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This book was written for people recognizing or dealing with personal struggles related to; low self-esteem, low self-worth, or poor self-perception, thereby feeling; unworthy, unhappy, unlovable, angry, desperate, lost and/or confused. These are a result of unhealthy beliefs that were formed as a result of growing up in a dysfunctional family or other unhealthy setting.

Feeling All Alone? Lost? Confused? Hurt?

Did You Experience a Traumatic or Dysfunctional Past?  

Wondering What the Meaning of Your Life Is? 

Struggling with Relationships?

Discovering Michael is an inspirational guide for those interested in personal growth and self-discovery. It provides you with an understanding from a “users” perspective of what the journey is like, along with the “tools” that are available to help you achieve your personal goals. Mostly, I hope, this will be a catalyst and inspiration for your own growth, a decision to take that long and hard look within to identify and change those unhealthy beliefs about yourself and of life itself. Discovering Michael is a guide filled with bits of wisdom and suggestions to help you find and experience the love, meaning and happiness you deserve in your own life!     

Part One shares my personal story about growing up in a physically, mentally and emotionally abusive home, and in particular, what I realized were the issues I carried forward and how I came to confront them. The purpose of this section is to help you begin the process of self-reflection by taking a hard and honest look at yourself. More important than the details of my story is your reflection of your own life and what you choose to do with this knowledge. My story is intended to be a catalyst for you to begin reflecting on your own past and how it has affected you. There may be aspects of my life to which you can relate, or there may not be. What tends to be the same, however, is that we share something in common--a painful past. Accepting this truth is necessary to find out what exists at the core of our beliefs about ourselves, and about life itself. Our beliefs are the basis for our attitudes and our actions, and if tainted, often the result from experiencing trauma, we can have distorted beliefs and display dysfunctional behaviors. Attempting to change our attitudes and behaviors without discovering what is behind them would simply be treating the symptoms versus the cause. There may be a temporary relief from the situation or issue, but chances are it will return.     

The desire to share my story is not to seek pity or condolences, but rather to help you begin the process of self-discovery. The power of sharing comes from the effect it has on others. When we listen to, observe or read about the experiences of another, we react based on our own perceptions of what we just learned. Our reactions are opportunities to learn something about ourselves. The challenge for you is to find out more about yourself.      

Part Two provides you with ideas to get started. I refer to these as "Tools for Self Discovery." I provide you with my own experiences using these tools along with the feedback I have heard from others. Again, I do not consider myself to be an expert in any of these areas. However, using my experiences as a guide, I feel qualified to share with you my knowledge of the tools, and their advantages and disadvantages. Many of the tools are free and simple to learn, and you should be able to find a tool that matches your budget and level of commitment. They include personality tests, journals, workshops, therapy and counseling, support groups, affirmations and self-help books.      

Part Three begins with reviewing the challenges associated with personal growth, which is CHANGE. Change is inevitable and change is tough. The goal is to learn how to accept change as a part of life. We may not like it, but change is an integral part of growth; resisting it will only result in stagnation. Change often resurrects one of our primal fears--the fear of the unknown.      

Throughout my growth experience I have had the pleasure of observing many people--noting their behaviors and attitudes in different situations, and my reactions to them--and learning from such observations. I have discerned several distinct characteristics and consistent patterns regarding personal growth and development. Part Three includes highlights of my observations and the meanings I have attached to them.     

Ultimately, Discovering Michael is intended to be an inspirational story and guide for your own personal growth and self-discovery.

Discovering Michael

AN INSPIRATIONAL GUIDE to personal growth & SELF-DISCOVERY

By michael james, Published by balboa press - a division of hay house, March 25, 2014

The benefit of personal growth and self-discovery is that we become better human beings with the strength to endure and carry on, and then we may experience something magical when we begin to reach out to others. We discover a feeling that is so rewarding and fulfilling: that fact that we can make a difference. Here is to your willingness to begin with making a difference with yourself!" Michael James

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