by Pamela Leigh Powers, CCHT, EFT-adv

After a month or so in to the 2011 baseball season, Oakland A's pitcher, Trevor Cahill was 6-0, when he signed a multi million dollar contract. Before he knows it, he goes 3 and 12 and is now 9-12 in August of 2011....12 losses....close to the number of games the A's are behind in the American league pennant race. Where would they be at this juncture if he had won most of them?

Former fellow A's pitcher, Barry Zito, was a Cy Young winner with the A's, when he was traded to the SF Giants for a reported $126 million for 7 years.....and he never saw that echelon again. Golfer Tiger Woods is caught up in a scandal, and returns to the golf course, only to never match up to his former success. Hillary Clinton fails to make the presidency.

How does scaling the heights to success ultimately cause some people to crash and burn?

I was reading a book by Marianne Williamson on "The Course in Weight Loss". She wrote a comment that struck a chord. Under the section of issues to consider about why we have excess weight, she listed about 20 possibilities, and one of them was Self Abnegation. The dictionary says it's "Self Denial", but Ms. Williamson describes it much more eloquently:

ie, "I have built this wall so others won't hate me for being beautiful and successful and seeming to have it all. "

Perhaps you have subconsciously chosen excess weight as a bargaining chip to win the approval of others, as tho if you have one big thing you still suffer from, then you're not so glorious to offend them"

Bulls Eye! Is that why some of us "fail" or don't reach the level of success we should? Are we so sensitive that we hate the idea of feeling the jealousy and enmity of others, so we create an issue that brings us down in rank, so people have compassion and empathy for us?

I experienced this in much less grand circumstances.

It does go back to a time when I was about 10 when my cousins came back from Venezuela where they had lived most of their lives. They were like 9, 7 and 2, and normal, rambunctious kids; while I was quiet and shy. When we were all together, Grandmother Abby would say, "Pamela would sit still.  Pamela would be quiet. Pamela wouldn't run around. Pamela wouldn't scream...Pamela wouldn't fight "..... i.e., I was 'perfect' in this scenario, and I'm sure they hated my guts. That's a toughie. Wanting to be perfect so badly, and yet having it be a bad thing, something I didn't desire; I wanted to be on even ground with them and be friends, and here my being the 'good girl' grownups admired, was something that worked against me....and inside I knew they were the healthy, normal ones....I was damaged.

One of my father's favorite sayings was, "You're a good kid....no demand for good kids, but you're a good kid". ...can't win for losing. What you seek approval for being, isn't in demand. It was the days of 'don't let the child get a big head'...worked really well.

I was an only child, and I wanted to belong in my cousins' world. It was bad enough my name was "Pamela" in those days. No one else had that name. I wanted to be "Ann" or "Dorothy" or any similar name where I fit in.  

I remember later on, when I was doing hypnotherapy and had this new client, who, on the 5th session had come quite a distance from her home and it was very windy. I said something commiserative and she said, "but I have a tin can you have a solid car" and I froze. I felt like I should sell my Honda and get a 'tin can' so I wouldn't be better than she. That's been a pattern my whole life.

Self denial....controlling my world to keep myself at a certain level. Me, the Virgo person who strives for perfection....I always have to have something that made me not perfect, in order to belong..wow!  Something that keeps me from being all I can be....and I chose "always something" more than weight, altho I have that issue, too. I seem to have 'always something' - some physical issue that just is enough to keep me worried and distracted....and as one thing starts to wane, the next starts to wax....ad infinitum. Not that I'm beautiful, successful and have it all, I made sure THAT didn't happen...but it has its roots in that moment when I was vulnerable, singled out, had no protection....nothing to point to to hide behind and say "See? I'm not really all that great; don't kick me out of the circle".

Three years ago, my cousin and I reunited after like 40 years, and after we spent 3 days catching up and she went back home, I was oddly happy we had similar paths in life...single parent.....3 kids....working all our lives...

Self-abnegation.....creating this malaise for more years than I care to remember, just so I would fit in, not excel, not test what my full potential might be!

In primitive times, children were desperate to win the approval of their parents. In those days, if the parents rejected them they could be tossed out into the snow to die, for it was survival of the fittest. Times were harsh. Children would vie for their parents approval to be the one kept. And yet, at times they would love one of their siblings, or a cousin, so much, and realize if they stayed and won the approval, the beloved sibling might have to be left behind to die. ....so the decision was made to just keep being 'good enough' but not excel, so both wouldn't get booted.

