Self Matters

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Product Description

When you look in the mirror, who's hiding beneath that face? Who is the real you? Think beyond the excuses and fears that mask the person you want to be. Create your life the way you need it to be. Unlock the powerful force at your core. We only get one chance in this world. Make the most of it. Begin your journey -- "Live by Design."

Customer Reviews:

  • Love this book
    Of the many inspirational books I've read this year, this one is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! If you know anybody who needs a little changing, a little lift, do them a favour and buy them this book. It did me a lot of good. I swear by it, a thousand times. Another uplifting, life-changing book my wife recently picked up and won't stop raving about is the new fable by Jay Singh, The Butterfly. It's more of a children's book, but sometimes these books have many deep hidden meanings. I think there are some in the fable....more info
  • Was Dr. Phil seriously the Author of this book?
    This book was very disappointing. I was about 2/3 of the way through and I finally had to quit. I've been impressed with his other books and am so surprised that he really authored this book. In my opinion it was depressing and definitely should not be in the category of "self-help," unless you're trying to help yourself get really down and out....more info
  • Banal psychology
    While this book had something to say it truly doesn't divulge anything earth shattering or original. I knew where the doc was going by the end of the second CD. All this book did for me was to reaffirm what I already know about myself. I guess it can be helpful to those who feel lost or find themselves trapped in relationships or situations they really don't want but it did very little for me. As well the doc's preachy voice got to be annoying after a while and his good old boy attitude just turned me right off. Like most self help books out there the people who right them assume everybody is the same, they come from the same background, socioeconomic status, race, sexual orientation and so on. In short, if you are more or less close to the lifestyle the doc lives this book might be helpful. I borrowed this one from my library and I'm glad I did. My recommendation, do the same. Its nothing exemplary....more info
  • Self Matters
    I'm only about half way done. It's ok, and a lot of good advice that is worth incorporating, but it doesn't keep me riveted like his book Life Strategies did. That theme was to realize your actions have consequences, which is useful for getting over feeling like a victim, and start feeling personal power.

    That being said, I will continue through it. His advice is unadulterated, get back on the horse type of advice. It's a good foundation. The theme this time is defining who you are and what is impt to you. It's a seminal exercise - it just takes some willpower to get through it....more info
  • "Self Matters"? More like, "SELF LOATHING"!
    I picked up this book one night at a local super store. I cracked it open and began to read. It appeared to offer something... then I started reading it at home.

    I may have been in a vulnerable state and just wanted someone to tell me how to fix things and make me a better man. I'd heard Dr. Phil was just that type of person so, why not?

    This all happened last year. I started reading it and felt like I was just spinning my tires. He spun some good stories in there, but just when I thought the Dr. would deliver something I could sink my teeth into, he would go on AGAIN about the "actualized self" or some other buzz word. I quite reading it after 2 chapters.

    A few weeks ago I had a long trip and picked up the book on tape at the library [*a good option before you buy it!]. I figured that maybe I didn't give it a chance. Again and again I heard how "I wasn't this" or "I wasn't that" and "I'll never be this until I come face to face with my 'actualized self'." I fast forwarded the type and listened AGAIN AND AGAIN. Same thing.

    If I had a nickel for every time I heard "actualized self" or whatever he referred to, I'd be self-made and rich like Dr. Phil.

    BOTTOM LINE: I felt worse about myself because of this book. [*I admit I didn't read it all, but felt I'd end up a miserable self-loathing, "actualized self" by book's end!]
    ...more info
  • More of the same...
    I received the book as a gift. The title put me off to begin a world so much in distress, it says a lot about the western world's inwardness and self-obssession. The book is more of the same psycho-babble that has been pouring off the shelves since the 1970's; offering no more than silly answers to a deeply neurotic, isolated society. The book however, could be used successfully as a model of how to exploit one's professional field to a large and needy audience-- and become very, very wealthy in the process....more info
  • Best Self- help book written to date
    I really did not want to like this book. It was probably the tone of reading a couple of pages that set me off. It seemed as though the author was being too pushy, trying to convince the average individual that they had problems when they really didn't.

