Exercise & Fitness/Mind, Body & Spirit Self Help/Counselling
I rarely read self-help books, but this one popped up via a particularly supportive Twitter group I belong to and, as it was free for a few days, I thought I’d give it a look. It attracted my attention due to its subtitle ‘A guide to decreasing anxiety and creating balance through intentional choices’ as I had a 10-year spell of ME/CFS that left me with an increased level of anxiety due to the condition’s apparent effects on brain chemistry. Although now free of the condition, the anxiety aspect remains as an occasional irritating echo.
The book has 29 chapters with titles such as; Truth – Little t v Big T, S.O.B.E.R. Skills, (an acronym for a mindfulness-based relapse prevention tool), Fear of Failing in Public, Imposter Syndrome, Apologising, Boundaries, Selfishness, Consequences, Values, and Worth.
Expressed simplistically, this is a guide to using techniques designed to counter anxiety and deal with self-esteem issues. It uses examples, often taken from the author’s life, to explain what’s really happening in situations that might generate anxiety or raise questions of self-worth. Tara explains how we’re taught certain beliefs that may be transformed through misunderstanding into core values by which we then lead our lives. Her aim is to make us question those aspects of life that most impact on our self-esteem, those ways in which we arrive at decisions based on information that may be false, irrelevant, or simply not true for us as individuals.
She provides strategies to help us cope with change and disappointment; either our own or that of others. She also gives guidance on how we often make judgments, and therefore decisions, based on values that may not be our own.
Facing up to the real truths about ourselves (the Big Ts) helps us become the best version of ourselves we can be.
In common with many books in the world of modern publishing, this one would benefit from a touch more editing. But that’s my writer’s pedantic attitude coming to the fore. The message, for all its frequent reliance on sometimes obscure features of USA life and its seemingly unconscious basis in the ‘American Dream’, is worthy of attention and application beyond those shores.
It’s a book I’ll revisit, as there is much of value here. I leave this first reading with insight into aspects of living I hadn’t previously considered, alongside others I’d always taken as being a natural part of the make-up of everyone. So, definite food for thought and a source of positive questioning that may help many readers as they seek ways to improve their lives in this complex and sometimes chaotic world.
[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]