The Importance of Self-help.

Essay by sy_124 November 2005

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Everybody has something about themselves and their lives they would like to change. I'm not talking about, "Gee, I need to loose a few pounds," or, "One of these days I really should start going to the gym." I'm talking about things that would change the fundamentals of the person's life.

There are books and specialists and therapy groups and medications for virtually everything that ails us these days, emotionally or physically. But there are also people who have 'tried everything,' and still never achieve the change they're after. These people are missing one thing: self-help.


Not the kind of self-help the gurus say you will master in the course of their 'intensive three-day workshops' (that usually cost three months' wages). I mean the simple moment in a changed persons' life when they decide, once and for all, to take control of their lives. Maybe they decide they need help to do it, and they go to meetings or read books and take pills.

But the fundamental difference between the person who changes and the person who always seems to be running in place is the realization that they, themselves, are responsible for the change. These are the people who can look in the mirror, and give a harsh appraisal of their own weaknesses, and walk away feeling better, and stronger, for having done so. People who can face their fears, and move beyond them.

Fear is usually the only thing stopping a person from changing. Whether it's fear of ridicule or judgment (usually from well meaning relatives who say things like, "Oh, what a nice idea, but you've never been much good at that sort of thing, dear"), or fear of failure (Why leave your boring steady job to start a business that might leave you bankrupt?),