    But I did have problems and that's why I continued to read. I have read practically all the famous self-help books out there and still hadn't experienced any significant changes in my life. This book in my opinion is like Psychocybernetics, where you are to go into your own past and dig deep to find out why you think the way you do and most importantly why its stopping you from achieving success. It is similar as I said but this book actually contains helpful exercises that Psychocybernetics does not. The homework is long but its well worth the insight you gain.

    In short this books is probably the best packaged self-help book to date. The only flaw I find in it is that it is vague on how to tell about using your imagination/ visualization as a tool to help you excel in future endeavors, that is what Pyschocybernetics had that this book does not. It also lacks some good goals setting strategies but that's what Life Strategies is all about.

    It certainly isn't the be all and end all of all self-help books and the material isn't exactly new. But IT IS the best packaged self-help book out there to date....more info

  • I love Dr. Phil's style!
    Dr. Phil doesn't mess around - you take an honest look at life and make changes. I'm gonna keep listening to it over and over - it's that good! Dr. Laura Hall's 'Conquer Emotional Eating' is another book that doesn't beat around the bush and helps you get real results. I love them both!...more info
  • i learned a lot!
    I truly reccommend this if you are trying to learn why thing is life are not working for you!...more info
  • In your face motivator
    This book is quite insightful but first and foremost a great "in your face" motivator! Dr. Phil's writing style is very compelling and many of the excercises he introduces in this book are very useful. This is an excellent practical tool for finding yourself. It tells you exactly what to do and when to do it. If you are interesting in what to do but not too interested in how it works, this is a great book! If you are actually interested in how it works, the theory behind it, read "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato. Though Sato's book is not an in your face motivator, it is extremely insightful and interesting. It explains how our we have become the person we are and where we are headed and what we can do to facilitate the process. Both books are super good for different reasons!...more info
  • This book will change your life !!!!
    M. D. Gray, author of "Smilosophy: Getting More Smileage Out of Life gives this book a definite thumbs up. This is a book that will allow readers to examine their own life and then gives specific directions to make life what a person wants and desires it to be. Phillip McGraw hits home where everyone lives. Life is much too short to have a life that has been patterned by others rather than our own selves. McGraw gives step by step instructions on how a person can make their lives truly fulfilled and happy.

    A must have book for all....more info

  • Getting to Know Yourself
    Dr. Phil wrote this book for you if you are constantly trying to live up to others' expectations of you rather than to your authentic identity. If you are unsure of the person you really are, his exercises can help if you do them. He has you list your Ten Defining Moments, Seven Critical Choices and Five Pivotal People. The exercises really have to be done to be useful. While I think it is a very good book, I would have liked more stories and examples, since I think as is obvious from his TV show that this is where he really shines. Power Path to Love...more info
  • Good Inspirational Book
    I rated this book rather well, but, let me be honest, this book bored me and I soon found it was not written for me to read. Maybe its because of my young age, relatively inexperienced and happy life, or inability to consistently watch Opera or Dr. Phil on television. The reason I rated this book well is because I think this is a wonderful book for others to read. The writing is frank, as Dr. McGraw is on television; the advice is sound and determined to turn one's self-perception on its head so to kill the old, decaying, mired self and begin afresh. If you feel stuck in your life, are about 30 years or older, have even a key-hole to open the door to change, I think you ought to give this book a shot. While "Dr. Phil's" personality is not very endearing to me (although I applaud what he does for others) and I soon lost interest in reading this book, I do think it was well-written (I lost interest because I had no interest in revolutionarily changing myself because I was and am perfectly content with who I am--therefore giving me little interest in religiously following the doctor's every word). In short, buy/borrow/check out this book if you have any reason to change....more info
    Monumentally disappointing, Self Matters by Phillip C. McGraw never really gets started. Dr. Phil asks the usual questions: do you feel like...have you ever you want to...? Sure you do. Well in a minute I will give you all the answers. Interestingly, and like a lot of similar books, the answers never come. That's because each of us is so individual and so complex that books such as this can't deliver like they attempt. Skip this one....more info
  • Find yourself in this book
    I enjoyed reading this book because it made me answer some tough questions. I also recommend my favorite book, Optimal Thinking: How To Be Your Best Self. Self Matters shows you how to be real, Optimal Thinking shows you how to be your best no matter what your situation....more info
  • I didn't want to like this book.......
    I don't have anything AGAINST Dr. Phil, I just hoped it wouldn't
    have a lot of really good food for thought, practical applications and wisdom in the straight, no nonsense approach that makes up Oprah's buddy, Dr. Phil.

