The Self Matters Companion: Helping You Create Your Life From the Inside Out

Overview

Since the publication of Self Matters, I have talked to many of you about the journey to uncovering your Authentic Self. I have heard about the challenges that journey has presented, but also about the joy regained from stripping away the years of fear, failing, and judgment. You cannot effectively communicate what you need if you do not know what those needs are, so find out RIGHT NOW. The Self Matters Companion was created to bring you further along in that process and is a book that I hope will challenge you ...

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Overview

Since the publication of Self Matters, I have talked to many of you about the journey to uncovering your Authentic Self. I have heard about the challenges that journey has presented, but also about the joy regained from stripping away the years of fear, failing, and judgment. You cannot effectively communicate what you need if you do not know what those needs are, so find out RIGHT NOW. The Self Matters Companion was created to bring you further along in that process and is a book that I hope will challenge you to stop living the life that the world had assigned you and to start living by design. Enjoy the journey!
— DR. PHILLIP C. McGRAW

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For this handsome volume, the truth truly is in the title: it's the sidekick to "Dr. Phil's" bestselling Self Matters. The author asks readers to re-read chapters from his previous book before doing the exercises in this one; hence, without a copy of Self Matters, this workbook won't do much good. Disappointingly-and despite its fairly high price-this book is half empty (it leaves space for the reader to scribble answers to its questions) and needlessly repetitive. The exercises themselves ask solid, garden-variety questions (typical examples include lingering ellipses such as, "I am happiest when... " and "A time when I felt really special to someone was when I... "). McGraw's many avid fans may want to consider making a smaller investment by purchasing a plain notebook and doing the exercises in Self Matters on their own. (Sept. 17) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743224246
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 5/6/2003
  • Edition description: First Free Press Trade Paperback Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 630,929
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Phil McGraw

"Dr. Phil" (Phillip C. McGraw, Ph.D.) is the host of America’s number-one daytime talk show and is perhaps the most well-known expert in the field of psychology and human functioning in the world today. In his 16th year on television and his 11th year of the Dr. Phil show, he has devoted his international platform to delivering common sense information to individuals and families seeking to improve their lives. Passionately pursuing such topics as family functioning, domestic violence, anti-bullying, addiction and the myths of mental illness, he works tirelessly both on and off the air. Dr. Phil has carried his message from the senate chambers of Washington, D.C. to the suburbs and inner cities across America. He and Robin, his wife of 38 years and counting, along with their "wonder dog," Maggie, reside in Southern California, as do his two sons, Jordan and Jay, along with daughter-in-law, Erica, and two grandchildren, Avery Elizabeth and London Phillip.

Biography

Many self-help authors have launched their careers via the beneficence of Oprah Winfrey, but only Phillip C. McGraw was able to parlay the talk show queen's admiration into a weekly friendly takeover of her show, near-guaranteed bestsellerdom, and, finally, his own talk show. He's gotten so much attention as "Dr. Phil" (a.k.a. "Tell It like It Is Phil") that he's moved from Texas to Hollywood and even guested with his fictional peer on NBC's Frasier.

McGraw delivers unapologetic, no-nonsense advice in a tough but colorful down-home twang -- hence his "Tell It like It Is" moniker. That old psychological bugaboo, denial, is chief among his enemies; and bluntness is his forte, whether he is exhorting someone to "get real" or demanding to know, "What were you thinkin'?" In short, "He's like your mama, without hair," as fellow psychologist Robert Butterworth told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

McGraw isn't unsympathetic, but he is realistic. As he told Barnes & Noble.com, "I am here to tell people how the world works, not how I think it should be or how you wish it would be, but how it is." McGraw met Oprah when he was hired to coach her in a suit by cattle ranchers for her alleged defamation of the beef industry. Oprah won the case, and it wasn't long before Dr. Phil was a regular feature on her show, challenging her guests in the same way he challenges his readers.

Though McGraw's style is quick and to the point, he does what many good personal therapists do: He asks difficult questions and encourages people to answer them with painful honesty. He also does what many therapists do not: He avoids emphasis on introspection about the circumstances and history that can contribute to a person's problems. "Whether the cards you've been dealt are good or bad, you're in charge of yourself now," he writes as part of "Life Law #2: You create your own experience" in his first, still-popular book, Life Strategies.

