We’re a culture obsessed over our looks, but plastic surgery and the beauty industry—as powerful and bankrolling as they are—cannot give us the self-esteem we’ve given up by listening to the wrong people.
Dr. Maxwell Maltz noted this in his pioneering work, The New Psycho-Cybernetics, where he found that his patients, even after plastic surgery, with visible physical differences, did not feel better about themselves. The levels of one’s self-esteem did not completely respond to the physical realities.
We learn that it is all in the mind, that it boils down to psychology. Perhaps the next generation will be different.
Yet, five-and-a-half decades later, we continue to fall deeper. Depression, anxiety disorders, and suicide rates continue to grow at alarming rates, and pills—while being the prescription—aren’t the solution. We continue to commit errors of judgement because we’ve allowed ourselves to become the product of other people’s way of thinking.
“Who do you think you are?”
Modern society repeats the question with every label, every turn of the block, every door you pass through and pass by. It’s the question of a bully. It’s the question that diminishes. It’s the question that belittles, mutes, and excludes. It’s also the question of jealousy, the question of a threatened being, the question of grave insecurity and an ego made of eggshells.
We surrender more of our diminishing power by repeating this question subconsciously with every decision we make, and every choice we pick for ourselves, privately and publicly. Where we sit on a bus, what clothes we put on ourselves, where we go for coffee, where we go to dance, what we choose to share on Instagram, what stores we walk into…the list goes on. Every nugget of display is a measured act, to safely place ourselves within where people think we belong, and we wonder why we become so perpetually unhappy?
I work a lot in public, in mixed circles, and being interested in people, I’m tuned into people watching and overhearing conversations, perhaps more than the appropriate amount, and at closer than the appropriate distance. In New York, there is no space. I love provocative questions, so I’ll add one word to the bully question, and challenge you to answer me, “Who do you think you’re not?”
Really. Repeat this question with me, “Who do I think I’m not?” Repeat it enough times and as many as times as needed to get to the core of what’s finally speaking up inside you…that faint whisper…that voice that you’ll want to shut down, dismiss, reject, and deny, as you have for so much of your life.
Repeat this question, because what it brings to life—needs to live.
You probably have heard of, or even have read, watched, or in some way or form, took in The Secret. But has your life really changed since the powerful realization that is revealed in this book? If the answer is no, or not enough, that’s okay, because neither have most people’s—over 90 percent of “the rest of them.”
Time and time again, psychologists have proven that knowledge or information isn’t what shapes our lives—which is seeped deeply by our habits and further locked in by our paradigms.
But the problem with our paradigms is that it’s not even truly our own. We inherit so much sh*t and disempowering beliefs from people we’ve never even given permission to judge us. Yet we fall enslaved to that, and live a life shackled by these chains.
Bob Proctor was interviewed in The Secret, and recently, I was lucky enough to have shared a webinar with him, where he says the following:
“Paradigms literally control the lives of most people most of the time and part of the paradigm is how we see ourselves…. It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. You might want to run that through your mental computer four or five times…. Do you know that your spiritual DNA is perfect? You are a spiritual being…we’ve got powers locked up within us that would blow our mind.”
Provocative question No. 2: “Do you know that your spiritual DNA is perfect?”
Bob goes on to say, “It’s never too late to be who you really are and you are really a whole lot more than what is evident on the surface.”
You are more than your genes, your ethnicity, your skin colour, your weight, your bone structure, the size of clothing you wear, and so on. The saddest part is that it’s almost universally true that more effort, time, and money are spent on altering our physical appearances, without nearly as much care taken to nurture our hearts and minds. So we spend most of our time chasing something that cannot be sustained, trimming the edges of wild grown plants instead of uprooting the weeds that don’t belong in our garden, and planting new lives that do. How we tend to our garden is how we tend to our life.
It takes but two questions to shake up our paradigm:
- Who do you think you’re not?
- Do you know your Spiritual DNA is perfect?
With these two questions, we can make today a turning point in our life. We can ask ourselves these questions every day, with every door we pass through and pass by, until we are truly happy and fulfilled. Then, we’ll have truly engineered a new life to live, a life as raw, as genuine, as beautiful, and as deserving as we are.
People will still talk. But they won’t affect us anymore. We can train ourselves to become immune to the poison of others, because of a wisdom distilled by Matt Khan:
“Despite how open, peaceful, and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you, as deeply as they’ve met themselves. This is the heart of clarity.”
Remember, we are not to be sacrificed for someone else’s fragile sense of the world. We can learn to love ourselves. Our spiritual DNA is perfect.
Author: Xiren Wang
Picture: Movie Still/The Grand Budapest Hotel
Editor: Travis May