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Master of Disguise

Master of Disguise

Tomorrow is Halloween and many of us will take this opportunity to dress up in a costume or disguise. But what about the disguises we feel the need to wear in our daily lives? Oftentimes, we feel like we have to be a different version of ourselves depending on the situations we are in. This can be exhausting, to say the least, but it can also cause long-term damage to our self-worth. Your self-worth directly affects almost all decisions you will make throughout your life. If you have a negative view of yourself, you will allow others to treat you in ways that are less than what you deserve.

Why we feel like we must disguise ourselves

Unfortunately, almost everyone has something about themselves they would prefer not to share with the world. Some more than others. This tendency to conceal some part of yourself will usually have different motives depending on each person. In general, putting on a face (or disguise) is done because we are not confident enough with who we truly are. It takes a lot of hard work in therapy to work through these issues depending on how long you have pretended to be something that you are not.

It is even possible that you were taught (or encouraged) to conceal parts of yourself by friends or family members. Usually, loved ones do not intend to cause this damage, but pushing down any part of yourself is going to affect you in the long run. You may have also felt like you had to fit in with friends at school depending on the social situations you grew up in.

You may have even put the pressure to present yourself a certain way because of your own beliefs and perceptions of the world. If you struggle with perfectionism, you will set unreasonably high standards for yourself. This can cause you to feel that you need to conceal the parts of yourself that are considered “less desirable” in your eyes. Pushing down or hiding any side of yourself is something that is going to cause damage to your self-esteem.

How we can work on removing our disguises

So, what can we do if we have been wearing a disguise or showing the world a different version of ourselves for most of our lives? The answer seems much simpler than it actually is. The first step is to recognize that you have been pushing something down. Even if you do not know what it is you are concealing, being aware that something seems off is a way to introduce your intuition and true self into your consciousness.

Another reason to work on removing your disguise is that you will get to live your life in a way that is truly authentic to you. If you spend so much of your time and energy trying to be someone you are not, you will not have any time left for your passions or relationships. By removing your disguise, you will strengthen every part of your life and make it more of an authentic life in the process.

Like we mentioned earlier, working with a therapist is where you will be able to do most of the work. Everyone’s journey with learning to show their true selves will be different. But the work is so important to do. There is no better feeling than being able to truly be yourself.

It is important to understand that you are unique in every sense of the word. The world needs your special gifts and that includes every part of you - even the parts of you may have previously tried to hide. There is no reason to hide any part of yourself. We all only get one life to live and not being your full self is a disservice to yourself and everyone else.

An unfortunate truth is that not everyone in your life will accept this new version of yourself - the version that has been there all along. If someone in your life decides that they would not like to be in your life, it is okay to let them go. Everyone has an underlying right to be the most full and true version of yourself. If someone chooses not to accept this, it is probably because they are unable to do this for themselves. Of course, you can disassociate with love or set boundaries in whichever ways are necessary for the specific relationship. If this person really wants to be a part of your life they will come around and understand that removing your disguise is the best thing you can do to become your authentic, true self.

It can be scary to finally show the world your true colors. But the process is incredibly rewarding. You deserve to live a life that you can feel fully connected to. You should not have to put on a “show” for other people in your life to fit in or be accepted. Once you are able to show the world who you really are, you will be able to continue this journey by fully expressing your emotions and desires. If you are used to hiding parts of yourself, you have probably become accustomed to hiding your feelings as well. This can add even more friction to your life. Being able to express and articulate how you feel will directly affect how happy you are for the remainder of your life. So, stop selling yourself short. Regardless of how long you have been wearing your disguise, it is not too late to take it off. The world is so excited to see your real face.

Dr. Michael Messina

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