Personal Development All-in-One For Dummies®, 2nd Edition

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Table of Contents

About This Book
Conventions Used in This Book
What You’re Not to Read
Foolish Assumptions
How This Book Is Organised
Book I: Essential Concepts of Personal Development
Book II: Neuro-linguistic Programming
Book III: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Book IV: Confidence
Book V: Life Coaching
Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go from Here
Book I: Essential Concepts of Personal Development
Chapter 1: Exploring the Key Themes of NLP
Introducing NLP
A few quick definitions
Where NLP started and where it’s going
A note on integrity
Encountering the Pillars of NLP: Straight Up and Straightforward
Discovering Models and Modelling
Introducing NLP Presuppositions
The map is not the territory
People respond according to their map of the world
There is no failure, only feedback
The meaning of the communication is the response it elicits
If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something different
You can’t not communicate
Individuals have all the resources they need to achieve their desired outcomes
The mind and body are interlinked and affect each other
Final words on presuppositions: Suck them and see
Chapter 2: Understanding Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Understanding CBT
Combining science, philosophy and behaviour
Progressing from problems to goals
Making the Thought–Feeling Link
Emphasising the meanings you attach to events
Acting out
Learning Your ABCs
Characterising CBT
Chapter 3: Examining Confidence
Defining Confidence
What it is in practice
How it feels
Assessing Your Confidence
Looking at indicators of confidence
Finding your place on the scale
Recognising Your Strengths
Celebrating your own talents first
Gathering feedback
Picturing the Life You’d Like to Lead
Paying attention to what matters
Uncovering your confidence
Preparing for Action
Setting your intentions
Acknowledging the perils and perks of change
Chapter 4: Introducing Life Coaching
A Brief Definition of Life Coaching
Living Your Best Life
Getting ready for change
Presenting the passport for your coaching journey
Tuning In to Your Inner Coach
Introducing your split personality!
Giving yourself the gift of your own good opinion
Turning up the volume on the voice of your inner coach
Identifying Your Current Priorities for Coaching
Book II: Neuro-linguistic Programming
Chapter 1: Taking Charge of Your Life
Taking Control of Your Memory
The Path to Excellence
Knowing what you want
Becoming smarter than SMART: Creating well-formed outcomes
The four-point formula for success
Spinning the Wheel of Life
Keeping a Dream Diary of Your Goals
Grasping How Your Fears Can Drive You in the Wrong Direction
Distinguishing between conscious and unconscious
Understanding your quirky unconscious mind
Tracking Information: Your Reticular Activating System
Examining How Memories Are Created
Encountering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Handling phobias
Employing the NLP Fast Phobia Cure
Accepting That Beliefs and Values Make a Difference
Getting to grips with the power of beliefs
Working with your values
Daydreaming Your Future Reality
Chapter 2: Creating Rapport
Knowing Why Rapport is Important
Recognising Rapport when You See It
Having Basic Techniques for Building Rapport
Sharpening your rapport with eight quick tips
Viewing the communication wheel and developing rapport
Matching and mirroring
Pacing to lead other people successfully
Building rapport in virtual communication
Knowing how to break rapport and why you may want to
Discovering how to break rapport sensitively
Grasping the power of the word ‘but’
Understanding Other Points of View
Exploring perceptual positions
Looking into the NLP meta-mirror
Understanding to Be Understood: Meta Programs
Getting to grips with meta-program basics
Looking at meta programs and language patterns
Being proactive/reactive
Moving towards/away from
Discovering options/procedures
Delving into the internal/external
Going global or detailed
Recognising sameness, sameness with difference and difference
Combining meta programs
Developing your meta-program skills
Chapter 3: Getting to the Heart of the Matter: The Meta Model
Gathering Specific Information with the Meta Model
Deletion – you’re so vague
Generalisation – beware the always, musts and shoulds
Distortion – that touch of imagination
Using the Meta Model
Taking two simple steps
Remembering a few caveats
Telling Tales to Reach the Unconscious: Stories, Fables and Metaphors
Processing stories and metaphors
Getting to grips with storytelling basics
Working on your storytelling
Grasping the Power of Metaphors
Using metaphors in NLP
Applying metaphors to find new solutions
Employing direct and indirect metaphors
Building Your Own Stories
Using the Personal Story Builder Journal
Discovering more ways to flex your storytelling muscles
Chapter 4: Seeing, Hearing and Feeling Your Way to Better Communication
Getting to Grips with the Senses
Filtering reality
Hearing how people are thinking
Listening to the world of words
Building rapport through words
Acknowledging the Importance of the Eyes
