Fix, Find, Create Yourself

Do You Fix Yourself, Find Yourself, or Create Yourself to Change Your Life?

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

Self-Improvement Methods to Change Your Life

Life isn't about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.
George Bernard Shaw
What kind of self-improvement can change your life? Do you fix yourself, find yourself, or create yourself? How do these methods define your identity?
Creating Yourself

Stress and Life Change

The idea of changing your life is pervasive in our contemporary world. Books, articles, training programs, DVDs, CDs, blog posts, videos, and every other medium you can imagine claim that you can change your life if you follow their methods. Why is this phrase so prevalent? The phrase identifies a universal desire in human beings to solve the inevitable problems of human life.

The root meaning of the word change is to substitute one for another. A desire to change your life means that you want to exchange something in your life for something else. In this case, the "something" is stress. You feel stressed-out and you don't want to feel that way. Your desire to change your life means that you want to exchange your stressed-out feelings for something else. How do you make this kind of change in your life?

Consider these three approaches as solutions to the problem  of living your life feeling stressed-out:

  • Fixing your self
  • Discovering your True Self
  • Creating your self.

Fixing Your Self

Much self-help work builds on two assumptions. The first is overt. The second is covert. The first assumption asserts that you can change your life by fixing how you deal with some problem in your life. The second assumption is less obvious, but it's the assumption that lies beneath so much of what western cultures believe about human life.

The first assumption describes traditional psychotherapy. How you deal with stress is a problem to be fixed. Consider this definition by the National Institute of Mental Health:

Psychotherapy, or "talk therapy", is a way to treat people with a mental disorder by helping them understand their illness. It teaches people strategies and gives them tools to deal with stress and unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.

Ponder carefully what this definition claims about you and stress. It identifies your experience of stress as a mental disorder. It also claims that you can deal with stress if you have the right strategies and tools.

This psychotherapeutic approach to stress is familiar ground. Whatever the benefit of this approach to understand how you think about your life and how you can deal with stress in your life, the primary assumptions of the model are:

  • Stress exists as an entity apart from you.
  • Something in you needs to be fixed.

A more liberating approach begins by thinking differently about stress and your self.

[Original Post October 26, 2015]

If you are feeling stressed-out and want to read the whole book, Stress Relief That Works: How To Think Your Way from Stressed-Out to Peaceful is available on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback versions. Click Buy Now From Amazon to get your copy right away!

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