“Oh no,” I thought, my heart dropping straight to my feet as I stared in wide-eyed horror at the angry red breakouts clustered across my cheeks, chin, and all along my neck.
It looked like someone took a pushpin and stabbed me with it hundreds of times.
This unexpected case of instant acne came during a retreat my team and I attended to connect and plan out our 2019 goals.
Part of the retreat included a role-playing activity. When it was my turn to role-play, I pretended I was struggling to lift weights.
And since I’m not one to half-ass anything, I went All. Out. I pretend-strained so hard my face turned a deep and alarming shade of red.
My team was pretty impressed (I think…), and of course I was feeling great about it.
But a couple hours later, everyone started pointing at my head and asking, “Wow, Peng Joon, what’s wrong with your face? There’s rashes and breakouts all over it!”
Worried, I hustled to the bathroom to check it out for myself, and sure enough: Hundreds of blood-red pin-sized blemishes were practically bursting out of my skin.
Horrified, I pulled out my laptop and hopped on Google, desperate to understand.
According to the search results, I’d popped blood vessels in my face with all that pretend straining. As I closed the laptop and returned to the bathroom, a wave of shame and frustration washed through me.
My skin’s never been great, and seeing this nightmarish breakout brought back uncomfortable echoes of embarrassment from all the skin problems I’ve endured over the years.
But I was also upset because, over the last few weeks, I’d really been taking good care of my skin, with clean eating, skin care products, and skin treatments. It’d all been working really well.
And now look. All that work, undone in two minutes.
When I got up the next day, it was better (though still pretty alarming, as you can see from the photo), but I could see it was going to take days to fully heal.
I know it will, though. Plus, I learned a valuable lesson about pretend-straining!
It’s easy to look at people who have what you want and assume they don’t have a care in the world. You see them smiling, living their exciting, influential life, brimming with confidence and charisma, and think, “I bet they never feel scared or unsure of themselves.”
Maybe you even think that about me.
But everyone, including me, has moments where they struggle and question themselves. The simplest things, like broken blood vessels in your face, can put cracks in your confidence.
But you cannot let those moments of uncertainty derail you from your path, because no matter how great your life is, they’re going to come. Push through them and come out the other side. That’s how you find success, and that’s how you get stronger.
Was there ever a time you felt unsure of yourself, but you pushed through and did it anyway, and something amazing happened as a result?