"What Do You TRUTHFULLY Believe About Your Personal Appearance?"
Could a mere two word statement, heard more than forty years back, even now, in 2013, determine how one personally views his appearance?
How Do YOU Really Feel About Your Personal Appearance?
Allow me to share two, short and personal, true stories.
The first describes choices I made to avoid paths leading to life success.
The other is my story of belief.
The word 'belief' is a weak description. Rather, it's a story of KNOWING lifetime success in a certain vocation was, and, as it turns out, is mine.
Maybe you can identify.
A very long time Ago. ...
... while hanging out with my childhood friends, I recall watching a cute 7-8 year old girl sashay in the direction of our small group.
She quickly found her place within our circle.
We were shooting marbles when, out of the eternal blue, she stared me down to say, "you're ugly."
Those two words, coming from seven year old lips, and spoken nearly four decades ago, subconsciously taunt me to this day, February 8, 2013 . . . And moreover, even now, can shape my self esteem in a negative way.
Seems nonsensical, right?
It MAY come across as bunk, but I've heard many comparable stories from various friends through the years.
A person they respect, or find attractive, verbally blasts them with stinging remarks like, "you're stupid", "you're a moron", or "you're ugly," and the brain entraps those words--forever caged.
For mysterious reasons, people cannot stop the brain's DVD player from revealing incorrect pictures; and to some degree, are held captive by negative, mental imagery that came a literal life time prior.
Facts Do Not Really Matter
Whether valid or not, the firm belief one carries wins each and every time over the
white-knuckled, savagely persuasive self-talk one can rally.
I recall the sheer terror I felt each time I was called on to give a speech. I read all the books on public speaking and used the all the suggested relaxation techniques, but I still shook like a leaf in a hurricane when I stood in front of an audience.
I have since conquered this personal monster, but my fear of public speaking is related to the thought I was ugly . . . the two words I heard and internalized so long ago.
I'm a professional musician and recording artist. Let me know I am booked to give a solo piano concert where 25,000 people will be in attendance, and I feel NO nervousness whatsoever; in fact, I look forward to the event with pronounced, optimistic anticipation!
Why the seeming disparity?
The Flip Side
Playing outside at 7 years of age, I heard music playing from a radio located inside my grandmother's house.
I can still picture glowing tubes of orange providing light for the dial inside that 4 foot tall magical piece of musical furniture.
One song in particular caught my ear's attention.
I stopped playing outside, closely listened to the complete tune, and scamperd for the piano bench inside. I parked on the bench, and within 30 minutes was playing that song (with one finger.)
One would have believed Liberace was "ticklin' those ivories" ( a famous southern expression used in place of- 'playing the piano'.) Four family members ran to the piano, all shaking their heads in disbelief in reaction to what they had just witnessed.
"That boy needs piano lessons," and "My God, did you hear that?" were common quotes flying around that room for the next 30 minutes.
One month later, I was studying the piano with a great teacher.
From there, I began composing and recording, fully convinced I could accomplish anything in the music world.
The point of the story?
I was praised; nearly worshiped for my musical abilities. That positive reaction never left.
Today, and many years later, I still KNOW I'm a very good musician, and keyboard performance comes very easily and naturally for me.
I also KNOW I am, to some degree, ugly in appearance.
The entire world may believe I am a handsome man, but their views have been ineffective in piercing the wall of self-doubt my mind constructed 40+ years ago.
Our Awesome Human Brain and The Power of Self Belief
The impact of self belief should not, nor cannot be underestimated.
I have no professional credentials in the study of the human mind, but I DO know through personal experiences, this organ is a fantastic element of our creation, readily able to shape futures by simply receiving or rejecting damaging dialogue from others.
What made me believe, then internalize, two words spoken from the lips of a total stranger in a certain place and time?
- Two words that altered my entire life.
- Two words that impaired my personality in ways I will never fully grasp.
Two words . . . "you're ugly". ...