Put Aside Your Mask and Own Your Feelings

By Val Boyko • September 3rd, 2011

smiley face maskThis post was meant to be Communications 101 for Daughters and Mothers –  Tip #9 Own Your Feelings….. Until I recalled how difficult it can be for so many of us to actually identify what we are feeling in the first place!

I know that this was the case for me. I pushed the icky uncomfortable feelings down and put on my “cheerful and strong” mask on my face for the world. It became such a part of me I lost the ability to identify what was really going on underneath.

Why is it hard to know exactly what we are feeling?

Two reasons come to my mind about why its hard, and also why we shouldn’t feel bad about not being able to fully feel!

Firstly, we all learn at an early age ways to avoid feeling the icky feelings.  In childhood we developed ways to try to control our lives and prevent discomfort, anxiety, or feeling vulnerable to other people’s criticism, rejection, anger etc. Susan Campbell calls them Control Patterns and describes them as “any behavior or thinking habit that you use unconsciously to help you avoid feeling out of control, anxious, not knowing, foolish, or to help you avoid the risk of being criticized, controlled, judged, abandoned, rejected, ignored (or any other feared outcome).

A Control Pattern helps you feel “right, safe, or comfortable”. Control Patterns are the enemy of self-confidence and authenticity.”

To find out more about Control Patterns and which ones you might be using – click here.

I learned many years later that putting on this mask was related to my own number one control pattern. I shared this last December in My Top 5 Control Patterns Confession

Secondly, few of us were taught about feelings. How many of you had a teacher of feelings? Someone who sat down with you and told you about what they mean –  How they come about – What to do with them – How to express them? As daughters we may never have had a discussion about them, but we learned a lot about them from our mother as a role model.

How we really feel can be difficult to uncover. Some people feel hurt or angry and don’t even realize it. But when we know how we feel and own those feelings it opens a door to authenticity and being able to fully express ourselves.


Val’s Comment: I hope this is the right time for you to take this leap and get real with your feelings. It takes courage and practice. Remember you are not alone and I am here to help you on this journey.



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