The popularity of self-improvement books, tapes and seminars is a reflection of the universal interest we all have in overcoming our limitations, or “being the best we can be” or “achieving our full potential.”
Popular applications of self-improvement programs include motivation and confidence, personal relationships, sales and job performance, enhancement of sports performance, public speaking, weight control and smoking cessation.
Here are some basic principles to help you determine whether such products or programs are worthy of your time and money.
There is no book or program that will be an exact fit for your needs and interests. Books and group programs are necessarily general in nature. Some of the ideas and concepts may apply well to you, but others may be irrelevant or just plain wrong as applied to your own personality and life situation. Use good judgment and discrimination in following advice offered in any self-improvement program.
Be wary of any program that is highly authoritarian and that tears you down, or attacks people who question what is being done. There have been many group self-improvement programs that have enjoyed a temporary burst of great popularity over the years that have been extremely damaging to some participants.
The most effective program or tape would, of course, be one that is designed specifically for the individual, addressing his or her unique goals, motivation and personality. Obviously this can be done only in personal consultation with a professional person such as a psychologist and involves the cost of paying that professional person for the time it takes them to provide the individual attention required to design a program or tape tailored exactly to your needs.