Why We Hide and Compare Ourselves to Others

There is a societal pressure that we feel the need to prove ourselves to others, which often leaves us feeling somehow “not good enough” and like we’re not meeting their expectations.

We often have a fear of not looking “normal” due to the worry that our fear and anxiety will show. We go to great lengths to try to hide this from others for fear of looking like something is wrong with us. We judge ourselves harshly for having this fear and we believe others will as well.

The reality is that we have become great “hiders” over the years to protect ourselves. Although we feel the physical and anxiety sensations very strongly internally, most others barely notice them. We mask them and appear to be very calm.

We compare ourselves to others (and to our own standards of how we think we “should” be) and feel like we don’t measure up. We often feel very frustrated and upset with ourselves for not being how we think we should be.

Overcoming this deeply embedded fear requires patience. Many workshop participants and coaching clients make significant strides yet ask, “Why do I still feel anxious? I should be over this by now with all my progress.” It takes repeated speaking experiences for the mind and body to desensitize to the years of extreme fear.

We are so afraid that if we show our true selves to others, they will not like us. We hide ourselves and cover up as much as possible so we conform to how we think we should be and how we think we should look to others.

At the Getting Over Stage Fright workshop, the groups openly and honestly share about their vulnerabilities with this fear and reveal more of their true selves in this supportive, accepting environment, and amazing transformations occur.

Group members start to take a strong stand for themselves in having a right to be who they are and having a right to express themselves in front of others in whatever way is true for them.

It’s truly wonderful to watch people expressing their imperfect, authentic selves without embarrassment or shame in being who they are. It’s beautiful to see people letting go of comparing themselves to others or to their ideal standards and, instead, fully accepting and embracing their unique individuality and their right to be who they are.

You too can experience the lightness and liberation that takes place when we deeply accept, embrace and appreciate our imperfect, authentic selves rather than try to conform to our own or anyone else’s expectations for who we should be.  It is a path worth pursing as it leads towards true freedom as we release our own self-judgment and our fear of judgment from others.

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