    Well, I couldn't help myself: this book is chock full of good stuff.

    Not only that, Dr. Phil's voice rings through his writing so clearly that I can literally hear him talking to me as I read!

    The approach in the book is very much a step-by-step approach working with a foundation of gathering evidence from defining moments in your life and then creating a plan of action through taking action upon positive, empowering choices instead of being "stuck" in the quagmire of your negative life history.

    Dr. Phil reminds us to "Know your history so you can walk out of it."

    He tells on himself more than once, describing his own episodes of "creative stupidity" which had me howling with laughter.

    Another lightbulb moment for me and a pure "Dr. Philism" was the
    reality that we are, in every moment, contributing or contaminating our relationships. Wow. That alone is worth the purchase of the book: especially in reading the supportive paragraphs.

    Like I said earlier, I didn't WANT to like this book. The main problem there is too much tangible substance that I can use to apply to my life in a positive way that I can't help myself in giving it a high rating....more info

  • life-changing
    Before I bought this book, I wasn't quite sure what the big deal was about Dr. Phil. Now, you might say, I get it. I also understand a lot of the things that I have been thinking and doing that have been holding me back from becoming the person I really want to be. His advice is matter-of-fact and applicable to real life, and he breaks it down so people without doctorates in psychology can understand what he's talking about. He also has a sense of humor, which is important.

    This book has a lot of "homework"--writing exercises you're supposed to do to help you figure things out--but it's useful and revealing, and really helped me to get to know myself. Even if you've tried similar self-help books, I suggest you at least give this one a glance. It really could change your life; I know it changed mine....more info

  • Depressed? Buy this to get further depressed
    (Even one star is too high of a rating!)
    I'm not as qualified as other reviewers but here I go any way. This was the first book I read by Dr Phil and what a disappointment. I 'was' a fan of his TV show until I read this book!

    I found myself getting depressed while reading 2/3's of the book and simply stopped reading it. We all know our past experiences impact who we are and how we got where we are. He really did not need to take up 120 pages telling us that.

    I turned to "Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential" by Pastor Joel Osteen to pick up the pieces. :)

    It's a matter of preference but if I want to feel better about who I am as a person I'd rather not read something to make me relive experiences that I have already come to terms with.

    If you want to get positive about life, go for something POSITIVE. But it is NOT this book!

    Good luck!
    ...more info
  • Great Book
    Dr. Phil is very enlightening. I watch his TV program daily and it really changes my life to be a "better person". I believe that this book is full of wisdom because it helps individuals find their "true" self, outside of the career they may have or the money they possess. Being your true self in terms of spirituality, family, love, and personalities are what matter most. I give this book an A++ because it was clearly written, including great story-telling from the author who has gone through issues of his own. This is a must read for anyone who wants to improve their lives....more info
  • Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out
    It is a fine book. Dr. Phil emphasizes the significance of positive self image. He states that concept of self is at the core of your life experience. He provides needed details and explanations. He adds that generally, we are trained to behave in a certain way. We go right along with the expectations imposed on us by other people. We are rewarded for pleasing those in authority. We end up living a role that is assigned to us rather than living true to who we really are. In this process, some people lose their authentic self. They give their power to others and internalize other people's opinions about them. These opinions are not always positive. So they carry these negative internal scripts and repeat to themselves over and over again which can lead to negative self. For those who do not have positive self-view, Dr. Phil explains ways to change; ways to delete old tapes and rewrite them. This needs reflection and self-discovery. If you are an educator, the topic of self-concept is certainly not new to you. You already know the correlation between self-concept and achievement. Dr. Phil just presents the information in an engaging style. This is not a book you will finish in one sitting. You need to read and reflect , get in touch with your inner self , and reread. If you enjoy reading and reflection, only then I will recommend this book to you....more info
  • Getting There
    Haven't finished the book yet because unlike almost every other self-help book I've ever seen, this one requires a lot of hard work -- and that's the only way to get results.