I bet if you asked her, Hillary Clinton would say she wanted to be president more than anything else in the world....but did she? She was respected in many ways, but she wasn't loved by the populace as Jackie Kennedy was, for instance. Even tho consciously she wanted to be the most powerful woman in the world, did she know somewhere inside that she needed something - that bargaining chip - so people would have compassion for her, include her, and see her as having this one thing, that keeps her from being rejected? Maybe Bill's philandering was suppose to give her that 'chip', but she needed more after he was no longer president. Even tho she probably went thru the agonies of hell when she had to give way to Barack Obama, inside, deep inside, was she really happy?.....not that she'd ever tap that depth, but did she do one or two things unconsciously to keep her from getting the top job? Certainly, we view her more warmly now.

Barry Zito's mother was a Unity minister and metaphysical person. He grew up with that philosophy....perhaps that money isn't everything. Even tho his male ego might have wanted to be a premium pitcher and receive top dollar.....is there something inside that needs to be 'one of the guys' and have them keep him in the inner circle?

Tiger Woods scaled the heights of athletic supremacy......earned zillions of dollars; had a beautiful wife and two beautiful children.....and then he was caught up in the sex scandal, and now is not attaining the heights he once scaled so effortlessly. Is this his 'bargaining chip' to get back in the good graces of the world...and maybe come back in a year or so to prime form, now being the guy with feet of clay to which we can all relate...and forgive?

And, Trevor Cahill. He's 9-12 as a pitcher as I write this. Ever since he signed the big contract for millions of dollars, he hasn't matched his former feat. Sometimes we can feel guilty about doing better than our friends and family. We can have a concept of "our place" and how much we can have in this world. We know how we feel about people who have money and frequently diss them to make ourselves feel better. Is this Trevor's "bargaining chip"? Is this what keeps him from cashing in on his talent and ability? For even tho he has the money and contract now, which should give him more than enough money for the rest of his life, if he keeps this up he's not going to get his contract renewed.

If I were Trevor's therapist, this is what I would do, using EFT.....

Tap on the KC point on the side of the hand:

"Even tho I seem to need a bargaining chip to justify making all this money, I deeply and completely, love, accept and forgive myself. I forgive myself for my contribution to it, I forgive others for their contribution to it. This is merely a physical manifestation of a blocked emotional issue and I love myself faaaaaaaaar too much to allow it to continue one second longer."

TH: "Even tho I need a bargaining chip so others will continue to like me, see me as being someone human that keeps me being a regular guy, I deeply and completely love, accept and forgive myself."

BE: "Even tho I have all these skills and talents, and yet I can't pitch the way I used to, because I need this bargaining chip, I deeply and completely love, accept and forgive myself."

  • TH: this bargaining chip x3
  • BE: keeps me human x3
  • SE: this one big thing I suffer from x3
  • UE: keeps me from offending people for making the big bucks x3
  • Abv/below lips: this bargaining chip x3
  • CB: people will look back on my career and have compassion for me
  • 5 fingers: I will only have this contract this one time and people will still befriend me
  • clap wrists: I know my place x3
  • TH: Even tho I seem to need this bargaining chip, and I don't know why, I deeply and completely love and accept and forgive myself. It is what it is. I accept it, for it was established in the past. I come to peace with it. This is my reaction to great success. I accept that.

(The humanist psychologist, Carl Rogers said, "The paradox is when I can accept myself just as I am, then I can change)

  • Abv/below lips: I have a fundamental right to be here and to have x3
  • CB: I have a fundamental right to evolve and change and enjoy my accomplishments
  • 5 fingers: I have a fundamental right to be an individual and be acknowledged and accept for what I do best
  • TH: I have a fundamental right to love and be loved for who I am, what I do, and what I contribute to my family, my self, and society.
  • BE: I choose again x3
  • SE: I change my mind x3
  • UE: I am the Game Changer x3
  • ab/below lips: I get out of my head, get in to my right brain, and just let my talent flow.
  • CB: I am deserving of all good things.
  • 5 fingers: I am worthy
  • clap inner wrists: I have a fundamental right to be here and to have


copyright 2011, Pamela Leigh Powers, all rights reserved.