When I was about 17 I was given a book by someone who meant a lot to me. Tragically she died shortly thereafter but that book stayed with me for years. It was a self-help book called You Can Heal Your Life and was written by Louise Hay. Sadly, I've since lost that copy but I recently bought a kindle copy and devoured it in a couple of days. It's basically about the power of positivity and how loving yourself can heal yourself. It really is an amazing read and I would recommend it to everyone. Carol, the woman who gave me the book in the first place, was my A'level psychology and business studies teacher. She was also a tarot card reader and a great believer in self-improvement. She read my cards once and told me I would reach self-realization. I always thought it was kind of cool that she'd 'seen' something so amazing in the cards.
In hindsight (and with the wisdom of age!) I've come to believe she told me that to 'make' me believe that self-realization is possible for me. Perhaps it's because of what she said that I've become so interested in self-improvement. But it's not important. What is important is that I do believe it is possible.