I love self-help books, I love the fact that within their pages I am going to find a snippet of information which helps me to sort out some problem I’m having; whether it’s a problem with happiness, love, losing weight (sigh!) or even a good old ‘how to’ book then I’m happy and contented. But there comes a time in every girl’s life when a self help book is not enough, when you actually have to set aside the desire for someone else to do it for you and do some work to make it happen.I had such a moment on Saturday.
I was competing in the next stage of competitions for the Toastmasters International Speech Contest – I’d only got through one level so far, at my local club but I had high hopes of making it all the way to the United States and the finals.
They did not last, I came second. You may think I would have been happy about this given it was my first attempt ever and I had won at club level and now I’d come second at Area level. But I wasn’t. In fact I pretty despondent. I had assumed (wrongly, it turned out) that I would win … how could I not win?
However, once I came out of my monumental sulk I did admit that I had learned a thing or two about myself and that these were things I could never have learned from a self help book.
The biggest thing I learnt was that I have a strong need for what’s called extrinsic affirmation, that is others telling me that I’m OK and that I am good enough. When I don’t get that, my confidence is rocked and I feel lost. Intellectually, I know that this isn’t true of course, I only have to look at what I’ve created over the years to feel proud of my achievements. But on an emotional level I’m still learning to live with who I am.
Of course, it was a self-help book that helped me to be introspective enough to learn this about myself and I thought I’d share it with you. Whilst it didn’t give me an answer as such it did give me the impetus to begin to see things differently. The book is called How to Do Everything and be Happy: the easy peasy guide to creating happiness – perfect for a control freak like me who does actually want to do everything.
If you would like to find out more about being happier, but without having to change your life (except in ways which are totally positive) then I’d suggest you go and have a read of this book at: http://howtodoeverythingandbehappy.com/about-the-book/
Ironically, the title of my speech was ‘I have a dream’ and was about encouraging people to take the actions they need to in order to bring about the life changes they want to see …..! When I have a moment, I’ll pop the video on YouTube and you can see it for yourself, if you want to that is.