Feeling accepted seems to feature so highly in our lives. We set such great store by how others perceive us. We often want to control what they think and to portray ourselves as perfect and in control.
Maybe right now you are doing this, even amongst people you would count as close acquaintances. Do you let them see the real you?
Being Real: Believing You're a Fraud Because You're Not Perfect?
I have worked with truly talented and successful people, and so many times they have told me that one day people will find out that they really are a fraud because they aren't good enough. They believe they are fooling everyone into thinking they are good at what they do.
They try and control other people's view of them by going that extra mile, even helping others to their own detriment. So often they never let down their guard and show their true emotions, even when the situation allows them to be relaxed, vulnerable, heard and supported.
What are they trying to prove? That they are perfect. And why? Because they don't believe they are perfect.
Being Happy: Hiding the Real You for Fear of Being Criticized?
So often people, feel that if they show their real self or true feelings they will be criticized by others. If we aren't feeling good about ourselves and are therefore judging ourselves very harshly, then of course we are going to presume everyone is doing the same. But they are not. And no matter what we do or say, we are unable to control what people think and feel about us anyway.
If you feel that you are trying to live up to some unrealistic expectations that you have created for yourself, just take a break and give yourself permission to show people, little by little, the real you. And then you can relax and feel happier. It takes much more effort to hold yourself in a restricted role than just to be yourself.
The Perfect Image: Acting How You Think Others Want You To Act
So often we are brought up to do the 'right' or even 'expected' thing that we grow up with the idea that acting in a certain way will result in others viewing us as a good person. Society as a whole can also be an influencing factor. We can feel that following trends or buying into a set of values set by someone else can bring us happiness. But this can ultimately only lead to pain and disappointment.
Don't let yourself be swept away by an unachievable illusion that can tie you into a lifetime's struggle. Wouldn't it be better to feel great with who you are and what you have in the now?
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Being Real, Being Happy: Letting go of the "Perfect Image"
None of us need keep up a perfect image any longer. It doesn't serve us in reclaiming true happiness. It also binds us to the illusions and often rigid patterns in life that we have created in order to feel OK. So the anxiety about being found out can go.
We have nothing to hide. We can relax and focus on creating an authentic new life for ourselves knowing that we are good enough.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Findhorn Press. ©2011. www.findhornpress.com
Reclaiming Happiness: 8 Strategies for an Authentic Life and Greater Peace
by Nicola Phoenix.
About the Author
Nicola Phoenix, MSc, BSc, CP.AMT, DipFryog, is known as the Spiritual Psychologist, with a busy clinic in the heart of London. She is an experienced Psychologist, Classical Yoga teacher, motivational speaker, radio show host and writer. Through her work, Nicola promotes a complete system that guides, supports and empowers all aspects of personal change, growth and development. Visit her website at www.nicolaphoenix.com.