Making the VAK System Work for You
Sliding the Controls of Your Experience
Associating or dissociating
Defining the details of your memories
Getting a little practice
Making Real-Life Changes
Changing a limiting belief
Creating an empowering belief
Getting rid of that backache
Using the swish
Chapter 5: Opening the Toolkit
Starting Out With NLP Anchors
Setting an anchor and building yourself a resourceful state
Developing your own repertoire of anchors
Recognising your own anchors
Changing negative anchors
Deploying stage anchors
A final point about anchors
Using the Circle of Excellence
Understanding Logical Levels
Asking the right questions
Taking logical levels step-by-step
Employing practical uses for logical levels
Capabilities and skills
Beliefs and values
Figuring out other people’s levels: Language and logical levels
Dipping into Modelling
Developing new skills through modelling
Modelling is a natural human talent
Key stages in modelling
Knowing your modelling outcome
Identifying your exemplar
Finding a modelling method you can work with
Gathering your data
Building your model
Testing the prototype
Refining for simplicity
Chapter 6: Understanding the Psychology Behind Your Habits and Behaviours
The Evolution of Strategies
The TOTE model
The NLP strategy = TOTE + modalities
The NLP strategy model in action
Flexing your strategy muscles
Acquiring new capabilities
Recoding your programs
Spelling out the NLP spelling strategy
Travelling in Time to Improve Your Life
Understanding how your memories are organised
Discovering your time line
Changing your Time Line
Travelling Along Your Time Line to a Happier You
Releasing negative emotions and limiting decisions
Finding forgiveness
Comforting the younger you
Getting rid of anxiety
Creating a Better Future
Making Change Easier
Finding clarity and direction
Creating the mind-set for change
Getting help on the way
Future pacing
Taking one step forward
Making that initial move
Celebrating and closure
Book III: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Chapter 1: Correcting Your Thinking
Identifying Classic Pitfalls in Human Thought
Catastrophising: Turning mountains back into molehills
All-or-nothing thinking: Finding somewhere in-between
Fortune-telling: Stepping away from the crystal ball
Mind-reading: Taking your guesses with a pinch of salt
Emotional reasoning: Reminding yourself that feelings aren’t facts
Overgeneralising: Avoiding the part/whole error
Labelling: Giving up the rating game
Making demands: Thinking flexibly
Mental filtering: Keeping an open mind
Disqualifying the positive: Keeping the baby when throwing out the bathwater
Low frustration tolerance: Realising you can bear the ‘unbearable’
Personalising: Removing yourself from the centre of the universe
Tackling Toxic Thoughts
Making the thought–feeling link
Becoming more objective about your thoughts
Stepping Through the ABC Form I
Creating Constructive Alternatives: Completing the ABC Form II
Directing and Redirecting Your Attention
Training in task concentration
Choosing to concentrate
Tuning in to tasks and the world around you
Becoming More Mindful
Being present in the moment
Letting your thoughts pass by
Discerning when not to listen to yourself
Incorporating mindful daily tasks
Letting unwelcome thoughts extinguish by themselves
Chapter 2: Overcoming Obstacles to Progress
Exploring Emotions and Naming Your Feelings
Thinking What to Feel
Understanding the Anatomy of Emotions
Comparing Healthy and Unhealthy Emotions
Defining and Rating Your Emotional Problems
Making a statement
Rating your emotional problem
Getting rid of guilt
Adopting Positive Principles That Promote Progress
Understanding that simple doesn’t mean easy
Being optimistic about getting better
Staying focused on your goals
Understanding the Nature of Anxiety
Acquiring anti-anxiety attitudes
Thinking realistically about the probability of bad events
Avoiding extreme thinking
Taking the fear out of fear
Defeating fear with FEAR
Repeatedly confronting your fears
Overriding Common Anxieties
Socking it to social anxiety
Waging war on worry
Pounding on panic
Assaulting agoraphobia
Dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder
Hitting back at fear of heights
Understanding the Nature of Depression
Going round and round in your head: Ruminative thinking
Catching yourself in the act
Arresting ruminations before they arrest you
Tackling inactivity
Dealing with the here and now: Solving problems
Taking care of yourself and your environment
Getting a good night’s sleep
Setting realistic sleep expectations
Chapter 3: Putting CBT into Action
Identifying Issues of Self-Esteem
Developing Self-Acceptance
Understanding that you have worth because you’re human
Appreciating that you’re too complex to globally measure or rate
Acknowledging your ever-changing nature
Accepting your fallible nature
Valuing your uniqueness
Using self-acceptance to aid self-improvement
Understanding that acceptance doesn’t mean giving up
Being Inspired to Change
Actioning Self-Acceptance
Self-talking your way to self-acceptance
Following the best-friend argument
Dealing with doubts and reservations
Selecting the Self-Help Journey to Self-Acceptance
Cooling Down Your Anger
