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“When we experience our lives through this lens of personal insufficiency, we are imprisoned in what I call the trance of unworthiness. Trapped in this trance, we are unable to perceive the truth of who we really are.” ~Tara Brach

Breaking free from the trance of unworthiness is a key part of our evolution process, both at an individual and collective level.

Let me explain why.

What I observe with clients and what resonates with my own experiences is that most (if not all) triggers, limitations we impose on ourselves, and fears of failure or success stem from a deep …

(image)

“When we experience our lives through this lens of personal insufficiency, we are imprisoned in what I call the trance of unworthiness. Trapped in this trance, we are unable to perceive the truth of who we really are.” ~Tara Brach

Breaking free from the trance of unworthiness is a key part of our evolution process, both at an individual and collective level.

Let me explain why.

What I observe with clients and what resonates with my own experiences is that most (if not all) triggers, limitations we impose on ourselves, and fears of failure or success stem from a deep and profound trance we all find ourselves in at various points in our lives: the trance of feeling “not good enough.”

Once we’re enmeshed in this trance, where we truly feel that low vibration of unworthiness, and the shame that comes with it, we want to hide.

We want to ensure that no one discovers our perceived worthlessness, because that would mean rejection. And rejection is oh so painful. Because we still feel it as being abandoned from the tribe in our emotional body, emotion that’s imprinted during our formative years when our samskaras (impressions or patterns of thinking/feeling/reacting) are being created.

Therefore, humans naturally want to avoid rejection as much as possible.

From then on, we mask. We hide. We reject our true selves and put on a façade that we believe is valuable to the tribe, thinking that we’ll be loved for it. There are different types of masks we can opt for depending on our “culturescape” and family patterns of beliefs.

Your mask might resemble being an achiever. Constantly doing, constantly setting yourself up for success in whatever way your tribe defines it (a university degree, money in your bank account, the size of your house…).

Or your mask might be that of a “good girl” or “good boy,” a people pleaser. Staying nice, acting nice, not too ambitious, not too lazy, making sure you do not make mistakes or get in trouble because getting in trouble would be bad.

Or it could be a mask of service. You serve others, forgetting yourself in the process because thinking of yourself might be seen as selfish.

But all masks have limits. There comes a time when your mask does not serve you, or them. It serves no one because it is not you. So you end up fooling yourself and others into believing that the mask is you. And this misalignment feels awkward, tight, rigid, and stressful because it is stressful not to be yourself. It takes effort to constantly put on an act. It is tiring.

So there comes a time when you get really tired of it. Maybe you call this the mid-life crisis or the dark night of the soul.

It’s just that your soul is tired of the constant acting.

But your mask is really holding on, fearing that if it were to fall off, everyone would discover how worthless you are. So it works hard to stay and punishes you with harsh self-criticism each time you go off track and maybe show a bit more vulnerability, a bit more of yourself.

So how do you remove your mask? Well, it’s not easy. It takes effort and dedication. It’s a long, non-linear journey, more like a spiraling up and down movement. But it’s oh so worth it.

I too had a big mask on for a long time, and figuring out who I was without it was uncomfortable. So much resistance. So much fear. So many limiting beliefs.

I wore a perfectionist mask to keep myself safe for years.

I had a perfect body (according to the standards that were imposed on me at the time through magazines, society’s comments, women’s comments on their bodies), a perfect level of fitness (monitoring what I ate, struggling with anorexia), a perfect job (engineering, as per my family’s expectations).

I was a feminist, working woman (the strict version of feminism that was transmitted to me was to work full-time and not be at home because it was not valued) and an independent woman (able to do everything myself).

On the other side of the trance of unworthiness, life is so different from what your mask was expecting you to live. Maybe the big house you live in is not what lights you up anymore, or maybe it is. But you might find more joy and love in the small moments of life.

It’s so much nicer on the other side, so much more authentic; more energizing, fluid, and beautiful. Not all happy. But authenticity brings some lightness to your life even in the midst of life’s messiness.

Here are a few ke

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Categories: Self Help

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