Dr. Keith: Living the Truth

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Living the Truth (LTT) stems from this belief_ Humans have the capacity to dramatically change their lives (for the better) by honestly looking at the past events and relationships that have contributed to their present thoughts and behavior patterns.

This unearthing of key lessons about who we are deep in our souls also unlocks the most important secrets to what we can become. Because when we feel authentic and grounded, when we feel, we dream with true hearts and clear minds. Then, we can become what we want to be.

LTT also is founded upon the certainty that humans underestimate their own capacity for self-knowledge and needlessly fear their core thoughts and feelings, when those very thoughts and feelings have the power to liberate them from self-defeating behavior patterns. That's why one of the LTT mottos is: "Everything you need to change your life is already inside you."

One of the ways LTT gives you access to your internal wisdom is by helping you bring into awareness the most important "pages" and "chapters" of your life story, elements of which almost all of us keep from consciousness because we think of them as painful.

Creating your own MyTruthpage is a good way to begin this process. It is also an excellent way to connect with others engaged in a journey of self-knowledge, who can help you with your own.

Here are some success stories of LTT: * A 44-year-old woman who, in the past, continually chose controlling men, none of whom made her feel loved. She finally realized her father was controlling in many ways, and she did not feel loved as a child. Reclaiming her reality allowed her to stop "living" in the past and start acting as an empowered female - so that next time, she can pick a man who treats her as an equal.

* A 37-year-old man felt isolated and was addicted to alcohol. He realized he was dulling the pain he felt from losing his sibling when he was a teenager; he had never fully grieved. Allowing himself to feel emotions he denied for decades, he freed himself from the need to anesthetize himself and take a chance again on a close friendship.

* A 29-year-old man with panic disorder, whose symptoms included debilitating heart palpitations and a sense of impending doom, recalled how frightened and powerless he felt when his father was diagnosed with cancer - also at the age of 29. By "connecting the dots," his anxiety medicine suddenly begins to work, because it is now powered by more than chemistry. Insight has taken hold.

* A 24-year-old woman binged and purged food as a way to distract herself from her core emotions. She realized those emotions included deep sadness about having moved from three separate cities and schools and groups of friends as her parents tried to find stability in their own lives. She embraces how alone she felt at times, how she has come to distrust interpersonal connections and how she has kept a man she loves at a distance, fearing he will "move on," too. Feeling more and more helps her binge and purge less and less. She starts to believe in herself and in others and sees her relationship flourish.

The four core principles and eight-step programs that form the foundation of LTT were developed by me, Dr. Keith Ablow.

My clients have included celebrities, politicians and Fortune 500 business leaders, but they have also included people from every walk of life. What I realized in the course of working with so many people was that we all have a remarkable ability to create success for ourselves, in our personal and professional lives, but only once we achieve personal authenticity.

I realized this authenticity is well within reach for each and every one of us.

People needlessly hold up shields against internal truths that could be empowering, life affirming and even life saving for them. These shields can include distracting, tumultuous relationships, overeating, overspending, overusing alcohol, smoking, using illicit drugs, gambling, and on and on.

LTT helps individuals put down these shields, and look past them into the mirror, which reflects their true selves. Then, they can build authentic and powerful existences, putting their dreams within reach.

Over the course of the next eight weeks - every Friday - I will bring you the eight steps you need to "Living the Truth."

There will be real-life examples, insights, stories, goals and, above all, hope.

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatry correspondent for FOX News Channel and a New York Times bestselling author. His newest book, "Living the Truth: Transform Your Life through the Power of Insight and Honesty" has launched a new self-help movement. Check out Dr. Ablow's website at livingthetruth.com.