Discerning the difference between healthy and unhealthy anger
Key characteristics of unhealthy anger
Hallmarks of healthy anger
Assembling Attitudes That Underpin Healthy Anger
Putting up with other people
Forming flexible preferences
Accepting other people as fallible human beings
Accepting yourself
Developing high frustration tolerance
Pondering the pros and cons of your temper
Asserting yourself effectively
Coping with criticism
Using the disarming technique
Acting Assertively in the Workplace
Putting your point across positively
Remaining professional
Dealing with Difficulties in Overcoming Anger
Chapter 4: Taking a Fresh Look at Your Past
Exploring How Your Past Can Influence Your Present
Identifying Your Core Beliefs
Introducing the three camps of core beliefs
Seeing how your core beliefs interact
Understanding the Impact of Core Beliefs
Spotting when you are acting according to old rules and beliefs
Understanding that unhealthy core beliefs make you prejudiced
Limiting the damage: Being aware of core beliefs
Developing Alternatives to Your Core Beliefs
Revisiting history
Starting from scratch
Defining the Beliefs You Want to Strengthen
Acting As If You Already Believe
Building a portfolio of arguments
Generating arguments against an unhelpful belief
Generating arguments to support your helpful alternative belief
Understanding That Practice Makes Imperfect
Dealing with your doubts and reservations
Zigging and zagging through the zigzag technique
Putting your new beliefs to the test
Nurturing Your New Beliefs
Chapter 5: Setting Your Sights on Goals
Putting SPORT into Your Goals
Homing In on How You Want to Be Different
Setting goals in relation to your current problems
Defining how you want to feel as an alternative
Defining how you want to act
Maximising Your Motivation
Identifying inspiration for change
Focusing on the benefits of change
Completing a cost–benefit analysis
Recording your progress
Heading for a Healthier and Happier Life
Planning to Prevent Relapse
Filling In the Gaps
Choosing absorbing activities
Matchmaking your pursuits
Putting personal pampering into practice
Overhauling Your Lifestyle
Walking the walk
Using your head
Talking the talk
Getting intimate
Living in Line with Your Values
Reflecting your values through action
Staying focused on what’s most important
Reshuffling priorities
Psychological Gardening: Maintaining Your CBT Gains
Knowing your weeds from your flowers
Nipping weeds in the bud
Spotting where weeds may grow
Tending your flowers
Planting new varieties
Being a compassionate gardener
Book IV: Confidence
Chapter 1: Identifying Your Sticking Points
Digging Down to Root Issues
Forgetting the blame mind-set
Rewriting your role in your family
Cleaning Out the Negatives
Staying busy but not overwhelmed
Redirecting those inner voices
Discovering What Drains Your Batteries
Counting the cost of toleration
Trying to meet everyone’s needs except your own
Managing Your Fears
Avoiding the trap of fear
Transforming your fears into confidence
Chapter 2: Building Your Confident Self
Accentuating Your Positives
Expecting the best
Distilling the essence of positive outcomes
Going with the flow
Letting Go of Unreal Expectations
Being Generous to Yourself First
Acknowledging your successes
Accepting help and delegating
Overcoming Procrastination
Breaking the gridlock
Biting off smaller chunks
Taking Time Off – For You
Slowing down
Adopting the 80/20 principle
Generating Realistic Standards of Behaviour
Adjusting your goals to the circumstances
Staying positive while keeping it real
Increasing your flexibility
Driving Forward in Your Life
Rising through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
Greeting the world with grace
Chapter 3: Developing Your Emotional and Physical Confidence
Getting a Grip on Your Emotions
Accessing your emotional intelligence
Pitting rational thought against emotion
Connecting creativity and confidence
Tracking Your Moods
Staying in touch with your mood patterns
Becoming more aware of your natural state
Tuning in to the gifts of intuition
Listening to your inner self
Harnessing Your Darker Emotions
Turning your anger into energy
Allowing yourself to forgive and move on
Connecting Your Mind and Body
Releasing stress, staying healthy
Following the golden rules for a healthy diet
Speaking Out with Confidence
Breathing to improve your speaking
Saying what you mean and meaning what you say
Recognising that the message is more than words
Experiencing the natural school
Acting out the theatrical school
Finding your authentic approach
Looking the Part
Being judged by appearances
Appearing confident
Making the best first impression
Conveying the right attitude with your dress
Finding your own style
Shopping smart
Chapter 4: Acting with Confidence in Your Daily Life
Reinforcing the Assertive You
Becoming assertive
Staying on top of your confidence game
Living Powerfully
Discovering Your Passionate Self
Becoming more passionate
Tapping into your natural passion
Putting your passion into action
Starting your journey
Understanding Your Values
Discovering your values
Uncovering your ends values
Resolving values conflicts
Making your own rules
Focusing on What’s Important
Reviewing your day
