Last week I read the book Reinventing Your Life: The Breakthough Program to End Negative Behavior…and Feel Great Again by Jeffrey E. Young and Janet S. Klosko.
I honestly only picked it up because it’s been staring me in the face for several months. It’s a book therapists recommend and was on my bookshelf. I made a goal to read a book a week and chose this one as my first for 2011. I know I have some things I want to work on in regards to overcoming anxiety so I figured it would get me off to a positive start for the new year.
The book focuses on changing 11 common “lifetraps” that people get stuck in – lifelong self-destructive patterns of behavior caused by a variety of emotional problems. They cover issues of
- social rejection
- emotional deprivation
The share case studies, descriptions, diagnostic tests, danger signs, effects of lifetraps, and ways to work through them to become a more healthy functioning individual. They draw on several different techniques including experiential (getting in touch with your inner child) to cognitive (writing a “case” against your lifetrap) and behavioral (identifying specific behaviors to be changed). It’s a well rounded approach to behavior change.
One of the most amazing things about this book is how well they described my problems. When I was reading the chapter on “Social Exclusion” I felt like they were speaking directly about me. It felt like they were inside my head. This happened several times throughout the book whenever one of the lifetraps applied to my life. Up until this point I hadn’t really had any clue why I was experiencing so much social anxiety (and low self-esteem). After reading this book I better understood why this problem developed, how it’s carried on throughout my whole life, and how to change it.
What the book really did was make me realize how hard it is going to be to change. Really. Personality problems that have existed since you were a child are difficult to change and it requires work. While the book lists the steps you can take and really gives you a sound approach to changing, it also shows you that you have to put in the work. Often that work is difficult because it involves confronting yourself and forcing yourself to change and participate in the activities that trigger your lifetrap.
I read the book in a week (even the parts that didn’t apply to me but gave me insight on other people), but I know I’m going to be referring back to it for a while. I have no choice but to change myself because the anxiety and self-esteem and other issues are making me miserable. It will involve a lot of work and forcing myself to change my thoughts (a BIG part of it!). But I’m ready to change and thanks to this book I think I know how.
It’s a great book that I totally recommend if you are dealing with any sort of negative behavior or personality problem that you just can’t understand or change. It’s available on Amazon if you think it might help. It won’t magically change your life but if you are serious about changing it can help you on that journey.