Why do we hide our true selves from the world? We may classify it as a trick question because there is no straightforward answer that ties everything together nicely. 

We can all get too caught up in our need to be palatable for all types of people, no matter what we have to sacrifice – ourselves included. There quickly becomes a disconnect between who we are and who we pretend to be when around others. This is not only disingenuous but also unfair to ourselves no matter how we try to spin it. 

We’re all trying as true to form as possible every day of our lives, even if we don’t always succeed. It is a continual process and what we recognize as ourselves today may not be the case tomorrow. As people, we are always adapting to our lives and circumstances. We never stop growing and changing no matter how old we get because that is part of the universal human experience. 

There isn’t a right or wrong way to be ourselves, but choosing to hide behind walls of insincerity is how we end up losing our sense of self. Ultimately, it comes down to investing in ourselves and who we want to be.

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  • Oftentimes, we can ignore our instincts and gut reactions to various situations because we don’t have the confidence to trust them – or ourselves. The issue is that we are ignoring our inner voices that are giving us signals. They tell us what we need to know or anticipate. Bowing to what we consider the norms means ignoring our history and life experiences, which should have taught us up until this point. We must learn to let our wisdom guide us through these situations and see our safe passage across the ocean of uncertainty. 
  • We can’t do everything overnight, despite our best efforts. Some of the walls we have fortified will take longer to fall down, and that’s okay. Drastic change isn’t done at the snap of a finger but rather by grit and determination. Through it all, we have to respect ourselves and the progress we have made. We have to show compassion for ourselves in the same way we would for other people who are close to us. 
  • If we don’t push ourselves outside of what we have decided is safe, we’ll never truly let our real selves shine through. Forging a path for ourselves is synonymous with showing our true colors. If we dare to trail blaze, we are letting ourselves be who we are without compromise. It may not be as appealing to every single person we desire to please, but through doing so we can find the people who appreciate us. 
  • Doubting ourselves is never a good feeling. It leaves a person questioning every single move they make. It’s hard to be ourselves when all we can hear is our own self-conscious thoughts on a loop. Proving to that inner monologue that we weren’t destined to cower in the shadows will be crucial in flourishing into our true selves 

It’s easier to be disliked when we are pretending to be someone else because it doesn’t reflect on our real character. It is much harder to be under that scrutiny without the protection of an armored exterior. However, the latter is the key to our happiness and being content with our lives. It isn’t until you start being yourself that you realize how freeing it is to lose the baggage of expectations and judgment.