    I just wanted to note that the scoring for the exercises on Appendix A and B were accidentally left out of the first edition. They are:

    AS: 8 points, A: 4 pts, DS: 2 pts, D: 1 pt...more info
  • raises self-awareness - and misses the real challenge
    As a person and professional psychotherapist, I have studied human motivation, behavior, and relationships professionally for over 40 years. My conclusion about "creating your life from the inside out" is very different from McGraw's. He makes no mention of the observable reality that the lives of average people from troubled childhoods (i.e. most of us) are governed by a group of personality "subselves" who often are disorganized and conflicted.

    This can change, if people become interested in freeing their resident true Self (capital "S") to harmonize their other subselves. Hundreds of practicing clinicians around the country help people do this via "Internal Family Systems" therapy.

    McGraw's ideas sound practical and useful, build hope, and DO promote healthy self-awareness. However, I suspect that most people will be unable to benefit significantly from his suggestions because they're unaware that their lives are often ruled by false selves. This is one explanation for vexing compulsions, why most diets don't work, widespread trouble keeping New Year's resolutions, and often doing self-harmful things "anyway." ...

    For more perspective, see this: info
  • My reveiw
    I thought that this book was filled with useful information and I really liked it for those of us that are trying to change our lives....more info
  • Repair Your Broken Self
    I've done so much work on myself in the past, trying to find out who I am and my purpose in life. I've read The Purpose Driven Life, Awareness, The Four Agreements, Dianetics, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, The Road Less Traveled, and many other books because I was unhappy with my life. I felt stuck. And I know I'm meant for something other than working at a job I hate. Those books helped me open doors inside, clean the glass off many windows, and shed light on many aspects of my life I hadn't thought of in years.

    You'll need a journal to write stuff in for this book. So what the difference between this one and The Self Matters Companion is really unclear; from what I saw the companion book has space for your writing, though I doubt it'll be enough. This book takes some of the concepts from other books and mixes them with personal stories from Dr. Phil, the purpose to spark some memories within yourself to apply to the exercise you will take over the next few days. And you should expect to take quite a bit of time to finish these exercises, being as thorough as possible, as honest as possible; some of the later exercises, especially the 5-step Plan, could take a couple weeks. Don't rush through the book and jot down anything or you'll be wasting your time.