Living authentically
Facing up to your demons
Stretching Yourself Mentally
Expanding your comfort zone
Understanding the limits of your zone
Facing up to anxiety
Creating a haven for yourself
Preparing for the future
Chapter 5: Engaging Others
Developing Confidence in Your Professional Life
Realising that your job isn’t you
Uncovering what you want to do
Becoming Assertive
Showing Confidence in Specific Work Situations
Demonstrating power and presence in meetings
Shining during presentations
Getting through rejection
Taming the threat of redundancy
Approaching Romantic Relationships with Confidence
Realising what really matters
Looking at relationships with open eyes
Filling your partner’s needs without running dry yourself
Raising Confident Children
Securing the foundations
Being fast to praise
Setting safe boundaries
Providing a helpful environment
Encouraging a space to play
Championing your children
Book V: Life Coaching
Chapter 1: Introducing Your Coaching Journey
Getting Ready for Your Coaching Session
Beginning Your Coaching Journey
Seeing the big picture
Packing your survival kit
The stages of your journey
Marking Your Progress
Using milestone goals to celebrate success
Giving yourself a pat on the back
Choosing people to cheer you on
Anticipating setbacks and relapses
Keeping a record
Painting a picture
Assessing the Benefits and Challenges of Coaching
Attaining goals
Growing through self-awareness
Enjoying the journey
Considering the challenges of coaching
Making a Promise to Yourself
Checking out your current life conditions
Framing your coaching promise
Chapter 2: Visualising Your Whole-Life Goals
Practising Awareness
Redefining success
Focusing on outcomes
Tapping into Your Intuitive Self
Trusting your gut feeling
Living with a light heart
Cultivating a relaxed focus
Knowing What You Really Want
You’re creating your future now
Visualising your whole-life goals
Placing your whole-life goals on your horizon
Planning Effective Action
Smarten up your goal setting
Putting theory into practice
Smartening up to lose weight
Matching Your Options to Your Goals
Setting milestones for your journey
Taking baby steps
Keeping Your Promise to Yourself
Thinking like a hero
When life gets in the way of living
Exploding the myth of will-power
Dealing with jealousy from others
Chapter 3 : Becoming Your Best Self
Considering Your Unique Gifts
Boosting Your Competencies
Noticing Your Preferences
Looking out or looking in?
Finding your behavioural styles
Adding New Behaviours
Choosing Your Beliefs
Understanding how your beliefs shape you
Where do your beliefs come from?
What are your beliefs?
What do your beliefs give you?
Changing your beliefs
Reshaping a limiting belief
Learning to Manage Your Fears
Fear of failure
Fear of embarrassment
Fear of rejection
Fear of achievement
Minimising your fear foes
Overcoming Procrastination
Kicking procrastination into touch
Getting to the root of why you procrastinate
Maintaining momentum
Sorting out wishing from wanting
Chapter 4: Focusing on the Elements of Your Life
Setting Your Work in Context
Making a conscious choice
Evaluating your job
Making adjustments at work
Improving Your Current Job
Keeping your focus
Looking to the future
Being Financially Secure
Drawing up your financial ground rules
Developing your financial survival plan
Living Your Chosen Lifestyle
Counting the true cost of your lifestyle
Permitting yourself to be rich
Enjoying Loving Relationships
Creating a relationship with yourself
Finding your soul mate
Building Productive Networks
Widening your circle of influence
Getting into the networking groove
Taking a role in your world
Chapter 5: Physical, Mental and Emotional Well-Being
Choosing Your Health Goals
Looking After Your Body
Avoiding illness and disease
Filling your body with the best fuel
Building energy, strength and fitness
Taking Care of Your Mental and Emotional Well-Being
Managing your emotions
Getting out of getting into a state
Developing mental resilience
Tuning into your positive emotions
Finding Your Balance
Integrating the Goldilocks theory of balance into your life
Checking out your daily energy balance
Centring yourself
Managing yourself and your time
Managing Longer-Term Stress
Spotting your danger signs
Coaching your way through stressful situations
Coaching Yourself to Happiness
Discovering your happiness formula
Getting into the flow
Identifying the elements of happiness for you
Making time to be happy
Keeping faith and focus on happiness
Chapter 6: Developing and Growing
Thriving on Learning
Being your best
Harnessing your brain power
Playing in the Game of Life
Benefiting from a playful approach
Making the most of your leisure time
Getting in Touch with Your Spiritual Side
What is spirituality for you?
Accessing your spirituality
Asking the Right Questions
Moving down the funnel
Finding your most powerful questions
Listening to the Answers
When you don’t know the answer
Tuning into energy levels to find the answers
Making Your Best Decision
Fixing it
Fleeing from it
Building on strength
Letting Go and Integrating the New
Working through the change
Evolving to the next stage
Appendix: Personal Development Resources
The ABC Form #1
The ABC Form #2
Cheat Sheet