McGraw's sports-coach approach has also appealed to couples seeking help in revitalizing tired marriages or fixing troubled relationships. The year after publishing 1999's Life Strategies, McGraw released Relationship Rescue, offering a seven-step plan for imperiled unions (one key word: "renegotiate").

Most recently, McGraw devoted special attention to those who are simply "going through the motions," whether at work or at home. His Self Matters encourages readers to literally take an inventory of their lives, discover their "authentic selves," and redirect their courses accordingly. He harangues, he prods, and sometimes he makes people uncomfortable -- but darned if he doesn't get them to see things in a different way than they did before.

Good To Know

He has been married to his wife, Robin, for 26 years. They have two sons, 23-year-old Jay and 16-year-old Jordan. McGraw has told Good Housekeeping that he doesn't feel pressure to have a perfect marriage because of his public image. But, he adds, "My wife is an amazing woman. We have a great marriage because she won't have it any other way."

After getting his doctorate, McGraw went into private practice; but "when it came to the point that I really had to admit I didn't like what I was doing, that was a gut check because I was making an awful lot of money doing it," he told CNN in 2001. So he quit the practice in 1989 and co-founded Courtroom Sciences, Inc., a legal consultancy that conducts mock trials, behavioral analysis, jury selection, and mediation.

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    1. Hometown:
      Los Angeles, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      Oklahoma
    1. Education:
      Attended University of Tulsa; B.A., Midwestern State; Ph.D. in psychology, University of North Texas, 1979
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Millions of you have launched into the process of Self Matters, creating your life from the inside out, and your e-mails and lectures have been both humbling and inspiring. Now, your learning about yourself and your relationship with yourself is about to go to the next level. You began an amazing process when you worked through your ten defining moments, your seven critical choices, and your five pivotal people. You continued that journey by looking at the internal factors that dictate and control your responses to those events. I'm back with more to say about you, who you have become and how you got there, and I'm doing it because you have asked me to do so.

I refer to getting real about your authentic self as a process because it has a beginning but hopefully it has no end. This process is something that will become part of you managing you. The Self Matters Companion is designed to make this process part of your everyday life. It is designed to make this process something that becomes not just an exercise you once did but instead something that defines your commitment to living by design.

As the Life Law says, you either get it or you don't, and "getting it" means that you answer every question as completely and thoroughly as possible. That means that you have to add two very important patterns to your behavior. You must begin to consciously monitor yourself on a day-to-day basis, observing not only what you do but also how and why you do it. You must also constantly compare and contrast your actual real-world life with that which your authentic self desires and requires.

Having read so many of your letters, I also know that a fair number of you did not complete all of the assignments in Self Matters. (I'm sure you are the dutiful exception!) This is your chance to close any gaps in your understanding and build on what you already know.

I have said that the most important relationship you will ever have in this world is the one you have with yourself. In addition to this relationship being the most important one you'll ever have, I also want it to be the most successful one you will ever have. There is a very important formula for success in a relationship, and this formula applies whether the relationship you're managing is with yourself or with someone else. Here's the formula:

The quality of a relationship is a function of the extent to which it is based on a solid underlying friendship and meets the needs of the two people involved.

As you embark on making the Self Matters Companion part of your daily life, think about how that formula can apply to you "companioning" you.

The first element of the formula, "based on a solid underlying friendship," is, I think, particularly intriguing when we are talking about what kind of friend you are to you.

Think about what characterizes your closest friendships with others. I'm betting that in those closest and most pleasing relationships, you, if you're a good friend, are accepting, devoted, loyal, fun-loving, honest, and genuine.

That is the goal and definition I hope you will carry forward in "companioning" yourself. This life has not and will not be a success-only journey. Not even close. If you bail on "you" when you observe less than desirable thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, you will be in big, big trouble. Do not be a fair-weather friend to yourself. Do not judge yourself when you stub your toe along the way. The Self Matters Companion will put you into intense and intimate contact with yourself day to day. Be loyal and stand by yourself!

The second element, "the extent to which it...meets the needs of the people involved," speaks to how effectively you are there for yourself. Throughout Self Matters, I wrote about identifying what you truly want and need to live consistently with your authentic self. Hopefully, you can see how important that is to your relationship with yourself. You are a life manager, and you have one client and one client only: YOU! Do a good job because you can't fire yourself and get a replacement.

