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Is Cosmetic Surgery Your Answer?
by Chris Wesley
In my coaching practice, by far the most common root underlying LSE is around appearance. Too skinny, too fat, too toothy, too stoopy, odd jaw line, complexion, whatever. Over the years people realise that their thoughts around their appearance won't go away, and the negative impact they bring is wasting their lives They come to me to look for answers, and often they're considering cosmetic surgery.
The Real Importance of Appearance
Let's get something important said.
As animals, our minds were shaped by our evolution, not my our intellects. So, we may know it's not nice, we know all about "ugly". It's real, it's in our lives, and it affects how we feel.
Of course it's not that simple. You might see a photo of someone and think "not quite normal" but when you see the person animated in a room you may find them very attractive. Mick Jagger springs to mind, or Woody Allen - not conventionally pretty on the purely visual level, but - to many - hugely attractive. As we come to know people better, the importance appearance fades and personal characteristics dominate.
But LSE can still feed on our irrational fears. We know people notice appearance, and we invent the rest. They see it (the cosmetic issue), they won't like it, and they'll punish us for it, so we better stay away. Or even, as nice people, we ought to spare them the misery of our company. Same result.
The Lens of Belief
This one just won't go away - it's all over my website. Briefly, consider this. You walk past an attractive person. You smile, they look away. Those are the facts which the world gave you. Now let's look at those facts through two beliefs.
Let's say you have high self esteem. Since you're God's gift, and you were nice enough to smile, they must be intimidated by your good looks. Your belief (God's gift) bent the facts (they looked away) to give you a meaning (they were intimidated).
Now let's try on another belief. LSE due to feeling ugly. Well, since you're ugly (your belief), they obviously looked away (fact) in disgust at your appearance (meaning).
This is why people with LSE absolutely KNOW that it's their appearance is the issue. The world keeps showing it to them. It's a mistaken certainty.
I explain all of this to clients, and we explore their thinking. If i can get their intellects to buy in we move on to removing the thoughts that previously seemed unavoidable. At the same time, we look at behaviours and start to find small ways to modify things they do, to change how they're perceived and responded to. That last part - how people respond - is the key, because it is the messaging system which tells LSE sufferers who they are. When they see different stuff coming back, they begin to change their self image and their LSE.
So - No Cosmetic Surgery?
No. For some people, their identity is tied so tightly to their appearance issue that they've been down for so long that they can't find the internal resources to do the work with me. I can't shake their LSE. For these people, cosmetic surgery may be their answer.
If your 40 years of life to date have convinced you that your protruding teeth make you unattractive, then a cosmetic dental surgeon can straighten them (or more likely fit veneers). Now the evidence in your mirror tells you the problem is gone. You'll start behaving like a "normal person" and it is that behaviour which will change how people treat you, and that will change how you perceive yourself. Your LSE will improve greatly.
If your life of dieting has told you that you can't succeed, and you think that your weight is holding you back then liposuction or a tummy tuck will lift away the problem. Now you'll feel your new slimmer body is acceptable to others, you'll behave like an acceptable person, and that behaviour will make you accepted.
So - in a way, cosmetic surgery misses the point entirely. The problem is with the behaviour of the LSE sufferer - not with their appearance. But in another sense, cosmetic surgery works like a dream because it removes the perceived problem, releasing the sufferer from their imagined cage out into the world.
If you can find the strength to do the hard work with a coach, you can dissolve your LSE over time, but if not, then - rather than giving up - you may find cosmetic surgery is your answer.
If you're ready to work with me as your coach on your confidence, then book a £10 (refundable) initial consultation here. If you're not at that point, then this might interest you: