The Mask- Searching For Your True Self & Coming Out Behind The Mask

The Mask
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Previously, I have written about how we may perceive ourselves and exploring how much time that we actually devote to our own needs, and how to begin to think about and find our authentic self.

Still, we walk around with definitions of ourselves without being particularly aware that we indeed define our own self to others using labels uniquely designed by us.

In this article, we will discuss the interesting concept of the “context” of self. We are many things to many people.

Usually, when I ask people to introduce themselves at a meeting I’m holding, people begin with the name, and then either what they do or a significant fact that they feel others might be impressed with, or interested to know about themselves.

As a Master Neuro Linguistic Practitioner, I love to study behavior, patterns, and beliefs. So it reminds me that while there are no wrong definitions, even I introduce myself as what I do.

However, did you ever stop* to think that when you meet someone new, and they surrender this information to you, that you form an internal association based on what you know about that and then go on to form an opinion of that person? This is where for some; intimidation and self-esteem start to play a role.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you are at a meeting of sorts, at church or somewhere else where people are associating and meeting each other. A person that you see across the room looks pretty safe and open enough to risk getting to know them through conversation.

Meeting Each Other

After the intro, he/she describes that they are in a higher more prestigious position than you. So, you start to fear that your words will sound unsophisticated, or perhaps what you’re wearing feels all wrong.

You begin to feel nervous and inadequate even though the person is not acting in any particular way to make you feel that way. There is something internally you have accepted about yourself that makes you feel unworthy or overwhelmed; it can cause quite a lot of discomfort to the point of physical reaction.

Can’t speak, sweaty palms, feeling somewhat ill, needing to flee, etc.

When I am speaking, I am a Master Neuro Linguistic Programmer. I have much more I can add depending on the group I am speaking to and what may be required or relevant knowledge for them.

When I am at home on a Saturday, I sometimes feel inspired to write. In a meeting with those in my profession, I become a peer.

Online during a virtual session, or at my practice, I am a therapist. I am a caregiver to my 95-year-old Mom. A good mother, and much more that does not need to be exposed at the moment.

Who Are You?

WHO ARE YOU?

When we become so many things, who are we really? For sure, we may not be who we think we are.

All of us as individuals have unique experiences, and carry out experiments to find out who and what we have become through these experiences with love, job, with friends, travel perhaps, and all of this trial and error comes with risk to mould us and shape us like new clay on a potter’s wheel.

We have commonalities with others on this planet. We have loved people that have cheated on us, or hurt us deeply in some way. We have friends that we thought would always be there that let us down.

We have moved, and cities may not have felt welcoming. We all take risks that have failed. Choices made that have been deemed wrong. Along with this, we too have let some people in our lives down.

But as much as this is true, some of these trials have been good ones! We find purpose through our work, or within our marriage. We have people that believe in us and trust us. We have taken some risks that actually became some decent darn good opportunities.

The single most important thing is success is a result of failure. Without failure how would we recognize the best for us?

“Do more, Fail more, don’t stop*.”

You and I, most likely all of us are nothing more than a series of experiments. Each tasting life, each experiencing life in a different unique to us way. Ever take a friend to a gallery? Without realizing it, you may find every person draws a different idea of what the painting is interpreted as. Or a song being played, might invoke a different emotion and meaning to someone else. Regardless of the result, every experiment is to be considered a success.

We learn something we didn’t know earlier. It’s not always about unveiling your holy calling, it only matters, really if it feels right, and you do it to figure out whether or not it is your calling. A different spin this perspective.

This probably sounds like scientific work, but it is really an art. The human mind is a powerful thing. Sometimes listening to the “I am” is worth defining. If you are saying to yourself, “Ok, well I am a rather logical person and would never fall victim to biases.”

Look at boundaries

Let’s take a look at boundaries around us. It is important to draw an imaginary boundary around you. If you’re not good at doing this, you may be worn out, feeling depleted, and completely overwhelmed. Why? Mostly, because others have no idea, there is a boundary there at all because you have not let them know that it exists and is practiced.

So they feel free asking too much or taking advantage of your over the top goodness. If this sounds like you, no doubt you have not kept good well-established boundaries about you.

The mind is indeed a strange thing, and it believes in something because it wants to. Your life cannot afford to be interpreted in the light of your beliefs. We all carry out trial and error experiments just like a scientist.

We make mental notations and carry out the experiment of life until it is confirmed this is what we believe to be true.

Intuitively, in a manner that confirms your beliefs, you practice them now. In your head, the information gathered about something that we now accept and believe is now true for us, may one day be contradicted by someone or something that sees it differently.
You may think that your data will override the huge data that is contradicting yours. Sure, it makes you a bit uncomfortable, this alternate view, and you might even feel some panic because it really is not what you want the outcome to be.

Feel Some Panic

See Also: A Journey Through Anxiety At Early Age- How I Overcame Anxiety

So you search internally for the information that will lead you to what you believe and waits for you to confirm it as a belief you have decided will not change ever for you, or you start to consider it as a new and different belief that might just seem attractive or repulsive either way.

In a fraction, you are on trial in your mind like a small courtroom lawyer searching for pieces of evidence for the final ruling. (Opposed, nay or yay to move ahead)

So, who do you think you are today? Think about this as you take courage in finding out who hides behind that mask.

Is it true what you believe about yourself, defined for your life, and you would do most anything to keep that wonderful person intact with all the beliefs that are there today, subject to (self) approval, or are you designed by the thoughts of others? What have you chosen to believe for yourself?

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer that you.” ~ Dr. Seuss

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Author

Expert Author : Davidene Bender-Main (Consumer Health Digest)

Davidene Bender-Main is a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming serving others by working with clients on specifically tailored sessions by private practice, and virtual online sessions. Along with sessions, Davidene offers motivational interviewing, meditation instruction, informative group meetings, brainwave work, and is a published author. Neuro Linguistic Programming is well suited to manage issues occurring within a non-clinical environment and without medication. Davidene is easily found on social media, and through her two websites: https://phenixnlp.com, https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/212772 and you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest