If You Don’t Help Yourself, Who Will? 3 Critical Steps to Self-Help (First Step)

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Exactly what is “self-help,” and can it really help? Let’s take a look at the definition of self-help in Webster’s Dictionary: “the action or process of bettering oneself or overcoming one’s problems without the aid of others especially the coping with one’s personal or emotional problems without professional help.”

Step 1. Admit that you have a problem

The very first step in “self-help” is admitting to yourself that you have a problem. A problem can be alcohol, drug addiction, relationship problems, excess weight, low self-esteem, lack of money, a broken heart, or any other feeling, action, or nonaction that creates difficulties in your life. When you admit to yourself that you have a problem, only then can you start the process of putting things right again in your world.

We can all better ourselves in one way or another. In fact, we should try to better ourselves. You have to set your mind to change whatever it is that you would like to change about yourself or to fix a problem that you may be dealing with. We are in all control of our own minds, and no one else can really “fix” us but us. You have to make the decision. Once we admit to ourselves that we have a problem and determine precisely what that problem is, then we can be our own best friend and start righting the wrong.

Step 2. Make a plan

The next step is to make a plan. Get a piece of paper and write down your problem. There’s something about seeing the problem in black and white that makes the problem more real, but the “fix” seems more attainable.

Now write down what started the problem. Don’t point fingers at other people! The actions of others could have created a SITUATION, but our own reactions to that situation are what create the problems for us. And from my personal experience and also in my coaching sessions, this is usually one of the most difficult things for people to do. Most people find it difficult to take responsibility for themselves. It’s quite easy to point fingers at other people and external circumstances. But, one of the greatest help you can do for yourself is learning to look inward and admit that you’re the first culprit in whatever unpleasant situation you find yourself.

Step 3. Take corrective actions

The next step is to write down what actions you can take that will correct the problem. If your problem is that you need to lose weight, just writing down “exercise more” and “eat less” is not a plan. Plans of action are specific.

For example, if you have a drug addiction problem, and you have some friends that got you started with this drug use. First of all, common sense tells you to get rid of the friends. Get them out of your life. Then if you need to seek professional help to get cleaned up, go for it. You have to do whatever it takes to get yourself well again.

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