Does Self Help Do You Any Good?

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 Does Self Help Do You Any Good?

Does Self Help Do You Any Good?

I recently read an article on the BBC'sSubliminal Tracks ReviewInternational News website - Self Help Makes You Feel Worse. The article cited new Canadian university research and stated that people with "low self-esteem actually felt worse" as a result of what the article's author obviously considered to be practicing self-help. The article went on to explain that the University of New Brunswick and the University of Waterloo had measured research participants' moods after they had repeated "I am a lovable person". The researchers' conclusion was that "self-help" only works for people with high self-esteem and, in fact, makes people with low self-esteem feel worse.

The problem is that repeating "I am a lovable person" to yourself - when the facts of your daily life suggest otherwise - is not self-help, it's self-delusion. It's just like the magical illusion where the magician saws his beautiful assistant in two - we all see it happen but we know in our heart and soul that the theatre isn't littered with bloodied body parts!! The researchers in question appear to me to have been a little naive.

If you don't believe your own self-worth in your heart and soul, no amount of trite self-affirmation will fix you up. Of course you'll feel worse for the experience because you'd tried to convince yourself that you were a "lovable person" (or whatever other nonsense you might repeat to yourself) and not only have you proved that such nonsense doesn't work - you've proved yourself right, all over again, that you're not, in fact, a "lovable person"!

So, self-affirmation is next to useless - but it's got very little to do with true self-help that can, to quote from Nelson Mandela, "liberate us from our own fears" and enable us "shine our light" for all the world to see. First things first - as I've just said, self-affirmation is just smoke and mirrors that make no difference to the quality of your life, your self-image, your success or happiness. Why? Because self-affirmation is addressed to the conscious mind - the part of our mind where we do our thinking. But it's our subconscious mind where we do our doing. Seventy years research proves conclusively that your subconscious mind creates your behaviour and reactions and, as a result, creates your life and who you think you are. It's in your subconscious mind that you hold your beliefs - in your heart and soul, so to speak.

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