I want more selfconfidence…my insecurity even impacts my health…even my complexion!
“There’s nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of yourself.”
– James Lee Burke, author.
“I’m terrified to make the move…and that’s the story of my life!”
Chen was a 20 year old university student. He was quite tall, over 6 feet and in good shape. Chen was a somewhat typical Canadian male with a love of hockey and hanging out with his friends. He told me he played a lot of basketball, and of course, hockey. He was studying mechanical engineering and said he wanted to design cars some day. His parents has arrived in Eastern Canada from China’s Hebei Province over 30 years ago.
Chen was soft spoken and somewhat withdrawn in his communication style. Some might call it shyness. The other thing I noticed was his face. He had a severe acne condition which he seemed to be trying to hide with a chin beard. But it wasn’t working very well …many infection spots were clearly visible through his rather sparse growth.
When I asked him how I could serve him he replied, “I have several close friends…had them for years…but I want a girl friend…and there is this girl, a friend…but, I want to move it to another level…and I’m terrified to make the move…and that’s the story of my life!”
I guess I have always carried around a fear of rejection…
“Can you tell me what you are afraid of exactly?” I asked him.
“Ken, look at my face…it’s a mess…how could anyone ignore it and want to be with anyone who looks like this?” he said with a flash of wet washing across his eyes.
It sounded like his face may be harboring a long standing feeling of inadequacy about himself. But I needed to check this assumption so I asked him another question.
“Chen, I am wondering if you have had a fear of other people’s rejection before the condition of your face was a concern to you. Do you recall worrying about what other’s thought of you at a teenager and even before that time in your life…perhaps even in preteens?”
“Ken, in high school I was tall and had some basketball skills, but I remember worrying about if I would be accepted since I was oriental…and even before that, I remember always working hard to fit in because I was often the only Chinese kid in my class at school or even in my neighborhood in those days…so I guess I have always carried around a fear of rejection…but now with my face like this…I just don’t know how to deal with it!” he said with frustration written all over his face.
“Chen, what is your doctor saying about the condition of your face?”
“That’s the worst part…he said it’s acne and this kind is easily influenced by stress…so he told me, given my age because it usually passes before my age, I should get some help with managing my stressors…that would be the best thing to for it! So now I feel under the gun to get my act together…which just feels like more pressure…do you see what I am getting at?” he asked, clearly disheartened by his situation.
“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.”
– Sylvester Stallone, actor.
Trapped by my own stress and seeing the evidence in the mirror…
“Chen, it sounds like ‘Mission Impossible’ so I can see how you would be feeling frustrated, angry and even trapped…does that fit for what you have been going through?”
“That’s it exactly…trapped by my own stress and seeing the evidence in the mirror every morning!” he replied.
‘Well I think I can help you! But, it would require you to be willing to learn some new ideas and tools. That interest you, Chen?”
“That’s why I am here…so bring it on!” he said with an enthusiasm I had not seen before.
“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” – Bo Bennett, artist
“Let’s start with getting rid of some myths about stress and anxiety. First, no one is stress free unless they’re dead or heavily medicated because stress means you are alive and dealing with your life’s inevitable challenges. Second, managing stress is the real skill we are all driven to master because it is necessary for us to have a future. And third, managing stress demands we learn about our self and how how body systems work.” I said starting off.
“So Ken, you are saying being stressed is normal for everyone but we have to learn to control it…am I with you so far?”
Your perception of yourself is off balance…
“You got it Chen, you are a quick study! OK…so next the human body is a system of balances from the cellular to the physical level which simply means it is an active system constantly balancing itself to promote its health. For example, we have two arms to balance us externally and we have internal homeostatic, balancing organs (e.g. heart, liver, etc.) and organ systems (circulatory, endocrine, etc.) to equilibrate us internally…still with me?”
“So, Ken, you’re saying our body, both inside and outside, is trying to get balanced all the time for our health…is that correct?” he asked…he was a smart kid!
“Yes…exactly!” I replied smiling to applaud his attention and understanding.
