Do you wake each morning and carefully don a mask to head out into the world? I used to put on three masks before I left for work – a “happy” mask, a “perfect” mask and a “livin’ the dream” mask. None of them could have been further from my reality.
Deep down inside I felt imperfect, unhappy and filled with turmoil and chaos. I felt I was failing as a wife and mom and my health was deteriorating. I pretended to the world that I had a grand and wonderful life, but kept my dirty little secret (me) to myself. I was a pretender in hopes that others would accept me, love me and see my worth, yet fearing they’d shun me if they saw the real me.
The kicker here was — and this is hard to admit — I didn’t like me, unless I was trying to be the woman “livin’ the dream”. I was even pretending to myself.
At the end of the day I could not wait to get home, close the door and let go of the façade. It was exhausting trying to be someone I was not.
Being a pretender is no way to live.
Not only is it destructive to your health, it ages you more quickly. You give up the lightness of believing in yourself to carry a heavy backpack filled with shame and guilt. Fearing being shunned by others, you actually begin to shun them for not accepting you.
While it can feel like the world encourages you to be someone you’re not, such pretending is a breeding ground for feeling unworthy of ever having or being what you want.
When I got laid off from my corporate job, I suddenly couldn’t pretend anymore. It was time for a reality check. Why did I think I was “not enough”? Why did I look at other people and want to be them? Why did I think everyone else had a no-warts perfect life?
Instead of comparing, I decided to contemplate.
Here is what I learned:
- While my entire childhood (and most of our childhoods) was a constant reminder that I wasn’t perfect, I was born in perfection. That box has already been checked. I don’t have to keep checking it!
- Everyone has warts and takes detours on their life journey that are less than desirable. And that is the beauty of life.
- Trying to fit into someone else’s mold is an uncomfortable and inauthentic way to live.
- Everyone else is taken so I might as well be myself. Some people will like me and some won’t. It is best to hang with the ones who already like me, rather than try to convince others that they should.
- Being a pretender and wearing the masks keeps you stuck in the unworthiness cycle. The cycle of repeated failures.
In my upcoming book, You Are Worthy – A Guide for the Overwhelmed Perfectionist, I give you strategies for living in the worthiness cycle, so you no longer need to put on masks each morning and be a pretender. Join my Facebook page for updates!
Being YOU is the most beautiful way to live. You are worthy of living authentically!