As a child, I loved playing hide and seek. While all my friends were arguing over who got to seek first, I was already hiding. I loved hiding; I could hide in plain site and my friends would walk right by me.
As an adult, I’m still hiding. There’s a lot I hide while in networking meetings, volunteering events, and community occasions. I hide my fear that maybe I don’t belong there, that I don’t know enough for what is being asked of me, or that I am not enough.
When we hide, our core fear is that if others know the whole of who we are, we will be rejected. We will lose their love, acceptance, and belonging. So, we set up hiding places to protect the pieces of us that we don’t want others to see. Over the next 6 weeks, I will briefly share 6 ways we hide in hopes that you will notice them, appreciate the positive intentions behind them, and determine if they are keeping you from something you want.
#1 Physical Self
How do we know if we are using our physical self to hide?
- Wearing clothing that is too big can be an indicator that we don’t feel good about our bodies. We may feel that if we can hide the spare tire, muffin top, or cellulite it somehow make us more lovable. Some positive intentions of wearing baggy clothing are hiding from others what we believe to be unacceptable in order to protect us from their judgment and rejection.
2. Feeling tired and skipping activities occasionally happens. However, regularly missing activities and conversations with the important people in our lives due to exhaustion can indicate we may be hiding. For example, if home is busy or crazy, instead of asking for support, we shut the other person out, too tired. A positive intention is to protect us from having to face something that feels scary, like asking for help or meeting new people.
3. If we are hating our bodies to hide, we may say things like:
- I’m not _______ enough to __________.
- I’m not (thin enough) to (wear fashionable clothing).
- I can’t be a ______, I don’t look the part.
- I can’t be a (fitness trainer), I don’t look the part.
- If I were _______, I could__________.
- If I were (younger), I could (start a new career).
This type of hiding keeps us from new endeavors that offer us the opportunities to learn, grow, and live out our dreams. Some positive intentions are to protect us from judgment and failure.
If you feel you may be using your physical self to hide, just notice it. I invite you to be grateful for the part of you that wants to keep you protected from rejection, being judged by others, facing your fears, and failure.
Let yourself feel, just for a moment, “I am enough. There are unlimited possibilities for me.” If that feels uncomfortable (or like an outright lie) try this one: “I just might be enough. There just might be unlimited possibilities for me.” Just breath that in for a moment.
Next week, I will share how we use our emotional self to hide.
Rebekah Lawes, Contributor
Rebekah is a Certified Health and Lifestyle Coach with a degree in Marriage and Family Science, along with additional certifications in Relationship Education. Rebekah offers customized programs that use simple steps to achieve lasting changes at work and at home.