The fear of being yourself.
It's a very common thing. People so often believe they need to be someone else to become who they want and achieve what they desire. They think they need to be like this person or that person in order to be accepted. They believe that their selves aren't good enough, not likable enough, not enough at all.
And so they change.
Not for the better. Not an improvement upon their best self, but instead into something else entirely - or more likely....someone else.
They wear the clothes they do not feel comfortable in, and crack the jokes they don't find funny, and participate in the activities they don't enjoy, hoping beyond desperation that it will help them feel better finally - feel like someone liked, someone included, one of them.
But it doesn't of course.
They just feel worse instead. Because try though they may, and want though they do, that person is not them. Nor is it meant to be.
They have their own skills. Their own talents. Their own desires. And they have surrendered them all to be like this person or that person - to be like them - as if that person were any better or more deserving of what they fear to take themselves, of their own choice and power and ability.
The 20th century spiritual teacher Nisargadatta Maharaj once said:
"Don't be afraid. Don't resist. Don't delay. Be what you are. There is nothing to be afraid of. Trust and try. Experiment honestly. Give your real being a chance to shape your life. You will not regret it."
When one surrenders themselves to be someone else, they submit to the idea that they are not good enough, that these other people are better and more able than they.
If only you'd try. If only you'd believe. If only you'd give your own self the chance to prove you wrong - that you can do it, that you are able, that you are better - you'd see finally how wrong you were.
This does not mean, of course, that you are perfectly suitable right now, as you are now. We must always strive for improvement and growth. We are always able to be made better. But we must do so AS ourselves, as our truest and most honest selves, not as who we emulate or wish to become. Because anything else is simply impersonation, and your impersonation may become more exact, but beneath it all you remain unchanged - the same weak, and hopeless person; made paralyzed by your disbelief in yourself and your unwillingness to be you.