What's Your Personality: Chicken Little

What's Your Personality: Chicken Little
Dr. Phil talks with guests about the traits that dominate their personality.

"All I do is worry, worry, worry," says Stacy, a first-time mom who has been known to spray down guests in her home so her 6-month-old doesn't catch the SARS virus. She also sleeps with her glasses on — so if she wakes up, she can see her baby right away.

"Every day I feel like danger is looming. Everywhere I go, whatever we are doing, I'm always afraid that something's going to happen," explains Stacy, who answered YES to all the questions on Dr. Phil's quiz about having a "Chicken Little" personality.

Stacy explains that she perpetuates her fears by doing research on the Internet, and finding information that was scarier than what she was looking for. "I see everything as a worst-case scenario."

Stacy says that she's so afraid her daughter will quit breathing at night, that she can only sleep about 45 minutes at a time.

Stacy doesn't want her daughter Hailey to grow up like this, and she's also concerned about her relationship with her husband. "My husband Gabe is in Kuwait right now. We had virtually no intimacy before he left because I was always focused on Hailey. I know that if I don't get this in check, that I'm going to ruin the most beautiful thing I've ever known in my life, and that is my relationship with husband," says Stacy. She asks Dr. Phil, "Am I always going to be a Chicken Little?"

Dr. Phil asks Stacy, "Right now, you live the game of life with sweaty palms, right?"

"Very much so," agrees Stacy.

Dr. Phil wants to know why she thinks she is going to be singled out for that "lightning bolt of doom?"

"I think I've had a couple bad experiences," says Stacy, giving examples of a miscarriage and a failed marriage.

"But you got through them, right?" asks Dr. Phil. "And you're here today. And you have a wonderful child."

Stacy begins to cry. "She's wonderful," she agrees.

Dr. Phil tells her that if she continues this, she can raise an emotional cripple because her daughter will learn to live in fear.

Referring to the saying, "What I fear, I create," Dr. Phil tells Stacy, "The possibility is that you may create some of the very things you fear if you don't turn this loose."

"How dumb are you going to feel if you spend your whole life waiting for this horrible wrath of doom to befall you, and there you are at 97 about to die and you go, 'Well, damn, I spent 60 years waiting to get hit by lightening and now I'm dying of old age,'" asks Dr. Phil.

Stacy laughs, and admits she would feel cheated.

Dr. Phil quotes Stacy, "'I have such a deep love for my husband and my daughter that I just know something is going to happen to take it away.' Tell me what is it you know about yourself that all of us don't know that you concluded you are so unworthy of this loving husband and beautiful daughter?"

"I think you hit on it. I think that I feel undeserving. I think I'm unworthy, I feel like this is such a wonderful life I'm leading, something is going to happen because I don't deserve this," Stacy says.

Dr. Phil presses her to answer his question: "What is it you know about you that causes you to conclude that in fact you are unworthy?"

"That I've always been difficult. I was a difficult daughter to raise, I was a difficult girl to date, I've haven't been the easy child, I haven't been the easy fiancée, I haven't been the easy wife. Gabe and Hailey are absolutely amazing. To me they're perfection," replies Stacy.

"They're not perfect," says Dr. Phil.

"Oh, you can't convince me of that," laughs Stacy.

"But they're not," argues Dr. Phil. "Perfection is just not on the radar screen. And you're saying, 'They're too good for me. I'm just lucky I'm just allowed to enjoy this but it's going to be taken away because I'm too high maintenance and so I'm going to pay for all the sins of my past.'"

He adds, "I think it's terribly, terribly self-important for you to think the fact that you've been less than perfect is going to be reason for some power in this universe to take that child away from you."

Dr. Phil quotes Stacy again, "'I want to be one of those people who knows that bad things can't happen to them.'" Dr. Phil tells her there are no guarantees. "Can something happen? Of course, and you need to be careful, and you need to be attentive, and you need to not waste one minute of one hour of one day. Because you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow."
Dr. Phil continues, "We don't get to choose when we die. But we do get to choose how we live. You need to claim the right, and claim the worth to enjoy those things you've been given. You can't make a case for why you don't deserve it. Do you hear me?"

Stacy smiles and nods. "I hear you. I believe you."