure what the future would bring, but you were sure that you could handle it. Self-acceptance was the foundation of the happiest time in your life and it was the engine that powered the train.

Connecting with this authentic self again means finding your way back to the no-kidding, real you that existed before the world started crowding you out. This is a control that comes from the inside out. That means that this is a book about you -- no one else, just you. It is a how-to book that is designed to get you excited about and filling your life with what is genuinely important to you, instead of a lot of mindless, inherited, assigned, go-through-the-motions activity. I'm talking about controlling virtually every aspect of your experience in this world. That means putting your life together in a way that you feel the way you want to feel, do the things you want, and more importantly, need to do. It means putting your life together in a way that you can respect yourself for who you are and what you do. It means you can look in the mirror and know that what is important to you is not being buried in favor of a "go along to get along" mentality. It means you are living in a way that those things you always dreamed of are still alive. It means putting your life together in a way that you don't sit around asking yourself: "What's the point? Why am I doing all of this?" "Life is a bitch and then you die" is not my idea of a good philosophy or life strategy. If you want to be totally, consciously in charge of you and everything you think, do, and feel, and use that control to create value for you, and therefore for everyone around you, you've come to the right place, but there is work to be done.

Copyright © 2001 by Phillip C. McGraw

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