Becoming Real: Defeating the Stories We Tell Ourselves That Hold Us Back

Overview

You are only a fraction of what you could be. You've been living half a life, repeating behaviors you try not to repeat, having difficulty at work, in love, in life. All because there's a story you're not even aware you're telling yourself, a story you made up as a kid to explain the behavior of your parents, the lack of control over your circumstances. This story is keeping you from Authenticity, Personal Freedom, True Strength, Self-Acceptance and Intimacy, the five qualities of Becoming Real. Gail Saltz shows ...
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Overview

You are only a fraction of what you could be. You've been living half a life, repeating behaviors you try not to repeat, having difficulty at work, in love, in life. All because there's a story you're not even aware you're telling yourself, a story you made up as a kid to explain the behavior of your parents, the lack of control over your circumstances. This story is keeping you from Authenticity, Personal Freedom, True Strength, Self-Acceptance and Intimacy, the five qualities of Becoming Real. Gail Saltz shows a simple method for recognizing the signs that a story has taken control, making sense of the contents of the story, and rewriting the story so that you can live life with more freedom and control.

"Turmoil is a good sign. It's the place to begin," writes Saltz. Turmoil shows you that the story you've been telling yourself about how things should be, as opposed to how things actually are, isn't working anymore, and it's the clue you can use to discover the truth. Once you identify the symptoms, you'll be able to discover the story you've been telling yourself that has been holding you back. Questionnaires help us find the story, defeat the defenses that keep us from recognizing it, and rewrite our story so that we don't get caught in the same traps -- the same difficult relationships, the same problems at work, the same issues with family and friends -- over and over again.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Saltz, an assistant professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital appears who weekly on the Today show, provides a guide to a kind of narrative unconscious as it affects decision making. The author says that most people live according to stories about care and need that were created in childhood to help them stay attached to and feel safe with adults who often failed to give what was needed emotionally. Saltz finds five major groups of stories about oneself and others, and names them by their distinguishing traits: dependent, super achiever, self-defeater, competitor, perfectionist. Such descriptors, she finds, lodge in the unconscious and result in self-destructive or nonproductive behavior in relationships and at work, as each type (or a combination of several) is used as a shield to fend off emotional stress. To move beyond these early stories to a more satisfying life, Saltz recommends that one clearly articulate the "old story" and its cost to one now, and then "rewrite" it and act accordingly. Although the author's instructions for undergoing this process are specific and clear, this is not a quick fix self-help book, but is based on psychoanalytic technique that will take time and commitment. Agent, Marly Rusoff at Marly Russof & Associates. (May 10) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573222792
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/6/2004
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Gail Saltz, M.D., is a mental health contributor to the Today show and is a contributing editor for Glamour magazine. She has appeared on Dateline, on CBS News and the Early Show, and on Fox News and Health News, among other television shows, and has been featured in the Associated Press, the New York Times, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, New York magazine, Newsweek, Harper's Bazaar, Redbook, Woman's World, Town & Country, and WebMD.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Chapter 1 The Power of What We Don't Know 9
Chapter 2 The Primary Emotional Stories 27
Chapter 3 How Stories Keep Us from Our True Selves 46
Chapter 4 Every Story Creates a Personality Type: Find Yours 61
Chapter 5 When Your Story Defeats You 96
Chapter 6 Turning Pain into Progress 114
Chapter 7 Four Steps to Defeating Your Story 141
Chapter 8 Defeating the Dependent Story 155
Chapter 9 Defeating the Superachiever Story 163
Chapter 10 Defeating the Self-Defeater Story 172
Chapter 11 Defeating the Competitor Story 179
Chapter 12 Defeating the Perfectionist Story 188
Chapter 13 Ten Roadblocks to Authenticity 198
Chapter 14 Being Real 224
Acknowledgments 239
Index 243
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2005

    Awesome, awesome book!

    I've read many self-improvement books, but this one is simply outstanding (perhaps one of the very best). Gail Saltz is able to explain the most common inner thoughts, human behaviors and emotional stories in such a clear, compelling and easy manner, that taking control over our own circumstances appears achievable and even fun to do. Gail Saltz is able to eliminate the fear that usually involves digging into our own emotional history and encourages change. Excellent book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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