Every one of us was born with a unique and special value. No one can be better than you. You have your own place in the world and a part of growing into your potential is discovering your own niche, finding out what you have to offer and why you’re here, and then doing it.
The only way to do that is to stop masking who you really are. You must begin to accept and love yourself just the way you are.
Trying too hard to feel loved and stretching to please others won’t work. It’s not real. That’s merely playing a role designed to get artificial approval. It’s not you. It’s not authentic.
Are you acting out particular character traits? Look through this list and see if you notice a part of you described in one or several of them. Think of them as hints into the real you, clues you can use to break out of role-playing so that you can begin expressing who you really are.
- The Performer. The performer often had love and attention lavished upon him for performance and progress as a child. He is always trying to measure up to the expectations of others and may self-impose even higher expectations. The performer lives a life of pressure and is driven to achieve. There’s no time for rest.
- The Critic. The critic is preoccupied with finding, pointing out and talking the about faults of others. The critic rejoices in criticizing and belittling those around her. She may hate part of herself, projecting that quality onto to others and then becoming extremely critical and judgmental of them.
- The Boaster. The boaster compensates for low self-esteem by always exaggerating the truth and bragging. While growing up, he learned that dramatizing and enlarging the truth was a path to attention.
- The Victim. The victim was usually hurt very deeply at a young age and then received substantial sympathy. The victim feels unworthy of love and support unless it is proceeded by a great mishap or tragedy, or at least the telling of some past tragedy.
- The Nice Person. This person is always good tempered, cheerful and very agreeable. She makes a great friend and generally has a large social circle. The nice person learned early in life that compliance brings a reward, a smile or an embrace. She submits to every rule and regulation with mechanical precision.
- The Self-Righteous Person. He has learned that if he is wrong, people will not love him and will consider him bad. In order to get love, he attempts to be right at all costs. He can never admit his errors and will not confess his faults and failures. The self righteous person often tries to make others wrong in order to be right himself.
- The Angry Person. She walks around with a chip on her shoulder. For her, anger is a form of protection. The angry person feels an inner inadequacy and is always trying to protect herself. To compensate for that feeling of inadequacy, she refuses to be satisfied by the outer world. Nothing can please her. She projects her own inadequacy everywhere, feeling frustrated and bitter towards the world.
- The Fake. This person has played so many roles that he doesn’t know who he is anymore. Behind every mask is another. He is always acting according to how others will receive him. The fake will not risk controversy. He is an expert at impressing others in order to be liked. He plays the roles he thinks others want him to play and in the process becomes a hypocrite and a fraud.
- The Believer. This person has become so dependent on others for truth that she doesn’t believe her own feelings. She learned growing up that to receive love, she only needs to agree with and believe what others tell her. If you have a common belief, then the believer is your friend. If you contradict his belief, you are her enemy. The believer loves to give away her own power and responsibility to others who can solve her problems. She expects you to love him because she agrees with you. If you disappoint the believer’s unrealistic expectations, she will withdraw his love and support.
- The Shy Person. His basic reaction to other people is fear. He fears their criticism, he fears their evaluation of him as a failure and he fears their inevitable rejection. He has been taught that people will only accept him under certain conditions and if those conditions aren’t present, he’ll be rejected.
- The Show Off. She]believes what she does or possesses will make up for what she fails to be herself. She seeks to compensate for her own lack of self-esteem by owning big things, hoping this will attract the attention and recognition she desperately needs. To the show off, money is the symbol of love, and without it, she fears she will lose love. She cannot ask for love, but tries to buy it. She is unable to share feelings directly, but does so by giving or withholding presents and material possessions
- The Loner. The loner is always proving that he doesn’t need others. At some point, he didn’t get the love and recognition wanted and decided he didn’t need it. The loner has learned to become self-sufficient. Inside he is an incredibility sensitive and caring spirit who has been hurt too many times. Which roles are you playing? Which ones really reflect who you are?
Remember, you can only reach your potential by being yourself. If you feel like nothing more than an actor juggling roles, you may want to rethink the way you’re presenting yourself and behaving. It may be time for a more honest life. It may be time to show up as a leader in your life, and learn how to lead from within. Start living the life you are meant to live.