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          Should You Have Cosmetic Surgery?

          July 13, 2005

          In his former life as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Phil often evaluated patients considering plastic surgery to see whether they would be good candidates. Although he doesn’t expect you to substitute his judgment for your own, Dr. Phil does want you to be clear about why you want surgery:

        • You need to ask yourself the hard questions because you are ultimately accountable to yourself. If you’ve had multiple procedures, ask yourself if you have an addiction problem. Are you trying to fix some psychological problem with a physical solution? You want to fix the psychological problem, if it exists, and then if you want to have the surgery, do it for the right reasons, and be prepared to live with the result.
        • Plastic surgery is not what is going to make your mark in this world. Being a good parent, or friend, for example, is how you leave a legacy and impact the world.
        • Ask yourself if you really have a problem. If you’re healthy and have good genes, do you really have a problem that needs to be fixed with a surgical solution?
        • What messages are you giving yourself that make you think you need surgery? Are you negating your positive qualities (honesty, loyalty, intelligence, humor, etc.) and hoping that plastic surgery can give you what you feel you lack?
        • How do you expect to feel about yourself if you go ahead and get the procedure? Are you looking for a different body, or are you really hoping to attain self-esteem?
        • There is no reality, only perception. If your self-esteem is so low that you view yourself through a filter of self-rejection (“I’m ugly” or “I’m fat”), all the surgery in the world isn’t going to make a difference. If you don’t change the filter through which you look when you see yourself in the mirror, you’ll never be happy.
        • The only person who can give you what you want is you. Nobody else can give you the self-esteem you need to have a healthy body image. A surgeon can’t. The only thing that can “fix” you for you comes from the inside ” not the outside.
        • If you have cosmetic surgery because of what someone else thinks, you are letting your self-worth be governed by someone else. This isn’t about how everybody else feels about you. This is how you feel about you.
        • If you’re thinking about how you look, you’re not thinking about who you are. Make a distinction between the way you are wrapped and who you are on the inside.
        • Remember that in the history of the entire world, there has never been another you. And there never will be. God made you uniquely you. And for you to reject that and say ‘I’m not good enough for me’ is not OK.
        • If you want to get cosmetic surgery, get real with yourself first. Get in touch with your authentic self so that you know who you truly are and what you truly want.

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