Friday, April 20, 2012

What's Behind Your Mask?

     In my last blog, I wrote about negative self talk which comes from feelings of low self worth.  Low self-worth can make you feel less important than others, make you seek other things to ease the pain of not feeling valued, and could make you become an approval addict which puts a strain on any type of relationship.  Low self worth comes from repeated rejection which creates more low self worth.   Have you ever or do you have feelings of abandonment, uselessness, worthlessness, being unloved, unwanted, or not being accepted? We hide what we are really feeling to keep out emotional pain and sometimes we don’t realize that we’re doing it. Do you have low self worth?  Yes, maybe, no?  Let’s explore and see if you’re right.  You might discover that there are some of those feelings hidden in a corner of your heart that is eager to be discovered and set free.  

      Have you ever worn a mask?  Maybe you have for a party, event, holiday, or the stage.  Think about the purpose of the mask.  It is used, by definition, to conceal one’s identity or is used for protection.  Think about the goalie in an energetic Hockey game, or the fire fighter protecting his face and lungs from a raging fire.  Think about the dental chair.  When you’re sitting there, be thankful that the staff wears the face masks.  It keeps airborne yucky things away from you like all of the bacteria that spray up in the air when they are scaling your teeth or rinsing.  If they are not careful with some patients, they could contract Hepatitis B or HIV just to name a couple of harmful diseases.  In the classic Phantom of the Opera, he wore a mask to conceal his face.  When we have low self worth, our negative behaviors become our masks; our protective covering that conceals emotional pain.
     What are the negative behaviors associated with low self worth?  You just read about the emotions but what about the behaviors?  The purpose of this blog page is to promote change but we can’t change what we don’t acknowledge and we can’t acknowledge something that we can’t see.  So let’s answer a few questions very honestly and see if we can discover any hidden issues of low self worth. 
Ø  Do you hear yourself using negative self talk?
Ø  Are you described as being a workaholic?
Ø  Impressed with status symbols and often live beyond income?
Ø  Overly competitive, can’t stand to lose?
Ø   Seeking approval and envious of important people?
Ø   Constantly seeking recognition?
Ø   Have things perfect or yourself perfect, described as a perfectionist?
Ø  Addicted to substances, sex, food, drugs, or (fill in the blank)?
Ø  Use intimidation to get what you need or want, anger problems?
Ø  Impress others with financial extravagance?
Ø  Get upset if you don’t get your way?
Ø  Obsessed with having certain possessions?
Ø  Get offended easily, overly sensitive?
Ø  Do you say yes when you should say no?
Ø  Are you easily manipulated or follow people of bad influence?
Ø  Do you find yourself trying to impress others?
Ø  When someone isn’t friendly to you, does it hurt your feelings or disturb you
Ø  Do you pay close attention to how others respond to you to avoid the pain of rejection?
Ø  Are you a loner?
Ø  Do you avoid situations with new people because you believe they will not accept you or judge your character which will lead to rejection?

     Did you see any behaviors that describe you?  Remember to be very honest with yourself.  Nobody can hear your thoughts as you read the list.  It’s between you and God who wants to heal you in this area so you can walk in the peace and freedom He desires for you.  I remember a situation years ago when my family was on their way to a very big family reunion.  It was the first time in many years that we had all seen each other which included great uncles, great aunts, second and third cousins.  This was an important time in the history of our family.  My older sister, about 17 years old, received a phone call from work just as we were literally walking out of the door.  I was very upset when she decided to go to work, which was an option, instead of putting family first.  Why did she do that?  Her acceptance was based on performance.  She needed to impress her boss to feel needed and valued. Through the years, she was always known as the workaholic in our family and I don’t know if she really realized how badly it affected us.  The message we received was that WE didn’t matter or hold much value to her.  Her choice to avoid rejection from her boss only led to rejection from the family.  So the irony of it all is that our negative behaviors to avoid rejection breed more rejection because we hurt others around us thus causing us more emotional pain.  It becomes a snow ball effect and just gets bigger and more damaging if we don’t get control of it.

     Next week, I will continue this topic and give you some tools that will help change the negative behaviors that mask the pain of rejection and feelings of worthlessness, that you don’t matter, or that question your value. Be encouraged that change can occur.  If you are living and breathing today, then you can gain control and make the positive changes you desire.  Know that God loves you and receives you just as you are.  You are his kid and He will go out of His way to help you grow and live in peace.  Remember, He believes that you were worth dying for.

I John 3:1 ~ See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.”

I would appreciate some feedback in the comment box below.  Let me know what you are thinking.  You don’t have to open an account to leave a comment and if you want your name to remain anonymous, just write anonymous or a fictitious name. 


  1. Wow!!!! Another awesome "Topic"! Strangely enough though, before I began to read the list; my inner thought was, "No I don't have Low Self Esteem....I know I won't find any of the areas listed an issue". But low and behold...there I was, sitting in the front row of several of the questions listed.

    Sometimes we can wear a mask and not even realize it. Why? Because it's become apart of us and we're not only hiding from others; the fact of the matter and more importantly, we're hiding from God and ourselves. This topic is truly an "eye-opener".

  2. So true, Gwen. It's amazing how many hidden issues of the heart we have but God is so wonderful in helping us see them so we can do something about it for a positive change. Thank you for your wonderful comment.

  3. Great job my friend! I really enjoy reading your posts. Of course, you know I have struggled with low self-worth for the majority of my life and have just recently, over the last several years, come to realize that there's a better way to live than living behind a mask. It's not easy to live that way because you have to keep up the masquerade so others don't see the real you; when in reality, you really want to be yourself and know that people love you for who you are. The fear of rejection keeps you wearing the mask. To be on the path to freedom from those things has been so wonderful for me! You have been a big part of that my friend. Thank you for the time and effort you have invested in helping me move beyond the mask-wearing days. I love you! :)

    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment, Sherry. The fear of rejection, without knowing, causes more rejection. I am so excited about your new path! Thank you for letting me be a part of the change in this chapter of your life. I love you too my friend