A young man named Eric was a client of mine several years ago when I was seeing people privately. He was devastatingly handsome and made a good living as a model. He told me how difficult it was for him to go to the gym because he felt so unattractive.
As we worked together, he recalled that a neighborhood bully from his childhood used to call him “ugly.” This person would also beat him up and constantly threaten him. In order to be left alone and feel safe, Eric began to hide. He bought into the fact that he wasn’t good enough. In his mind, he was ugly.
Through self-love and doing positive affirmations, Eric has improved tremendously. His feelings of anxiety may come and go, but now he has some tools to work with.
Remember, feelings of inadequacy start with negative thoughts that we have about ourselves. However, these thoughts have no power over us unless we act upon them. Thoughts are only words strung together. They have no meaning whatsoever. Only we give meaning to them, and we do so by focusing on the negative messages over and over again in our minds. We believe the worst about ourselves. And we choose what kind of meaning we give to them.
We’re always perfect, always beautiful, and ever-changing. We’re doing the best we can with the understanding, knowledge and awareness that we have. As we grow and change more and more, our “best” will only get better and better.
An Exercise in Letting Go
Here’s an exercise you can do to help you let go and relax:
As you read this exercise, take a deep breath, and as you exhale, allow the tension to leave your body. Let your scalp, forehead, and face relax. Your head need not be tense in order for you to read. Let your tongue, throat, and shoulders relax, Let your back, abdomen, and pelvis relax. Let your breathing be at peace as you relax your legs and feet.
Can you feel a noticeable change in your body since you started reading the previous paragraph? In this relaxed, comfortable position, say to yourself:
“I am willing to let go. I release. I let go. I release all tension. I release all fear. I release all anger. I release all guilt. I release all sadness. I let go of old limitations. I let go, and I am at peace. I am at peace with myself. I am at peace with the process of life. I am safe.”
Go over this exercise two or three times. Repeat it whenever thoughts of difficulty come up. It takes a little practice for the routine to become a part of you. Once you’re familiar with this exercise, you can do it anywhere at any time. You will be able to relax complete in any situation.