Your Personal Identity, the real driving force of human endeavour, is not just what you display; it is based on the power to think, to reason, a power that can neither be presumed nor expected.
You need to reinforce and regenerate it constantly by how you have learned to measure yourself – your value system.
As a child, you get reinforcements from parents and guardians. Later you must get them from yourself using value systems, that define your individuality and personality.
And your Value System can easily be bruised, crushed, or deflated by an unkind word, a failed effort, a rejection, criticism, or loss, taking with it your self-respect and thus your Self-Image, or how you see your personal identity.
So if your Self-Image has taken a beating, and you lose your drive to project yourself with assurance, you may feel drawn to some unhealthy acts, reacting rather than showing confidence and control…
using alcohol, prescribed or designer drugs, or other activities to escape the turmoil or soothe the discomfort
pushing yourself to exhaustion trying to fix everything, please others, fit in, display competence, or show accountability
getting irritable, angry, manipulative, jealous,or hostile at the slightest provocation or to express your frustration.
giving-in to self-doubt, anxiety, apathy, or despair when the challenges you face become too much to bear or too difficult to manage.
These four reactive behaviours are just different manifestations of the same thing – the bruised, deflated, or shattered personal identity.
Many people believe that the chemical use or addiction brings out the other three. Know they are equally evoked. The chemical use or addiction is just one.
Look at it this way…
There are Life’s stresses – normal, natural, unavoidable, persistent.
Then, there is the Self-Image. When strong or secure, it can address the stresses. If weak or insecure, it allows the retreat behind Reactive Behaviour
Secure Self Image
Insecure Self Image
The Insecure Self-Image is not necessarily a weakness. It can be the insecurity of an artificial strength – social position, finances, beauty, skill – that are not stable or secure in their value.
Therefore, if attention is directed at restraining the most bothersome Reactive Behaviour, your Self-Image will still be insecure leaving you liable to use the other three or a different version of the one you restrained.
We teach you instead how to identify and correct the insecurity in your Self-Image. Then you will be more purposeful facing your Life Stresses with creativity and assurance.
Your Reactive Behaviours will still be there but used at a milder or limited level that is easier to manage.