Personal Development All-in-One For Dummies®, 2nd Edition



About the Authors

Gillian Burn has over 25 years of experience in health and wellbeing. Her background covers nursing, midwifery and health visiting, including experience working with the Flying Doctor Service in the Australian outback.

Gillian has an MSc in Exercise and Health and is a qualified master practitioner in Neuro-linguistic Programming, time line therapy®, and in creating healthy environments. She is a licensed instructor for Mind Mapping® techniques and speed reading with Tony Buzan and a licensed instructor in Body Control Pilates® with the Body Control Pilates Academy.

Gillian is the Director of Health Circles Ltd ( providing training programmes, consultancy and coaching for individuals and companies to improve health and quality of life. Her workshops address lifestyle factors to improve energy and performance including exercise, nutrition, stress and time management, communication, designing effective workspace and creating peak energy.

Gillian aims to practise what she preaches! As well as rowing she enjoys walking, yoga, and pilates, alongside bringing up her 2 young children.

Rhena Branch, MSc, Dip CBT, is an accredited CBT therapist and holds a post-graduate clinical supervision qualification. Rhena runs a private practice with offices in North and Central London. She also teaches and supervises on the MSc course in CBT/REBT at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. Rhena treats general psychiatric disorders and has a special interest in eating disorders. Rhena is the co-author of CBT For Dummies (2nd edition) and CBT Journal For Dummies.

