I’ve got a challenge for you today, is that ok?
Would you be willing to try something that may make you feel uncomfortable? I think it’s very worthwhile.
What I have for you are some serious questions, and I think spending time honestly thinking about each one can be very helpful.
If you’re in, take a deep breath, let it out. Then ask yourself…
- What percentage of your day do you spend worrying about your skin, or trying to stop worrying about your skin?
- How much mental energy do you estimate that takes on a daily basis?
- What percentage of each conversation do you miss out on because your mind was occupied with that worry?
- How many conversations do skip entirely because you don’t want to participate and draw attention to yourself?
- How often do you deny the world the power of your voice?
- How frequently do you deny yourself food that you want?
- How many bites each day are preceded by the thought, “how will this affect my skin?”
- How many mornings do you wake up and not think about your skin?
- How many times have you told yourself, “it’s not that bad”, and how many times did you believe it?
- How often does makeup application feel like a necessity or a burden?
- What percentage of your happiness is tied to how your skin looks?
- Is this sustainable?*
If the answer to that last question is yes, and if you’re content with your life, then all is well, carry on.
If the answer is no, or living this way is exhausting you, then it’s time to get to the bottom of why this is happening. I understand that it’s partly because of your acne, but I also know it’s mostly not.
I know most people with acne are waiting for their skin to heal to live the lives they want. And I was definitely one of those people. We suffer from “when-then” syndrome.
When my skin is clear, then I’ll be more confident and get a better job.
When my acne is gone, then I’ll look healthy enough to talk about my passion for nutrition.
When this breakout is over, then I’ll go out and can meet a guy.
It’s a common way to go through life. Unfortunately, when we do that, what we’re really doing is training ourselves to wait for perfection before letting ourselves be happy. And I can tell you, acne or no acne, that kind of a wait is never over.
And it is not sustainable.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s fine to look for ways to heal acne. Helping people find that kind of healing is part of what I do.
But I also know too much to stop there. I know that if you do not address the underlying “when-then” syndrome, even when the acne heals, something else will come along to take it’s place. You’ll unconsciously begin to look for more proof that you are not perfect, so you have more reasons to wait to be happy.
It’s exactly what happened to me the first time my acne went away. Accutane cleared my skin perfectly (for about a year). At first, I was ecstatic. I really thought all my unhappiness was because of my skin. Then I proceeded to obsess about my skin tone just as much as I had about the acne. Then I began to feel worse and worse about my body. Nothing looked good enough, so I didn’t feel good enough. I was still waiting to be happy.
There is a way to break this “when-then” cycle though. You can work toward clearer skin and live fuller, freer and happier while you do it. No waiting necessary.
If you would like to learn a better way to clearer skin and happiness, I am here for you. Click here to send me a message. We can set up a time for a complimentary conversation as my gift to you.
Sending you much love,
*The inspiration for these questions comes from a book called, “More Time To Think” by Nancy Kline