How Ben Franklin's methods and our unique self-help book &
self-improvement program work
Developing the True Desire to Change.
Learning how to Take Responsibility.
Learning how Humility prevents Humiliation and puts personal growth on the fast track.
Understanding the source of everything that's wrong or "bad" - and getting rid of it within ourselves.
Determining and "grounding" your Goals & Fears - and dealing with them
Using Positive Affirmations and Actions
Using others as "Mirrors" (to give you feedback about the things you don't see about yourself).
Using anything that works, to achieve success with the goals you set.
There's an old joke about how many psychiatrists (or psychologists) it takes to change a light bulb. The answer is: "Only one. But first, the bulb must WANT to change."
Interestingly enough, it's more than just a joke - it's true for anyone who wants to change.
A smoker who "tries" to stop smoking because they think they should, or someone is pushing them to, will usually fail. But a smoker who truly wants to stop smoking, will succeed.
The same thing applies to self-help, self-improvement, growth and healing. First, someone MUST REALLY WANT TO CHANGE. Then, if you combine simply really wanting to change with other tools and techniques, you've got it made.
But if you don't really want to change, and just doing things because you think you should, or because of pressure from other people, it won't work.
I just met an older man who smoked 4 packs of cigarettes his whole life, then he started to "try" and quit 5 years ago. He did everything, gum, patches, programs, etc., and then he finally realized it wasn't working because he didn't really want to quit. And as soon as he did, he simply quit.
Essentially, we all do what we really want to do. So if real change is to occur, we have to find a way to to change what we really want to do. So how does the GR fit in?
I've heard people say, "You must love yourself first, before you can love others". We agree that it's important to love yourself. But how can that really be done?
I've met people who "love themselves" who are selfish jerks. They are still really miserable under the surface, and on top of that, they don't care about anyone else, and do nothing to help anyone but themselves.
But if you love others first, you become a good person. If you're a good person, you help others. If you help others, how can you NOT help but to feel good about yourself also? IT'S IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO LOVE YOURSELF when you love others first - but it IS POSSIBLE to not love others when you just love yourself first.
So if you want self-esteem, self-confidence, happiness, or to leave depression, your problems and the "blues" behind - care about other people, and learn to focus on helping them out. Believe me, it works.
We believe it's our natural state to be compassionate, kind & harmless to ourselves and others, and have a "live & let live" attitude (as long someone does no harm). But somewhere along the line, we picked up all these "hang ups" and negative programming that cause us to lose that, and thus cause problems for ourselves (and others).
Some people use only "behavior modification" techniques for self-help, that don't involve getting to the source of the problem. At best, band-aid solutions that "cover up" what's trying to get out from deep inside you, might provide temporary results. At worst, you can "blow up" like a capped volcano.
Rather than band-aids, the key to real, permanent self-help is to remove the blocks that keep us from being the great person we already are inside.
Perhaps that sounds simple, and when you're done doing it, you'll realize it was. But whether it's easy or hard depends on your attitude, because making that kind of real change involves wanting criticism, constructive or not.
Mirror Mirror on the Wall
Constructive criticism is like a mirror that someone else is holding in front of you. If you want to see how you can do your hair or makeup better, or whether you're smiling or frowning, the mirror is your friend and you want it.
We all have an "inner self" and an "outer self". USING criticism as a self-improvement tool, is kind of like looking in a mirror of your "inner self" - your personality and deeds. If you look crappy, then you can do something about it - just like if your hair was sticking out of place. But if you live in denial, and avoid looking in the inner mirror as most people do, you'll never see yourself, and thus never get a chance to really change. A selfish person in denial doesn't want to look in a mirror, but until they really want to, they'll never see what they are now, or what they can become - or what changes they can make to become their own ideal.
If you don't want to see your flaws, you can't change them. And if that's the kind of attitude you have, when you get constructive criticism your " selfish ego" kicks up, you get defensive, argue, and fight the self-improvement process. However, it can be easy if you're humble and WANT constructive criticism because you know it can help you keep honing and perfecting yourself as easily as using a mirror to fix-up your "outer self".
If you're confused a bit, don't worry, it's natural when you first get exposed to this stuff, but it will become more clear as you keep reading. And while the "mirror method" is necessary, it's just one of the tools.