How would you feel if Chris Gardner or Chad Mureta, is talking to you but is not conscious of the fact that he has no hand or that he had lived in a homeless shelter all his life and is sharing great insights on how to make money and he is also a multi millionaire? There is a huge chance that you would barely notice his physical handicap. But what if you had no teeth and are asked to come and address the national assembly what will you be doing while speaking to them?
I know a pretty lady who had this notion that her face was full of pimples and she developed an unconscious habit of always picking at any spot on her face, leading to little spots getting inflamed into huge pimples. I also know a man that used to be a chain smoker. He then had the notion that his mouth smelt of cigarette. This led to an unconscious habit of always covering his mouth with his hand or turning his face away from people while talking to them despite the fact that he had stopped smoking for years.
Most of people have developed different notions that they think is making them stand out negatively. In other to cover up for such notions, they develop habits that draw people’s attention to their short comings which would have gone unnoticed if not for their unconscious habit that they think by covering up the notion they have about themselves.
There was a day I saw a young lady with her bag held behind her back. That unusual action drew my attention to where the bag was and I saw that she had a tear she was trying to cover. It struck me that it was a tear that most people would have not noticed if not that she had this awkward habit of walking with a small purse held behind her back.
I then remembered a day I was trying to board a bus in Lagos and my trouser tore almost into two between the legs. I continued moving as if I did not notice what happened and because I continues moving, no one noticed what happened to me.
Even when I got down, I continued walking as if I did not know what happened until I got to where I boarded a bike. Most people would have tried to use something to cover up the tear, thereby drawing people’s attention to place.
So, do not just assume that you do not have an unconscious habit you are trying to use to cover up a notion you have about yourself. Because it is an unconscious habit, you would not beware of it but it will be destroying your self confidence because you would always be aware that people are looking at you in a funny way. You would then think that they are looking at you because of the notion you have that you have a weakness and that will make you more self-conscious and make you work hard to cover it up.
You may wonder why no one has ever told you that your unconscious habit is making you look awkward and it is because they have noticed that the habit was developed to try to cover a presumed handicap which your habit is making stand out like a sore thumb.
The way to track the habit down is to ask your close friends or family members if there are habits you have developed that are making you look odd. Or if you can admit it to your self, a thorough self assessment will point out those habits to you. It is now you job to make a mental not of them and start to work on yourself to get rid of them. Also tell your family and friend what you are trying to do so that they will help you overcome such bad habits that you think is helping you cover a handicap that most people would otherwise not have noticed.
photo credit: wikipedia