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A friend once told me that people fear being “found out”—that humans are afraid that others will discover that they’re not really as smart or as pretty as they seem to be.
They got into good schools by luck and passed tests the same way, and, sooner or later, their employer and clients will find out. You ask yourself, “Is it enough, this job I’m doing? Am I OK?” From deep in the secret, dark hidey-holes of your mind, self-doubt whispers an answer: “No.”
Over time, you learn to conceal self-doubt. You cover insecurities, push them out of sight and muddle on, defenses at the ready. You get by. And sometimes—the best times—you confront these demons head-on and expose them for the liars that they are. You realize that “We are who we are as much because of our gaps and failures as because of our strength,”1 and, although clichéd, the premise of I’m OK, You’re OK still can ease you into self-acceptance. So you stand a little straighter, and, in the mirror of your mind’s eye, you catch sight of yourself as acceptable.
Skin at war
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