Kate Burton ( is an international NLP master coach, author and workshop leader who challenges individuals and organisations to create lives that are sustainable and fun. Her business career began in corporate advertising and marketing with Hewlett-Packard. Now she works with leaders and managers across industries and cultures to work at their best. She loves to deliver custom-built coaching programmes that support people to boost their communication skills, motivation, self-awareness and confidence. She believes that people all have unique talents, abilities and core values: the skill is about honouring them to the full. In addition to co-authoring NLP For Dummies, the NLP Workbook For Dummies and Confidence For Dummies, she is the author of Live Life. Love Work published by Capstone, an imprint of Wiley. Her latest addition to the Dummies personal development books is Coaching with NLP For Dummies.

Jeni Mumford was a coach and facilitator who applied whole life coaching techniques to her work with people and within businesses. Before her own life-changing decision to become a coach, Jeni benefited from a 16-year career with the Hays group, spanning recruitment, sales operations, project management, and people development, where she was lucky enough to embark on a new challenging job role every 18 months or so. It was this experience of discovering that the grass is green wherever you are – if you take proper care of the lawn – that gave Jeni the conviction and motivation to build her purpose around inspiring people to attract and enjoy their own dream life and work. Sadly, Jeni passed away in 2011.

Brinley Platts is a leading executive coach, researcher and consultant to FTSE 100 companies. He is one of the UK’s leading authorities on CIO and IT executive careers and works with international companies on the integration of senior executive life and career goals. He is a behavioural scientist by training, and his passion is to enable large organisations to become places where ordinary decent people can grow and express their talents freely to the benefit of all stakeholders. He is a co-founder of the Bring YourSELF To Work campaign, which aims to release the pent-up talent and passion of today’s global workforce to create the better world we all desire and want our children to inherit.

Romilla Ready is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-linguistic Programming, and is the director of Ready Solutions, which was founded in 1996. She runs professionally developed workshops across a range of areas and has trained clients in the UK and overseas, using her cross-cultural skills to build rapport between different nationalities. Romilla has been interviewed on local radio and has had articles on stress management and applications of NLP published in the press.

Rob Willson, BSc, MSc, Dip SBHS, currently divides the majority of his work time between private practice and conducting research on Body Dysmorphic Disorder at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. Previously he spent twelve years working at the Priory Hospital, North London where he was a therapist and therapy services manager. He also trained numerous CBT therapists over a seven-year period at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. Rob’s main clinical interests are anxiety and obsessional problems, and disseminating CBT principles through self-help. He has made several TV appearances including in the BBC documentary ‘Too Ugly for Love’.

Publisher’s Acknowledgements

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Welcome to Personal Development All-in-One For Dummies, 2nd Edition, your launch pad to understanding the basics of the key techniques and therapies available for personal development.

As a human (we’re assuming you’re not a cat if you’re reading this book), at some stage in your life you’re likely to experience some sort of emotional problem that you’d like to surmount and you’re interested in arming yourself with the techniques to help you tackle those problems. Perhaps you’re tired or fed-up with the way some things are for you now and want to find interesting and useful information to enhance your life. If so, this book is a great starting point.

About This Book

If you’re embarking on a journey of self-help or self-improvement, this book provides an introduction to the most popular and widely used techniques for personal development by:

check.png Focussing on how to use the techniques yourself.

check.png Providing practical exercises for you to try out.

check.png Outlining different methods of approaching your particular goal or problem.

The techniques described in this book are applicable for all aspects of mental health – from positive thinking and goal setting, to tackling specific psychological problems such as anxiety and addiction.

You can read further details in other For Dummies books or see a practitioner if any of the methods in particular take your fancy. If you’ve read all there is to read in this book but still want more, check out the extra information in these For Dummies titles (all published by Wiley):

check.png Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Dummies (Rob Willson and Rhena Branch)

check.png Confidence For Dummies (Kate Burton and Brinley Platts)

check.png Life Coaching For Dummies (Jeni Mumford)

check.png Neuro-linguistic Programming For Dummies (Romilla Ready and Kate Burton)

Conventions Used in This Book

To make your reading experience easier and to alert you to key words or points, we use certain conventions in this book:

check.png Italics introduces new terms and underscores key differences between words.

check.png Bold text is used to show the action part of bulleted and numbered lists.

check.png Case studies in the book are illustrative of actual clients we have treated and are not direct representations of any particular client.