    You owe it to yourself to find out what you really want in life, to do the best you can for yourself, to be honest with yourself and others. This book showed me that I had to forgive myself after years of self-abuse, self-hatred, guilt, and shame. I couldn't have done it without the help from this book....more info
  • Self Matters
    According to Frank Perdue it takes a Tough man to make a tender chicken. According to Dr. Phil's book "Self Matters" by Phillip C. McGraw Ph.D., it takes some tough talk and some mighty hard self-examination to snap people out of their "fictional selves" and into their "authentic selves". Question everything you think you know about you, every belief, every thought you tell yourself, every limiting behavior you exhibit. Track down the origin, learn how it effects you and if it isn't part of your authentic self, toss it. Junk it. It's a gigantic psychological spring-cleaning. All this is hard work according to Dr. Phil. Hard, hard work, but worth it in the end. I enjoyed the Dr's tough talk, it is entertaining, motivating and energizing, I like the idea of questioning my beliefs about who I am taking a good look at what is really true for me.
    As I read this book, I kept flashing in my mind to a book that I have read on a number of occasions that has had a profound and lasting impact in my life, entitled "Working on Yourself Doesn't Work", by Ariel and Shya Kane. While both books invite you to question your limiting beliefs and look at yourself honestly and courageously, the Kanes encourage you not to judge what you see or to try and fix or change it. Instantaneous Transformation, how the Kanes refer to their work, rests on the principle that awareness, the nonjudgmental seeing of what is, is all that is needed to unwind the habitual, unquestioned behaviors of a lifetime. No struggle, no hard work, just some courage and honesty and the willingness to step into one's greatness....more info
  • Change your life from the inside out
    How we percieve and react to life is our total experiance in life. Regardless of circumstances around us our perception will dictate our attitude. Changing those perceptions will change our attitude. Now we become center stage and begin living the life we are designed for. Very difficult book if you actually do the assignments. But worth the effort. Slowly changing my life everyday and it started with this book!...more info
  • He is better on t.v.
    I love the Dr.Phil show. Big fan. I am having a very hard time getting through this book, though. I think you really need to be in the perfect frame of mind for it. If you are searching for "answers", it is the book for you....more info
  • Get to the point already...
    Dr.Phil is a funny, insightful guy. And his basic theories about achieving a satisfying life are seeminly sound. He has some truly useful guidance to offer. Unfortunately, Self Matters suffers from the same malady that afflicts so many self-help books: it takes forever to get to the point!
    The problems these books all face is the same. The concepts they set out to explain aren't really all that difficult to grasp.
    An explanation and perhaps a short example would be more then enough for most readers. Unfortunately this wouldn't make for a very seductive, impressive looking tomb or justify a hefty cover price. The authors therefore (most likely at the behest of their publishers) pad their subjects with redundant examples and obvious commentary. Most frustrating is their tendency to repeatedly tell the reader what he or she is GOING to learn at some later point in the book!
    Rather than go on and on about what one is going to teach, why not just teach it?
    While McGraw doesn't induge these tactics nearly as much as, say, the Mother of all Self-Help Padders, Tony Robbins, he still does it much too often. I was really up to read this book, but because of its repetitive, round-about manner I gave up three of four chapters into it. A slim volumn that gets to the point would be MUCH more effective....more info
  • More Psychobable
    I did not like this book at all, and I have read more self-help books than I can count. Although I agree that enless examination of the past is not all that useful I also have a hard time believing that 10 events in your life have defined who you are. I rapidly became tired of the so-called "in your face" style, and found his approach to be just as couched in "psychobable" as any other book of this type I have read. I think his approach is overated and this volume has convinced me to give up this type of self-help book forever! Get out there, live your life outloud, and stop waiting for someone like Phil McGraw to make your life what you want it to be....more info
  • useless book
    this is the most useless book I have ever bought, Phillip C. McGraw is a good salesperson but if you read the book you hope to find at least one useful sentence. I am sorry to say the book was a total waste of time...more info
  • Congruency
    Self-concept means believing in getting what you want, achieve your dreams, fulfill needs, and generate a vision. A strong self-concept empowers and equips. Self-concept is being true to win and winning is exciting. Passion means you are full filling your purpose. If the best part of life is over then something is out of focus. Don't be someone you are not. Worrying get no work done. Action is what matters. Life is about solving problems. Believe in getting what you want; time solving the problem and disappointment from failure doesn't matter; all that matters is focus and actualizing. Stress shortens your life. Discover personal truth meaning "what do you believe about yourself." One can not change what they do not acknowledge. Don't dramatize events in life, instead, get in touch with the facts about yourself. God gives all men skills for succeeding in their role. Power, vision, and passion are the product of a strong self-concept.

    Strong self-concept characteristics: 1. self-motivated 2. uses best interest choices 3. confident in self-decisions 4. relies on internal self-approval 5. correctly predicts personal behavior/consequences 6. makes priority based choices 7. portrays self-confidence/strength 8. possesses internal knowledge 9. advocates cooperative 10. desires self-fulifillment 11. confident around people 12. seems happy 13. has a purpose 14. practices kinship 15. is a decision maker 16. amazed at achievements 17. learns from mistakes 18. demonstrates honesty 19. drives to be a winner (balanced perspective, focus, drive) 20. stands independent of parent judgment 21. avoids pessimistic attitudes 22. values others 23. focuses correctly 24. associates with good company 25. changes reality through creative 26. believes in hope and joy as fuel to faith 27. is passionate and enthusiastic about new projects 28 seeks to understand people 29 communicates happiness and hopefulness 30. is frustration tolerant 31. is respectful 32. is secure and comfortable 33. is financial stable - bills paying is well managed 34. living my his life 35. accesses his life as wonderful 36. is excited about new challenges 37. believe in living a purposeful life. (1-4 rating) 4 true all the time to the self-concept characteristic.

