I read a quote by Ashleigh Warner that states, “Beneath every behavior, there is a feeling. And beneath each feeling is a need. And when we meet that need, rather than focus on the behavior, we begin to deal with the cause, not the symptom.”
So many times we address the symptoms of an issue and not the root cause. You can go to the doctor with back pain and they will address the pain with pills but not do tests to figure out why you are in pain in the first place. Another example is the anger iceberg. On the surface, the expressed emotion is anger but below the surface, there are many different causes for the expression of anger.
A behavior I can connect with is hyper-independence. I have been pretty independent since I was 12. My mother instilled in us to be self-reliant. I joined the military at 17 and have lived on my own from there. I bought my first and current house on my own and rarely feel the need to rely on anyone. But under this behavior, I feel exhausted from taking care of everything on my own. I feel like I have to do everything or it won’t get done.
Through self-reflection, I discovered this behavior is from a lack of trust and abandonment issues. I need to feel secure so I depend on myself because somewhere in my past, there are people that I couldn’t trust because they abandoned me; left me to fend for myself in my time of need. I had to learn how to take care of myself and so I became only dependent on myself. Now, I try to ask for help when I need it and accept help when offered if appropriate. I now recognize that I can provide my own needs but sometimes I require the help of others.
This is just a reminder to do your self-reflection so that you can recognize the cause and treat it instead of the symptom.