What You’re Not to Read

You can read this book cover to cover or skip through just reading the sections that interest you the most. If you’re not in the mood for games, you can skim-read the sections accompanied by a Try This icon (but maybe you’ll revisit them a little later?). You can also glean plenty of information from this book without reading the sidebars (the grey boxes); the detail in our sidebars is interesting, but not crucial to understanding the rest of the book’s content.

Foolish Assumptions

In writing this book we’ve made a couple of assumptions about you:

check.png You have a general interest in self-improvement and personal development techniques.

check.png You’re looking for ways to become more the sort of person you’d like to be and you’re looking for inspiration and practical guidance on how to take your living experience to new levels of achievement, happiness and success.

check.png You’ve heard about a particular technique, or have had a technique suggested to you by an advisor, friend, doctor or mental health professional as a possible treatment for your specific difficulties.

How This Book Is Organised

We’ve divided Personal Development All-in-One For Dummies into five separate books. This section explains what you’ll find in each of these books. Each book is broken into chapters tackling key aspects and skills. The table of contents gives you more detail about what’s in each chapter, and we’ve even included a cartoon at the start of each book, just to keep you happy.

Book I: Essential Concepts of Personal Development

This book is an introduction to the four core methods included in Books II–V. The chapters within walk you through the basics of each method of personal development, guiding you through definitions and exploring the main skill sets and applications of each. If you’re new to personal development, this book helps you to decide which area to focus on first.

Book II: Neuro-linguistic Programming

By showing you how to monitor and adapt your thinking, Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) can help you break free from negative thoughts and cultivate more useful inner beliefs about yourself and your world. Neuro-linguistic Programming is a common-sense system of everyday psychology that has enhanced millions of lives.

Book III: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Whether you’re trying to fight anxiety and depression, beat addiction or simply lose weight, the key to success is learning how to think differently. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a practical, sensible and effective approach to help you master your thoughts and think constructively.

Book IV: Confidence

This book is primarily an action guide to building your confidence. We explain exactly what we mean by self-confidence and how it feels physically and emotionally. We help you spot where your confidence is waxing and waning, and what is keeping you stuck. We help you gather the elements to take action and keep motivated, enabling you to act with confidence in your life.

Book V: Life Coaching

Life coaching uses a range of practical, effective and purposeful techniques to help you challenge negative beliefs, find answers to your own questions and create the life that you want. Whether you’re looking to make a change or simply achieve more balance in your life, this book explains what to expect from life coaching and shows you how to develop your own coaching techniques – enabling you to establish an action plan, stay focused and be inspired to achieve what you want, in all aspects of life.


The appendix presents you with blank forms to use alongside five of the exercises outlined in the text. Flicking through to the appendix, you’ll see that each form comes with a reference to the relevant book and chapter to use it with.

Icons Used in This Book

When you flick through this book, you’ll notice little icons in the margins. These icons pick out certain key aspects of personal development:

tip.eps The Tip icon marks practical advice to get our personal development methods working for you.

remember.eps Important points to take note of are highlighted by the Remember icon.

jargonalert.eps This icon indicates personal development terminology that may sound like a foreign language, but which has a precise meaning in the personal development world.

trythis.eps The Try This icon suggests ideas and activities to enable you to practise personal development techniques and give you more food for thought.

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Where to Go from Here

If you’re most interested in life coaching (for example), head straight over to Book V, or if Neuro-linguistic Programming appeals, check out Book II. However, if you’re not sure which personal development method you’re most interested in, or just fancy an overview of the entire subject, turn the next page and get stuck into Book I, which explains the basics of each approach to personal development.

Good luck to you, and we wish you the best in finding the answers you’re looking for.

Book I

Essential Concepts of Personal Development


In this part . . .

This book explains the basic concepts behind Neuro-linguistic Programming, cognitive behavioural therapy, confidence and life coaching – in short, it’s a handy introduction to the rest of this title’s content. If you’re not sure what the difference is between them, this is the place to start; and if you’re well aware of the differences between these disciplines, take a look at the chapters in this book to see how they interact or approach problems from different directions.

Here are the contents of Book I at a glance:

Chapter 1: Exploring the Key Themes of NLP

Chapter 2: Understanding Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Chapter 3: Examining Confidence

Chapter 4: Introducing Life Coaching