    "A person who scores 139-142 is fortunate enough to operate mostly in tuen wit his or her authenticity. This person has a clear idea of his or her authentic self and what he or she wants from life. In the midst of difficult situations, this person looks naturally into the self, so that goals remain clear and consistent with his or her authenticity."

    Authentic self begins with a blue print of ones architecture of life events. McGraw says, "don't get use to living an assigned role" and "at the core of every human being is uniqueness, individuality, and distinctiveness". I somewhat wonder about McGraw's advice. Shouldn't a person live according to God's will for them and accept their role, as being in accordance with Divine will? McGraw is an industrial psychologist, so I think he is talking more in terms of systematic problem solving and design and task events. One begins to perceive more of a mechanical and objective mechanism emerging. For example, McGraw says, the blueprint is the process of discovering and reconnecting to the authentic-self which peace flows and clarity exists: 1. by demystifying past experiences 2. identifying with clarity your purpose 3. identifying your skills and abilities 4. and giving up your fear of the unknown. Defining moments may include episodes of trauma and victory or perseverance. List and record in writing descriptions and details of pivotal people who have shaped you positively and negatively. Understand your locus of control: 1. where is the source of your power 2. where is the source of responsibility 3. write out your internal script and make modifications. Dr. McGraw teaches, a person can no longer assume that life is fair and the individual must take responsiblity to maximize their opportunity.

    Ok, Dr McGraw tell me, "What is the higher morality governing your recommendations?" "So, if I'm a great business manager does that mean I am a great psychologist?" Wait,Psychology is not an science. It is more an art form and hence the various appeal tactics employeed. For example, can I change my life by reading another person's journal or writing my own journal (7 Critical choices, 5 pivotal people, 10 defining moments? "How do you know when it all start to work?" I believe only God has the power to help people change, so why should I believe you? "Are you saying that systematic approaches to change are effective in personal life?" "Why should I believe you have the answer to my happiness?" I like your argument of authenticity, it appeals and seems intuitive. Books must have appeal and entertainment which this book does. "What are the incentatives for helping people?" "Do these people appreciate and value your advice?"...more info
  • Great Topic - Terrible Presentation
    Well, I just had to try another Dr. Phil book, since it has been a number of years since I read Life Strategies. To be honest, even though he can be a polarizing figure, I have nothing against him. I think his TV show is a source of help and inspiration for millions of people.

    This book however, was a real struggle to complete. It was not coherently structured, and the author kept saying things like "This book will show you...." all the way through the book. It felt like I never left the "Introduction" and he was continually trying to convince me (or himself) that this book really would eventually get to the point and that the point would be profound. Instead it really couldn't ever get moving and instead often relied on crass language as a weak attempt to get the reader's attention.

    Fret not! There are other books out there that tackle the same general issue, but are far better reads. I recommend:

    1. Failing Forward, by John C. Maxwell
    2. Today Matters, by John C. Maxwell

    Again, I have no issue with the author, and applaud his efforts. However, in writing a review to my fellow Amazon customers, I must strongly recommend that you spend your time on more impactful literature within this genre. Best of success to you in reaching your goals!...more info
  • Dissapointing
    I really enjoyed his "Life Strategies" book - however I found that this book fell short. Too much talk and no action. The majority of the first few chapters are pointless. He tells you how not to read the book, how TO read the book, what he IS going to do, and what he is NOT going to do... but he doesn't actually DO ANYTHING. Dissapointing and frustrating to read. ...more info
  • Great Read!
    This is a great book to kick start your personal relationship with self. Dr Phil uses his personality, experience, and education to help others learn the valuable lessons of life. I could totally relate to his book.

    Great addition to finding a healthier life, while keeping it simple.


    Pocket of Pearls: A 30-day pocket workbook to start hearing a softer voice inside of you!...more info
  • Find your true purpose with Dr. Phil
    Negative reviews of this book almost made me not get it. I didn't want a book to "be mean to me" at a time in my life when I was feeling very delicate. I wasn't depressed, per se, but an overall malaise had overwhelmed me and that fact was pretty depressing. I just felt like my life was meaningless and not worth living; a drudgery.

