"Self-Help", Help Yourself Get Started

I have been thinking a lot about these two words lately, “Self Help”.  Believe me, I have read several self-help books and have looked into seminars, groups, therapy, etc., to find the magic solution.  Here is what I have discovered, just get started!!  The likelihood of the above mentioned resources being successful are slim to none if you are not willing to jump in and get started.  That is usually the hardest part.  So then what?  Is all hope lost?  Is there no chance for pushing forward or making a better version of you?  Here it is, and this is strictly my opinion on the matter, you have to want it.  It isn’t easy, but that is the point.  If you are waiting for the right moment to jump in, it may never seem like the right moment.  The secret is you have to jump in sometimes when you don’t want to.  You have to push yourself to want it and begin the process.  Here are a few, very simple, tips from my own life experiences, research and advice from some amazing people regarding the topic that can get you started.

·         No matter how you feel, tell yourself you are enough.  No one is perfect, we all have our own limiting & distorted thoughts at times, as well as insecurities and doubts.  When you find your inner critic reminding you about all your imperfections, STOP and repeat these important words, “With all that, I am still enough”.  This may seem awkward in the beginning, but after you do this a few times, believe me you will start believing it. 

·         Make time for yourself.  Sometimes it seems hard to find time to do something for you, but it is important.  Life’s obligations are a big culprit: work, family, friends, avoidance and/or guilt, just to name a few.  Here is the thing, if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?  You deserve a minute of meditation in the morning, a nice run in the afternoon, a day at the spa.  How about this, a day disconnected from everything.  Yes I said it!  Turn off that phone and put your computer, IPad, tablet away. 

·         Start your morning by remembering and being grateful for the good things in your life.  Being grateful actually helps you be happy and healthy.  Doctors Blaire and Rita Justice reported for the University of Texas Health Science Center, “a growing body of research shows that gratitude is truly amazing in its physical and psychosocial benefits." (Robins, 2011)

·         When it comes to prioritizing your obligation to yourself vs. others, it is always situational.  By no means am I suggesting you don’t take your spouse to the doctor’s office when he/she might be seriously hurt.  What I am suggesting is when people make a request for your time, add yourself to the equation of “should I or shouldn’t I?”  If people need your time and energy, you MUST always start by gauging how much you have to give, because it is precious. 

So there are days you are not feeling like heading to the cycling class or taking a moment for yourself because it seems impossible, start small.  Even if you incorporate one of the above suggestions in your life’s hectic schedule, it will make a difference!