____ critically evaluate the quality of your "research." What
else happened besides your treatment that might have changed
the problem situation?
____ jot down ideas about future uses of this method or
improved procedures; share with others.
____ what and/or who were your greatest sources of help?
____ build your confidence in your ability to self-help.
____ go to step 1, and begin another self-improvement.
Select Self-Improvement Projects
Select 2 or 3 self-help projects
For most of us, there is and always will be "plenty of room for self
improvement." Looking over the problem check list (Table 2.1) may
suggest a number of improvements you would like to make. In
general, though, how do you know that you have a problem? Answer:
in many ways, e.g. someone might say you do. You might take a test.
You might simply recognize you are different from others, e.g. you
take twice as long to do something as others do. You may have
feelings you don't like, such as tension, anger, fear, boredom, etc. You
may just wonder if you are "messed up" or being unreasonable. You
may have goals you don't know how to reach. There are obviously lots
of ways of concluding there is a problem. It might be wise to talk with
others about how unusual or extreme your problem actually is. But
make sure you are changing because you want to, not just because
you want to conform to, to please, or to obey others.
Sometimes we are so busy playing or rebelling or just surviving,
we haven't thought seriously about what we want. Reality therapists
ask a good question for self-helpers: "Is what you are doing now really
going to get you where you want to go in life?" If not, then they ask:
"What do you need to start doing to get whatever you want out of
After reviewing these possible self-improvements, remember:
select only 2 or 3 self-help projects to work on at any one time.
Probably one reason self-help methods are effective is because the
self-helper singles out the problem, thinks carefully about possible
solutions, makes specific concerted efforts to change every day, and
records his/her progress. If you take on too many projects at one
time, you dilute this concentrated attack.
What to do if you can't seem to get started on a self-