Tony Robbins Helped Me Cure My Devastating Habit Of Skin Picking

I suffered severely from skin picking for years (early high school through graduate school), and as a result I lost out on so many opportunities and was miserable; in danger of damaging my health, carrier, and relationships. Two things helped me to heal and recover: (1) I listened to Tony Robbins' Personal Power II 30-day program (about 30 min - 1 hr each day, including written exercises). Within the first few week I learned how to create such an aversion in my mind to skin-picking that the idea of doing this to myself would make me physically ill. (I hadn't bought the program with the intention of curing the skin picking or even hope that the program could help me in that area. I had many other improvements in my life I needed to make that had prompted me to purchase the program. Healing and curing myself of skin picking was for me a natural course of listening to the tapes and doing the exercises and applying those principles to my daily life. Healing and curing my skin picking habit became the key that unlocked healing for me in so many other areas of my life.

The "Dickens Process" - an exercise Tony takes you through early on in the program - was for me particularly mind-blowing and deeply emotional. (I don't want to spoil the exercise for you by describing it in detail - but he leads you to feel like Scrooge on Christmas morning when you realize that the terrible future that could have been, has not yet happened. That you have your whole life ahead of you to be a completely new person, right now, because you have decided with all of your heart and soul to be that new person and there is no other alternative. And what a joyful feeling that is!)

The Dickens Process (Tony leads you through this on the CDs/tapes) made me completely internalize and be truthful with myself about the devastating effects of skin-picking in the past (up to that moment), the effects in the present (all the things I would miss out on because I had to hide my skin, or the time lost to skin-picking, and sleep lost to skin-picking, etc.) and it made me be honest with myself about future my prospects if I were to continue indulging in this self-devastation into the future. Imagining exactly how I would look ten years from now if I still were picking my skin. Thinking about all of the possibilities and opportunities had already missed out on, and all that I would lose in the next 10 years as a result of skin-picking if I continued down the skin-picking path I had been on. I instilled in myself utterly compelling reasons why I had to change, and consciously focused on associating to my skin-picking the most awful feelings/pictures.

At the same time I was listening to the Tony Robbins program, I purchased some skin products (Murad Anti-Acne – but it could be whatever is best/most soothing for your skin) to create a POSITIVE, healing routine every night. I would wash my face, apply the Murad lovingly, gently, then I would turn out that bathroom light very quickly and lickety-split GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM ASAP. I don't have acne and didn't really need anti-acne products (although in my dark skin-picking days I could easily find "blemishes" to pick at that otherwise were not visible to the naked eye .. .until I picked at them ... then I couldn't hide them if I tried). But you can't use a product like Murad if your skin is being/ has been picked/scabbed (it would BURN!), so in keeping my promise to myself to take good care of my skin in a loving, thoughtful way every day (but a QUICK ritual, then OUT of the bathroom!) I was also committing that by promising to use the Murad every day, I logistically COULDN'T harm my skin (because I couldn't do both - so I chose skin care rather than skin mutilation). It seems like a product like Proactiv might also be helpful, because it gives you psychological relief that any underlying offender/bump in your skin will be tended to by the product... so you keep your hands off.

I saw a Youtube clip tonight where a pretty girl describing her problem with skin picking described it like a splinter you just have to get rid of... even though no one else can see anything there. That's exactly how I felt when I hurt my skin for years. But just listening to Tony Robbin's Personal Power II program (often while driving to work) for those 30 days (and just as importantly, doing the daily written exercises) helped me to create a BREAK from what had become a terrible, disabling, disfiguring habit. I no longer WANTED to do it; I learned to associate much greater PAIN to continuing to hurt myself that way, than whatever pleasure/(twisted de-stressing) I had derived from it for so many years.

I remember exactly where I was, the room, the time of day, everything, when I played the "Dickens Process" tape (I think it's in the first week or so of the 30-day program.) Literally it changed everything for me and was a tremendous impetus in curing and healing myself. Creating a new (very brief, then out-of-the-bathroom!) ritual of CARING for my skin was a way to cement the profound change in myself.

The scars DO go away! (Murad was great for this too, because it exfoliates and seemed to help the healthy new skin radiate through.) Especially if you eat healthy foods (I highly recommend Dr. Fuhrman's book, Eat to Live) your skin can recover amazingly quickly. Everything changed vastly for the better for me so quickly after Tony Robbins' "Dickens Process" helped me to make the decision to associate and FEEL to my deepest core far more PAIN with skin-picking than pleasure. I don't believe any psychologist/doctor whatever could have created this change in me as quickly and completely as just listening to Tony Robbin's 30-day program.

I am not associated with Tony Robbins or Murad in any way ... but I am deeply grateful to Tony Robbins because he gave me a completely different outlook on everything, helped me to become a much happier and more optimistic person, and helped me to cure myself of skin-picking. The Murad helped to reinforce good habits to replace my bad habits because it would have burned my skin to use it if I picked at all. So I didn't pick at all; I used the Murad to help my skin regenerate and to reinforce my promise to myself (creating a positive and HEALTHY cycle, to replace the old vicious cycle); and amazingly my body/skin healed itself very, very quickly from many years of devastating skin-picking -- when I just gave it a chance by leaving it alone.

