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Customer Review

98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Right on target: Dr. Phil's system is easy and it WORKS, September 15, 2002
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This review is from: Self Matters : Creating Your Life from the Inside Out (Hardcover)
I'm one of the few who has not seen Dr. Phil on TV except for brief bits and I have not read his other books. I bought this book because of its title, good reviews, and because I was undergoing severe problems with relatives that forced me to do research. Buying Self Matters was the BEST DECISION on a self-help book that I EVER made.
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."
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...
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