SOS BOOK Chapter 32: Are you fooling yourself?



MOST OF US HAVE UNSATISFACTORY LIVES!

Most people are relatively miserable. But so often we just distract ourselves from our unsatisfactory situation! We fool ourselves! We could have a more meaningful & fulfilling life. We just need a different perspective and new approach! We could choose to see things differently and respond in a better way. But unfortunately, most people stay in denial and their suffering continues.

…Why do you think we lie to ourselves?


WE CHOOSE TO WEAR A FALSE MASK!

Why do we so often choose to struggle? Why do we wear a brave face and put on a false front? Somehow, we feel compelled to ‘carry on’ this way, and most don’t know why. We just keep up appearances, but for whose sake? Is this false mask & public persona just to please others? Is it to be accepted by our peers & community?

…Are you putting on a brave face?


WE FOLLOW BAD EXAMPLES OF HOW TO LIVE.

We are influenced by what the media and advertising promote as an optimal lifestyle. Our role models drive the latest fashions and trends. This is a strong part of our consumption driven materialistic society.


Our colleagues & friends seem to be adopting the same false lifestyles. Because we are competitive social creatures, we aim to match the best of them, or to follow their lead. We trust or admire their example. We feel compelled to keep up with them, or to keep up appearances.

…Which unhelpful role models have you previously followed?


WE FEAR BEING ISOLATED FROM OUR GROUP.

So, we put on a false façade! We behave as is expected of us. This is because of our upbringing & social conditioning. We fear being alienated! We fear being humiliated, censored or rejected by our peers. We keep up appearances in order to fit in! We feel we must fit in in order to feel safe & supported.


We want to avoid the pain of being alienated from our group. Over time, this acting becomes a habit! The longer we comply and try to fool others, the more we end up fooling ourselves.

…Which groups have control over your life?


OUR SOCIAL CONDITIONING HELPS US FIT IN.

We are influenced by our family, peers and society. This socialization was installed to help the clan get along. We are taught that fitting in with the group represents safety. That's what a ‘good’ team member would do.


We are also influenced by our education & training. We modify ourselves to fit in with our school, workplace or profession. We act in accordance with the specific rituals & traditions of the local culture.


LOYALTY IS AN INVISIBLE CONSTRAINT.

There are expected norms for members of a group, no matter what the group. Compliance with such behavior is expected. This conditioning is so subtle, it might not even feel ‘imposed’. Compliance becomes an invisible expectation shared by the group. This becomes more apparent with increased awareness and consciousness.

…What invisible norms are you still adhering to?


WE EVENTUALLY REALISE WE ARE NOT THE MASK!

Our choice to conform with a group has very clear downsides. Conformity results in the subtle suppression of our own unique nature. We have our own unique path that is right for us. However, we ignore this path and instead walk the accepted path of the group.


Although we put on a ‘brave face’ for show, remember that we are not that face. Our true nature is hidden under that false mask. Hopefully, we will realize that the ‘public persona’ that we portray, is not our true self.

…Are you hiding your true identity behind a false mask?


>>> CLICK HERE FOR CHAPTER 33