Then I continued, “So stress is about being off balanced in some way…like when we walk up a steep hill we have to adjust our external body, our stride and adjust our internal system, our blood pressure, to get to the top. The same things happens in our mind. When we don’t understand something our mind must adjust our internal thinking to make sense of it or we stay confused and off balance…Yes?”
“I’m still with you…please keep going!” Chen replied.
“To apply this principle to your situation, your perception of yourself is off balance. And your acne is just a more obvious example of that imbalance. But its source goes back to before you developed acne…to an earlier time when you developed a distorted perception of yourself.”
Are you still committed to doing it…
“How far back do you think it goes, Ken?”
“Since every child is born with a ‘will to live”…an innate belief they can be anything, do anything and have anything, you weren’t born with it…it had to be learned…probably over a period of time…and that’s not important at this point. What is important is bringing your perception of yourself back to balance…and I can show you how to do that…are your game for that challenge?”
“I am, Ken!” he replied with a new determination in his voice.
“I want to alert you it will require several hours of work over the next few weeks and also require you to be very truthful with yourself! Are you still committed to doing it Chen?”
“Yes, I still am, Ken!”
“Then let’s get started right now. I want you to write down the ten behaviours about yourself you dislike the most and then the ten behaviours about yourself you like the most! And remember be honest and truthful about your perception of yourself.”
And over the next several consults I guided Chen through the Demartini Method™. He took each of the behaviors he most disliked and liked about himself on a journey of new understanding . He was skeptical at time, frustrated at other times and discouraged at still others. But he persisted and he completed it.
Did you notice I no longer have any infected zits on my face…
What made his mental journey so memorable to us both was its impact on his physical body. He arrived one day when we were about half way through the process. I asked him, as I often do with clients, if he had noticed any significant evolutions in himself or his perceptions since he had started.
Chen said, “Ken, I was wondering if you had noticed any changes in me?”
“Well you have worked diligently with me from the start and I was wondering… actually it was the last time you were here…I noticed your face, to me, looked clearer in some way?” I said.
“Clearer? My infected face started clearing up after about our third hour of work. And it continues even now. Have you noticed I no longer have any infected zits on my face? Some of the scarring is still there and that may always be with me…but Ken it has improved dramatically! Even two of my friends remarked about it in the last few weeks!”
“Attitude is your acceptance of the natural laws, or your rejection of the natural laws.”
– Stuart Chase, economist.
I’m just me and that’s enough…I’m thinking and feeling different…
“Congratulations Chen!…And have you noticed any internal changes?”
“Ken, that’s actually just as important…I’m learning I’m no better and no worse than anyone else…I’m just me and that’s enough! I seem to be thinking and feeling different…I’m more confident in several areas of my life. I think I’m learning to manage my stress!”
“Which area has been the most important for you so far Chen?”
“Ken, I asked her out… and we went to a movie…I made my move!” he replied with a full smile.
“Congratulations again!” I said with a matching smile.
Chen took his new and truthful perception of himself into his life and it blossomed in other areas as well. His acne continued to improve as he continued to uncover a more balanced perception of himself. I remember we were joking around in his last session and with a smile he said, “Ken, now that I have learned to own every human trait, both the good ones and the bad ones, I can say it is OK for me to be handsomely ugly, isn’t it?”
“It is indeed Chen!” I replied laughing out loud.
“Stress makes us stronger and wiser, why else would we put up with it!” – King Ayles, author
Until Next time…
Remember July is all about ANXIETY, WORRY & STRESS. We have dealt with two of the seven forms of : spiritual and mental (today’s topic). Still to come are: vocational, financial, social, familial and physical. Remember to send us your feedback and monthly theme suggestions…we love to hear from you! If you have a specific question about dealing with the worrying, anxiety or stress contact me.
POINTS TO PONDER AND REMEMBER are:
- Mental stress often effects your body directly.
- Mental stress often impacts your self confidence and self esteem.
- You can learn to build your self confidence using the Demartini Method™
- Building your self esteem impacts all areas of your life.
- Many diseases of your body are generated by disease of your mind.
- Balancing your diseased mind often balances your diseased body.
- Balancing your diseased mind takes focused, accelerated learning.
Further information: www.kenpiercepsychologist.com