I once heard Tony Robbins describing how he himself had a terrible problem with nail biting, but he wasn't compelled to stop until someone he respected (and whom he had only just met) called him on it and embarrassed him so much, it helped him to focus on associating more pain to the nail biting than to continuing nail biting. But he also made a reference to doing a physical manifestation any time he had the urge to nail bite: I think he would place his hand near his heart, then snap his fingers and right after the finger snap lay his hand on his chest (like your hand over heart for Pledge of Allegiance). I am just describing how it looked when he did it. It was a physical reminder to him if he had the urge to nail bite -- like a scratch in a record -- stopping the habitual recording in your mind -- stopping the habit (i.e., the urge to nail bite or skin pick) by making a strong physical movement that you reserve solely for this purpose. To remind yourself to STOP and think about what your hand is doing. I am guessing the hand over his heart might be a symbolic pledge: a promise to himself made physical by the 1-2 motion of snap/and hand over heart. I haven't found anywhere where he talks about that in more depth; it was just a few seconds when I heard him describe how he stopped his own nail biting. But I really like the idea of creating your own physical reminder to stop the automated recording in your mind when you feel like you are going to go into lala land and just pick the rest of the night/day/whatever, away (as I frequently used to do). I like the 1-2 snap/hand-over-heart reminder. (If you’re away from home, wherever you are, having a physical gesture like this that you can make as a physical REMINDER is helpful if you find your hand wandering toward skin picking.)

Here is one more thing that I hope can help people who have this devastating problem (skin picking): a way to help you associate more PAIN to picking than pleasure (via de-stressing by picking). Listen to Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture on Youtube. Listen to the whole thing; I can't imagine anyone regretting spending the time. When I first heard The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch was still alive; talking about how precious each moment he had left to live was to him; how important it was to not waste a minute of his time; to focus his love and energy every moment he could on his family, his children... He didn't know how many minutes or hours or days or months he had left to spend with them. But he knew he would treat every minute as a precious gift. I was reeling when I contemplated how many minutes/hours/days/weeks?/more? when combined altogether, I had spent in my lifetime, mindlessly escaping whatever stress/worries I had by picking my skin, to the point of devastating my skin. That's the kind of PAIN that Tony Robbins helped me to associate very deeply to skin picking. How could I throw away all of those precious minutes of my life? What if I learned I had only days or weeks to live ... would I spend those precious minutes completely WASTING each minute by picking at my skin? (Or would I go outside and breath the fresh air, go for a drive, play, exercise, meditate, pray, sing, call a friend, go the the beach, GIVE, help someone else, learn how to play the piano or guitar, get OUTSIDE of myself instead?)

A lot of what Tony Robbins teaches has to do with gratitude; focusing on gratitude has changed my life and helped me to heal in many ways. Sorry to have gone on for so long about this; I just hope it can help someone else like me whose life has been ravaged by skin picking. I never knew anyone else really had this problem; I only looked it up tonight on the computer for the first time. At the time I had this problem there really was no such thing as Googling, nor all of the web resources out there now. But in my search tonight I still didn't find too many answers for this problem, except maybe drugs/psychiatric clinics/groups -- to me sounds depressing and not very promising. I wasn't finding anything uplifting / hopeful or ways to help you to CURE yourself ... Believe that you CAN cure yourself, potentially in a matter of days/weeks, if you WANT to. If you make yourself believe to the core of your being that you MUST stop hurting yourself.

So I wanted to share how Tony Robbins Personal Power II program helped me to very specifically and intentionally cure myself of skin picking, even though his program is not geared to this specific type of problem (but is geared to help you resolve the underlying problems associated with any type of self-inflicted damaging habit - from smoking, to over-eating, nail-biting ... so it worked for me to cure skin-picking). If you do the program mindfully and focus on healing yourself you likely will be amazed by the changes you can make, very quickly.

I wish you all the best and I wish you great happiness and liberation from any self-inflicted habits that have caused you pain in the past. I am so grateful that I discovered Tony Robbin's work and I hope that through his work many others can heal themselves: not only from skin-picking, but from whatever other harmful habits we inflict on ourselves. As Tony Robbins puts it, "The past does not equal the future." You CAN change and KICK this habit! No matter how many times in the past you might have tried and failed, you CAN heal yourself with the right tools. I had tried to stop skin-picking SO many times prior and failed! I had been to see a psychologist/psychiatrist whatever they were called.... nothing helped. In fact I think my brief stint of trying to get "professional" help just made it worse because the guy made me feel like I must be nuts and that made me even more depressed so I picked at my skin even more... Tony Robbins gave me all of the tools I needed to change my MIND, my thinking and heal myself. I believe that with these tools anyone can change and create a much better, happier life. I wish you MANY BLESSINGS and rapid healing - in every way!
changeyourmind changeyourmind
41-45, F
1 Response Jul 24, 2010

Super-powerful... congratulations totally. I'm a massive, massive fan of Anthony Robbins and was thrilled you mentioned Randy Paush :)