I can help you with what follows in these pages, but the doing is up to you. Be sure that you specifically, precisely identify your wants and needs and are deeply, loyally committed and you will have what you want. Bottom line, it's time to be there for you, not in thought or theory but in your walk through this everyday life.

Copyright © 2002 by Phillip C. McGraw

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi
1 What If ... ? 1
2 Defining the Authentic Self 13
3 Your Self-Concept 29
4 Your Ten Defining Moments 49
5 Your Seven Critical Choices 103
6 Your Five Pivotal People 123
7 Locus of Control 133
8 Internal Dialogue 147
9 Labels 157
10 Life Scripts 167
11 Putting the Plan to Work 193
12 Sabotage 215
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Introduction

Introduction

Millions of you have launched into the process of Self Matters, creating your life from the inside out, and your e-mails and lectures have been both humbling and inspiring. Now, your learning about yourself and your relationship with yourself is about to go to the next level. You began an amazing process when you worked through your ten defining moments, your seven critical choices, and your five pivotal people. You continued that journey by looking at the internal factors that dictate and control your responses to those events. I'm back with more to say about you, who you have become and how you got there, and I'm doing it because you have asked me to do so.

I refer to getting real about your authentic self as a process because it has a beginning but hopefully it has no end. This process is something that will become part of you managing you. The Self Matters Companion is designed to make this process part of your everyday life. It is designed to make this process something that becomes not just an exercise you once did but instead something that defines your commitment to living by design.

As the Life Law says, you either get it or you don't, and "getting it" means that you answer every question as completely and thoroughly as possible. That means that you have to add two very important patterns to your behavior. You must begin to consciously monitor yourself on a day-to-day basis, observing not only what you do but also how and why you do it. You must also constantly compare and contrast your actual real-world life with that which your authentic self desires and requires.

Having read so many of your letters, I also know that a fair number of you did not complete all of the assignments in Self Matters. (I'm sure you are the dutiful exception!) This is your chance to close any gaps in your understanding and build on what you already know.

I have said that the most important relationship you will ever have in this world is the one you have with yourself. In addition to this relationship being the most important one you'll ever have, I also want it to be the most successful one you will ever have. There is a very important formula for success in a relationship, and this formula applies whether the relationship you're managing is with yourself or with someone else. Here's the formula:

The quality of a relationship is a function of the extent to which it is based on a solid underlying friendship and meets the needs of the two people involved.

As you embark on making the Self Matters Companion part of your daily life, think about how that formula can apply to you "companioning" you.

The first element of the formula, "based on a solid underlying friendship," is, I think, particularly intriguing when we are talking about what kind of friend you are to you.

Think about what characterizes your closest friendships with others. I'm betting that in those closest and most pleasing relationships, you, if you're a good friend, are accepting, devoted, loyal, fun-loving, honest, and genuine.

That is the goal and definition I hope you will carry forward in "companioning" yourself. This life has not and will not be a success-only journey. Not even close. If you bail on "you" when you observe less than desirable thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, you will be in big, big trouble. Do not be a fair-weather friend to yourself. Do not judge yourself when you stub your toe along the way. The Self Matters Companion will put you into intense and intimate contact with yourself day to day. Be loyal and stand by yourself!

The second element, "the extent to which it...meets the needs of the people involved," speaks to how effectively you are there for yourself. Throughout Self Matters, I wrote about identifying what you truly want and need to live consistently with your authentic self. Hopefully, you can see how important that is to your relationship with yourself. You are a life manager, and you have one client and one client only: YOU! Do a good job because you can't fire yourself and get a replacement.

I can help you with what follows in these pages, but the doing is up to you. Be sure that you specifically, precisely identify your wants and needs and are deeply, loyally committed and you will have what you want. Bottom line, it's time to be there for you, not in thought or theory but in your walk through this everyday life.

Copyright © 2002 by Phillip C. McGraw

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2004

    This stuff looks easy on tv

    Dr. Phil is tough, if you've ever watched his tv show you know he doesn't tiptoe around when he dishes out advice. But, if you take the time to write down thoughts like he suggests in this companion guide to Self Matters, you'll find it's easier to organize and implement your ideas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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