The Fears that Make Us Invisible
In our childhood, we used to live virtually without fears, shame or worries. We trusted in ourselves and in our abilities. That’s why we shone. However, as we grew into adulthood, our self-confidence started to wane. To the point of us wanting to be almost invisible.
The desire to be invisible comes from all the social and cultural beliefs that we acquire in our lives. These beliefs are then reinforced as we age. However, depending on what they are, some beliefs can limit us. For example, if we believe that making a mess of a talk in public makes us a failure, and then we do it, we will probably always hate speaking in public from then on. We’ll also probably think we are lousy speakers, when that is not the case.
Some of the beliefs we have only serve to fuel our fears. Fear of being alone, of nobody loving us, of nobody noticing us. Fear of not having the perfect family, not getting the best grades, or of disappointing others and not measuring up. As long as we insist on identifying with certain labels that don’t have anything to do with us, then our fears will tend to make us want to pass into anonymity.
How our families can make us want to be invisible
We live in a society that constantly puts us down. It causes us to compare ourselves with others, and analyze all our shortcomings under a magnifying glass. Where are all our virtues? They are lurking in the shadows. They are waiting for us to realize they are there, so that they can come to light. Only then can we become aware of our full potential.
But where do all these fears that make us want us to be invisible start to take shape? Normally, in the family. This is where we have spent most of our time. It has become our comfort zone, as long as everything was going well.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are immensely powerful. It is our light, and not the darkness, that frightens us the most. We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, beautiful, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? “
However, when we are the exception, and our behavior is different than what they expect from us, then that feeling of safety and security disappears. That’s when fear starts to fill us. Let’s take the example of a family in which physical work is highly valued. Let’s imagine that you decide to work in the arts, or as a programmer. It won’t be long before you may hear the words “That’s not real work.” Even if you don’t hear those exact words, it may be implied.
The fact that those that we considered a source of support don’t understand us threatens our self-confidence. In some cases it also affects how we value ourselves.
We can find security in adhering to our family’s beliefs and ways of doing things. What’s often expected of us is that we follow in our parents’ footsteps, and work in a similar area to them. But when we don’t fit in, then the feeling of protection that we had with them is broken, and this gives way to fear and the desire to disappear.
The 3 fears that drive us to be invisible
The family is not the only scenario that can make us want to be invisible, to be like others and not stand out. There are many other fears that grow and take root, due to certain beliefs that exist in our society. Let’s look at 3 fears that stop us of from bringing our true selves into the light.
1. Fear of awakening the envy of others
We are all unique in some way, with some special ability or natural gift that enables us to do things we would like to be recognized for. However, we know that if we stand out then that can cause envy in other people. If this happens then we will no doubt have to face criticism, judgments and rejections.
For some people, depending on their past experiences, this can be unbearable, as we tend to look to others for their approval. The desire to shine, but also the fear of doing so, causes us to find ourselves caught between two options. Either to shine and make ourselves and our abilities known, or to become invisible and follow other people’s expectations.
“The envious one always looks you up and down, looking for some defect. If they find it, they make a comment. If they don’t, they invent one. “
2. Fear of being alone
The fear of being alone is a fear that affects many people. This is a belief that causes us to conform to what others think, just so that they will accept us. For example, if we are jokers or pranksters, but our friends are embarrassed about us, then we’ll try to change and repress that part of us, just so we don’t feel alone.
In short, we choose to be invisible so that others will accept us. However, we should ask ourselves: do we really want to be with people who don’t accept us as we really are? And yet being alone is like leaving our comfort zone. That is why we are so afraid of not finding more friends, a partner or a person who really accepts us.
Now, if we decide to change and blot out our real selves, then there’ll come a time when we’ll ask ourselves who we really are. Choosing to be like other people expect us to be is almost like a betrayal of ourselves. It is a type of rejection of our true self that will cause us great upset and unease in the long run. In order to rediscover ourselves, we’ll have to go through a process that will mean us having to face what we really fear. It will be a complex, but eventually satisfying, path when we finally reach that goal. There is nothing more beautiful than truly finding ourselves.
3. Fear of losing our public identity
If in our childhood our family has taught us that we don’t deserve anything that we receive, then it is very likely that we will grow up thinking and acting accordingly. In this way we may not only think that we don’t deserve a gift, but that we aren’t worthy of affection either. We will have adopted an identity of “no merit”.
Strangely, we are terrified of losing what we were told we were. We are scared of losing what we don’t really identify with, that identity that we have been almost obliged to accept. That’s why it’s so hard for us to make any sort of progress sometimes. We have built ourselves a world which functions according to who we think we are, and who we have been told we are. Because of this, and without realizing it, nor wanting to do so, we flee from any signs of affection.
Therefore, it is important to “unlearn” these things. We need to dive into our very inner being and find out who we really are. Why? Because we have so often chosen to be invisible because we believe that the opinions that others have about us are true.
“Find yourself in a drop of rain, in the colors of a rainbow, in the blueness of the sky, in the power of the earth, wherever you can, but just find yourself. “
– Alejandro Jodorowky-
Maybe we have chosen to be invisible until now, but we can also decide to stop being like this from now on. We can decide to get rid of the labels that other people have imposed on us, and of the fears that only limit us. We can decide to find in ourselves the best company of all!