Are you struggling to break a terrible habit?

Are you struggling with a self-destructive habit that seems impossible to break?

Today’s story might help you understand what could be going on.

And inspire you to take the next step to solving your problem!

My client “Constance” is a beautiful person, inside and out. But she was suffering from damagingly low self-esteem.

A painful habit

In our first session, Constance told me she has a habit she can’t stop: pulling out her hair, one by one.

Constance came to me because her habit was getting worse. "I used to pull out one hair per week, but lately it's one per day, sometimes more."

She hated her habit. She berated herself for having "weak willpower" and not being able to stop herself. She said the build-up to whether or not she would pull out a hair could take her up to three hours.

“It’s wasting all my time and my mental energy!” she cried.

Constance and I worked together in a private session, and then I invited her to join Seekers for ongoing support.

In our session, the first thing I told her was that her habit was her inner voice telling her she needed help. Even though she didn't like its methods, we could make peace with the habit and thank it for rescuing her.

Her habit was telling her she needed to feel control over her pain, by administering it herself.

The hair-pulling was just a symptom. It was getting worse because she was finally strong enough to seek help.

She was ready to face the truth, make changes, and to get to the root cause of the problem.

To get back in touch with her body, Constance needed to locate her strong, independent inner voice. She needed to amplify that voice, to overcome the low self-esteem that had bothered her for many years.

Self-esteem issues can come from Tricky Parents

During our session, Constance’s guidance revealed that the self-esteem problems began in childhood. She had Tricky Parents. They said they loved her, but they showed her that they didn’t, in three painful ways:

  1. Criticizing and belittling her efforts, even when she received good grades at school
  2. Mocking her boyfriends and relationships, finding fault with every person she liked
  3. Demanding all her attention and time. Calling her 'disloyal' when she planned events and holiday with friends

Constance grew confused by her parents’ emotionally-immature and erratic behavior.

Their ‘truth’ did not equal her experience. When they caused her hurt and pain, and she told them so, they denied it.

If Constance pointed out her parents’ inconsistencies, they’d tell her she was “unreasonable” and “too sensitive.”

Constance began to numb her feelings.

Now in her 40s, Constance was regaining her ability to feel. She didn’t trust her feelings, though.

So she pulled one hair out at a time because it was painful, but she could control the pain. She was in charge of the pain.

Guidance is practical, step-by-step, and caring

1. Constance’s first guidance was to start with the physical: buy a non-fragranced lotion she could keep in her handbag at all times.

When she felt the urge to pull out a hair, she could put a dot of lotion on her fingertips and rub that spot instead. Then she’d be generating a sensation, but not pain.

2. The second piece of guidance was to learn how to do body-scan meditation. Body-scan meditation leads your attention from the top of your head, onto your face, then your shoulders, and piece by piece down to your toes. It’s a process of noticing, and caring about, every part of your body.

Body-scan meditation restored Constance’s awareness of her body, especially when she was trying to leap out of it as a place where she didn’t feel safe.

3. Last: transform every negative statement that her parents had ever recorded onto her mental tapes. Constance could replace the criticisms with true, positive statements.

This piece of guidance required ongoing work, which we accomplished in my coaching group, Seekers.

For example, when Constance received a promotion at her office, her historical parent voice said, “That’s nothing. That’s not enough. You’re just faking it.”

We replaced that with:

“The fact is, I have a new job title and an increased salary! I am a creative, important part of this organization. Most importantly, I enjoy my work.”

Photo by Osarugue Igbinoba on unsplash.com

Results: moving forward

Putting all this guidance into play took time and effort.

Some days, Constance found herself back to her old habit. But she thanked the habit instead of hating it. She became much more aware of why she was turning to the old habit. Her episodes came less and less often.

After three months, Constance was ready!

In our coaching group, she shifted focus to new questions. She asked about meeting a partner, moving into another apartment, and starting a side business. Her self-esteem had risen and she felt stable and calm.

Here’s how Constance describes it:

“I’m the same person, but I’m now a version of myself I really love. I am kind to myself, in ways I never was before. I can feel my emotions without getting overwhelmed. I’m ready to take on new adventures in life!”

I’m sharing Constance’s story because I want to show you that with guidance, you can:

  • Heal old wounds and step into your adult self
  • Overcome negative behaviors and habits that worry you
  • Make room in your heart for new challenges, instead of staying stuck in the past

Are you ready to move forward?

Do you have a habit (or two) troubling you now? What’s the message behind the habit? Let’s figure it out together.

Schedule a 1-hour, ten-question session to interpret what your inner voice is trying to tell you.

Then, if you need ongoing support, I’ll invite you to join Seekers. Getting coached daily for a few months gives you clear steps toward becoming someone you recognize. Someone you like seeing in the mirror.

I look forward to helping you!

Peace,

Shan

P.S. Constance's name and some details in this story were changed for confidentiality, but the process and spirit of the guidance are real.

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