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What do you think it will take for you to achieve your goals and make some significant changes in your life? What is the key to self-esteem and happiness?
In my clinical practice during the past twenty years, I have had the opportunity to work with many men and women from all walks of life with a wide variety of problems. I have seen people who responded to treatment quickly and others who required a long, persistent effort to recover. I have discovered that one of the most important keys to recovery, regardless of your age, sex, or race, is the willingness to help yourself.
Some people do not seem to understand or accept this simple idea. They are quite happy to complain endlessly about how bad things are as long as they don't have to do anything to solve their problems. They see themselves as victims of unfair circumstances and wait passively for someone or something to fix things for them. Sadly, that usually doesn't happen. Years later they are still feeling miserable, waiting for justice or magic to make their lives better.
Of course, this passive approach to personal growth has sometimes been reinforced by mental health professionals and the media. The stereotype of psychotherapy portrayed in popular books and movies is lying on the couch and saying whatever comes into your mind, while a kindly psychoanalyst listens and nods knowingly from time to time. After years and years, something wonderful is supposed to happen.
Although a warm and caring relationship with someone you trust can often make you feel much better, I want you to get better. That means working hard to make real changes in your life now andin the future.
I have had the pleasure of treating many people through the years who did understand this. They worked hard during sessions and between sessions to develop greater self-esteem. They did not blame the world but assumed personal responsibility for changing their lives. Their hard efforts paid off handsomely, because they recovered the most rapidly. As I mentioned in the Introduction, research studies have demonstrated that self-help does work. This is why I want to ask you right now: Are you willing to pay the price of happiness?
Copyright )1993 by David D. Burns
Ten Days to Self-Esteem. Copyright © by David Burns. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.