    So, despite all these negative reviews, I ordered this book and gave it a shot. As soon as I began reading it, I felt more relaxed, I found myself smiling- Dr. Phil shares his own stories with you as if to say: "It happens to everyone. You are not alone. Now that you know what it is, you can DO something about it."

    Perhaps some people want a self-help book to solve their problems for them, and maybe this book requires too much effort on their parts. But - and perhaps this comes from being a proud southerner like Dr. Phil - when something is wrong, even with me, I WANT TO FIX IT MYSELF. This book doesn't "diagnose and treat" your problems, it helps you figure out what they are, when they happened, and inspires you to turn things around.

    Again, perhaps I was too eager to find my "Authentic Self" when I picked up this book, but I didn't find it abrasive or insensitive at all. On the contrary, I felt like Dr. Phil was speaking only to me, and because my problems had once been his problems, he handled them with utmost understanding and care.

    If you feel lost- like you aren't living a life you want, like you've gone too far down a path you no longer enjoy, like you aren't "you" anymore - I encourage you to read this book. It will help you find the "real you", and with that, peace of mind....more info
  • Lots of sizzle, very little substance
    I got through about 3 of the 5 CD's in this audiobook, before giving up. Dr. Phil has an entertaining and charismatic style of reading his own material, so I'd recommend the audiobook over the print version. Unfortunately he doesn't say very much that's useful. His delivery makes you think an important point is just about to be made, but it never seems to come. After listening to the first 30 minutes of him describe what he was about to talk about, I found myself frustratingly muttering, "Get to the point already!"

    The main theme seems to be that we need to unearth and live our "true selves" rather than what those around us would like us to be. The author talks a lot about "self esteem" and makes some valuable points. But if you're interested in these topics, you'll learn more elsewhere. For example, you'll get far more valuable insights from listenting to Dr. Nathaniel Branden in just 10 minutes than you will from hearing Dr. Phil babble on for hours.

    Those who are big fans of Dr. Phil's plain-talkin' style will probably enjoy going along for the ride in order to get the few pearls of wisdom that he has. But if you're looking for fresh insight, motivation or valuable advice, don't waste your time or money....more info

  • A difficult read, but worth it.
    I bought this book hoping to unravel a reason why my soul mate has eluded me for 20 years. I did not get the answer, but I did get to look inside myself and understand more about why I am who I am. I have to say that I got much more out of another book called OPTIMAL THINKING: HOW TO BE YOUR BEST SELF. Optimal Thinking showed me how to be my best in any situation, how to master my disturbing emotions, and how to live my best life. It totally changed my life and I am a happy person now....more info
  • Full of Phil
    After plodding through page after page, chapter after chapter of excruciatingly critical self examination, I am exhausted! Phil really carries on and on in an attempt to help strip away ones unauthentic self and find happiness. Although peppered with his colorfully redundant Texan talk, I found this reading/learning experience pretty worthless. After all of his rhetoric about being more real with themselves, Phil does not seem to follow his own advice. In the few closing paragraphs, Phil attributes his success (at breaking away to a better life) to having a great wife....So maybe we all ought to do is go out and buy one of those instead of the book....more info
  • Too many vegetables, not enough meat and potatoes
    I decided to title this review with a "Phil-ism" because this is the first thing you have to get used to if you read or listen to anything Dr. Phil says. I bought this book when it first came out in 2001 because I was struck by his no-nonsense, sensible approach to issues when I first saw him on the Oprah Winfrey show which was a refreshing change from the 'girly men'-type self-helpers either promulgating a 'victimization mentality' or hocking some sort of pseudo-New Age type techniques to solve all of your ills. Didn't read it until now and although my thoughts about Dr. Phil have changed since I first bought it, I will attempt to give an unbiased review from memory.

    Basically as others have stated, this book attempts to show that most people's entire self concept is influenced by external things that have happened in their lives and much more importantly, by how these external factors (10 defining moments, 7 critical choices, 5 pivotal people) are internalized in your psyche. These negative internal feelings that you harbor in various ways then prevent you from living a fulfilling, happy life - not living within your 'authentic self' Dr. McGraw attempts to guide you through the mechanisms of how these thoughts materialize in your 'fictional self' and how you can change them as to take advantage of all of the abilities, needs, and desires that you were born with.

