Self-Help for Skeptics

Use Your Brains - Funk & Wagnalls Self Help Bo...

Use Your Brains – Funk & Wagnalls Self Help Books ad illustration (Photo credit: Thoth, God of Knowledge)

Donna Talarico sat at her computer one morning, stared at the screen and realized she had forgotten—again!—her password.

She was having financial difficulties at the time, and was reading self-help books to boost her mood and self-confidence. The books talked about the power of positive affirmation—which gave her an idea: She changed her various passwords to private messages to herself, like “imawe$some1” or “dogoodworktoday.”

“It’s something so simple,” says the 34-year-old marketing manager at Elizabethtown College, in Pennsylvania. “It just reinforces that you’re a good person. You can do a good job at whatever you are trying to talk yourself into.”

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