I love this picture, made by one of my clients after her first session in my coaching program. Especially the title :-) Read below the picture about this important exercise she did.
One of the first exercises I do with each of my clients do is get clear on what it will be like when they stop the compulsive cycle of picking their skin. If you are a skin picker, chances are you are continually overly focused on your skin in general, on all the damage you are doing, and on the daily ups and downs of how good or bad you think it looks. You are focused like a magnifying glass on the PROBLEM. So tightly focused that even though you desperately want a solution to the problem, you are looking exactly where you will NOT find it.
So, we do a simple pros and cons exercise, in four parts. (See my book, Skin Picking: The Freedom to Finally Stop for more details.) After we talk about the cons of picking, which you are no doubt oh so familiar with, we turn it on its head and discuss the pros of NOT picking. This is a little unfamiliar to most of you. You are not used to thinking this way, because it is not your reality right now. When you think of the pros, they are typically in negative terms, where the focus is still on the problem. For example, in the picture my client Sharon made of her pros of not picking, she states that she will, “Feel free”. Well, that was not her initial focus. Maybe she said something like, “I won’t feel like I have to hide.” Do you see how that the focus is still on the negative, the hiding? Part of our brain does not pay attention to a negating word like “won’t” in the sentence. If I tell you NOT to think of a chimpanzee in a pink tutu, were you successful at NOT thinking of it, or did you have a visual of a little chimp ballerina?
There are one or two of these pros that are still not in completely positive terms. Can you pick them out and respond with an alternate way of saying the same thing – one that puts the focus on the positive? Please put your suggestion in the comments below. I bet Sharon will be the first one to figure it out!
p.s. Have you downloaded my free “Freedom Kit”? It comes with a written and audio report, “Why you pick your skin and how to finally stop,” a video on “how to stop skin picking urges in two minutes flat,” and my “Live Free” newsletter in your inbox each month. Learn more here.