    I read through the entire book, but I felt it to be a bit tedious. He takes too much time explaining and defining conceps and reiterating the fact all to often that HE is going to show you how to improve your life, yet he makes you do all the work! True, to change any portion of your life YOU have to make sacrifices and exert some effort, but Dr. Phil doesn't really do much in the way of anything except just giving you a high school pep talk before you play the game. A book filled with more real-life examples of his patient's stories and how they got in touch with their authentic selves would have benefitted me much more than a cornucopia of psychological termas: AAAs, MERs, etc. I always hear Dr. Phil say to "Get Real" so isn't the best way to do that is to hear 'real' stories by 'real people'? He spends 3/4 of the book explaining terms and concepts and only the last chapter telling you how to implement them. To me, implementation is the most difficult and important thing you have to do if you want to change your life and THAT should have been a bulk of the book. All in all, it was too long-winded.

    In my hardback edition, there was definitely a problem in the math dept. In the first section where you have to divide 2 numbers to get a guage on to what degree you are living in your fictional self, the editor put in a square root symbol and relating to the exercises in Appendices A and B, the charts given to determine your degree of locus of control are NOT explained as well as wrong (should be from 5 to 20 NOT 5-40 from what I could see) Another thing that irked my was some of Dr. Phil's plain Texas talk. To me, he loses some credibility. If you want me to be the best person I can be, to show me that I'm special with unique abilites, don't talk to me like a commoner! I don't want psychobabble either, but I would take what he says more seriously if he talked to me as a professional.

    There is some value in every book and I did find some things in here, such at the hierarchy of how you base your critical choices, some good quotations, and it did help me understand why some people in my life are they way are. On a whole though, it didn't really help me that much and wasn't worth the time spent....more info
  • Very Good Book
    I've read some of the bad reviews and it just seems crazy that it's so hard for people to get it. It is that simple and it does take work. Whether you like the man as a person or not he does offer good insightful information about how to get to that authenic self many have let get stripped away by life. If you really want to change and find the better you then this is the book....more info
  • Good
    Got me thinking. Isn't that what you want? I like it and use it in my daily life....more info
  • A great way to get to know yourself!
    The book Self Matters is a great way to get to know yourself. I've been surprised several times over the things that I learned about myself when I worked through this book. It's easy to understand because the author explaines all difficult words so even I, who don't have English as my maternal language, can understand everything....more info
  • like a phoenix from the ashes...
    Many said that "Dr. Phil" would never recover from his traumatic and emotional breakup with media mogul Oprah...but with this book McGraw has put all his doubters in their place! A well thought-out and insightful piece of work, this is the ideal self-help book for the depressed sad-sack in your family. Dr. Phil believes in tough love, and I appreciate how he never hesitates to tell someone just how lazy, stupid, annoying or worthless they are, if that's what it takes to make them better. However, I did think that he should lighten up (no pun intended) on all of the petty low-blows at his former partner...this is one book that won't be making Oprah's book of the month club reading list!...more info
  • Don't get the CD version!
    I borrowed the CD version of this book from the public library after listening to the cassette version of "Life Strategies" on my daily commute to work and liking it a lot. What a disappointment --- Dr Phil wasn't the reader! The reader has a very nice voice, but I felt cheated hearing Dr Phil's stories, words, phraseology, etc. from someone else's mouth. Being so familiar with his vocal patterns from watching his show and listening to the previous audio book, I was so distracted I couldn't really follow it. From what I can gather, the reader is on the unabridged version, so maybe the abridged version has Dr Phil reading it. Anyway, I'm glad I didn't buy it. ...more info
  • Thank you so much Dr.Phil!
    This book, The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho), Who Moved My Cheese (Spencer Johnson),Self Matters (Dr.Phil) and The Butterfly (Jay singh) were my favorite books of the year. I got many books in my stocking and I must say this was my favorite! Buy this book, you won't regret it....more info
    Dr. Phil knows so much about how most of us work and this book includes much of his wisdom. A piece of shame that wasn't addressed, though, is the kind people feel who can't 'settle down and do just one thing.' ......more info


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