What is the fear of being yourself? (2023)

vonArlin Cuncic, MA

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Why are you afraid to be yourself?

Have you ever asked yourself, "What's the fear of being yourself?" Do you sometimes feel like you are constantly putting on masks? Society tells us that to be successful we need to be someone else, so most people would agree. But what if the key to success was being yourself?

In general, the fear of being yourself is a form of social anxiety. There is no specific term that means "the fear of being yourself". Autophobia is a related term, but it means the fear of being alone or alone.

While we all tend to wear masks from time to time to accommodate our social role, the constant fear of being yourself can be a sign of a deeper inner struggle. Read on to understand why you're doing this and how to overcome it.

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What is the fear of being yourself?

The fear of being yourself is often the fear of being judged. People who are afraid to be themselves will either avoid asking for what makes them happy or try to get what they want vicariously.

They may also feel the need to always be kind and avoid expressing an opposing opinion, even when they disagree.

Not surprisingly, these people often find themselves in relationships where their needs are never met.

The fear of being yourself is also closely linked to social anxiety, which can make you feel like something is wrong with you and make it difficult for others to approach you.

Why are people afraid to be themselves?

Below are some reasons why people are afraid to be themselves.

  • Maybe at some point you learned that your feelings don't matter because others have treated you. This can sometimes be learned from parents or important people in your life when consent is withheld.
  • You may feel that suffering makes you a good person (akamartyr complex). In fact, when you do this to yourself, you feel bitter and angry.
  • You may be a perfectionist or feel that you have to conform to the standards set by your family members or other important people in your life.
  • You are afraid that you are not good enough just the way you are. You are afraid that others will not accept you as a person.
  • They are afraid of being judged and try to fit in to feel safe.
  • you have a tendency toplease peopleand it became a bad habit.
  • You fear being rejected or ostracized if you disagree with the majority. They feel pressured to “join the crowd” in order to belong.
  • You are shy or socially anxious and find it difficult to open up to people.

How does not being yourself affect you?

Here are some ways you couldn't be yourself.

  • You will feel exhausted if you wear a "mask" all the time.
  • You may wonder if people like you for the real you or just for the mask you present to them.
  • You will feel repercussions on your self-esteem, self-confidence and self-esteem when there is a constant dissonance between what you are on the inside and what you represent on the outside.
  • If you are very good at presenting a mask to the world, then you must continue to play the part you presented. This can leave you confused about who you really are.

How to Overcome the Fear of Being Yourself

Below are some tips on how to overcome fear of being yourself.

  • Be aware of your criticisms and judgments of others. The less you do this, the less you will expect others to do this to you.
  • Become aware of what your true self is telling you and listen to your inner wisdom.
  • Become aware of your self-esteem and believe that you are valuable just the way you are. You cannot expect others to accept you if you are not willing to accept yourself. If there are parts of you that you would like to change, work on improving yourself. If you don't have basic soft skills, work on those too. Develop your social intelligence to know how to adapt to your environment while still being yourself.
  • Start with small changes to show other people who you really are (for example, share something small about yourself with people you trust). Gradually reveal your true self.
  • Realize that no matter what you do, you will be judged. If you're going to be convicted anyway, you better do what you think is right.
  • Read the book Daring Greatly by Dr. Brene Brown to understand why making yourself vulnerable can be your greatest asset.
  • Realize that you are free to write your own book of life as long as your actions don't harm other people. While you may need to adjust to cultural expectations to be accepted, you can do so in a mature and flexible way that still allows you to be yourself.
  • Find people who make you feel comfortable being yourself. It may be easier to join a group that aligns with your values ​​than to stay in one that doesn't. Recognize that things will change and you may need to let go of some people in your life.
  • Ask yourself if your fear of being judged is based on facts or just fear. Also consider whether those judging you have a complete understanding of what you are doing. For example, when opening a business, friends who worked only from 9 to 5 may not understand.

The Perks of Being the Real You

Below are some benefits of being the real you.

  • You are able to express your authentic self to the world.
  • You experience more freedom, curiosity and joy in your life.
  • You can pursue your greatest mission in life and do the things that light you up.
  • You will no longer feel burned from wearing a mask.
  • The more you let what's real shine through, the more memorable you'll be to the people you meet. And you'll attract the right people into your orbit (those who "get" you).
  • People can sense when you're not sincere. When you are your true self, people will feel more comfortable around you.
  • You can freely share your thoughts, feelings, ideas and opinions. You feel authentic and you don't hide who you are.

And you? Do you find it difficult to be yourself? Share your opinion in the comments.

Related posts about How to be yourself

  • 5 tips for overcoming fear of judgment
  • How to Be Yourself (book review)
  • Why am I afraid of making a fool of myself?


What is the fear of being yourself? (1)

What is the fear of being yourself?

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What is the fear of being yourself? ›

Autophobia, also called monophobia, isolophobia, or eremophobia, is the specific phobia of isolation; a morbid fear of being egotistical, or a dread of being alone or isolated. Those with the condition need not be physically alone, but just to believe that they are ignored or unloved.

What is the fear of not being enough? ›

Due to constant self-judgment and negative self-evaluation, individuals with atelophobia often reinforce their fear of not being good enough.

Why am I afraid to be my best self? ›

Instead, it is most often the fear of the possible change or consequences of success. It is an anticipation of how others — and oneself — will respond to the triumph. The concern is that achieving success will come at the cost of something else valued in one's life. In many ways, it's similar to the fear of failure.

What is the fear of your own mind called? ›

Monophobia is a treatable condition, and getting the assistance of a mental health professional can help you address your phobia and improve your day-to-day experience.

What is Cacophobia? ›

What is cacophobia? Cacophobia is an intense fear of ugliness. The condition is a specific phobia (fear), which is a type of anxiety disorder. People with cacophobia might be afraid of looking ugly themselves, or they might worry about seeing something they consider to be ugly.

Why is it hard to be your self? ›

Some people are naturally hard on themselves. They might have low self-esteem or grow up in an environment where criticism came, and praise was heard rarely. Other times there are psychological issues that lead to a person being hard on themselves or a disorder that makes them have a lack of confidence.

Why is it not good to be yourself? ›

The Risks of Being Yourself

Being yourself means being transparent in your thoughts and even worries which can have a negative effect on morale. It's important to think about how your influence ultimately affects others. Fear is the number one honesty factor that devalues ourselves in the minds of other people.

Why can't I be myself around anyone? ›

Half the reason most of us can't be ourselves around others is that deep down we are not really sure who we really are. We've spent too much of our life shifting ourselves to match what others want. Commit to getting to know yourself. Journalling is a great place to start.


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