A substitute is a stand in that serves in place of the real thing. Personally, it's an act or role that I put on that is other than the real me, expresses something other than my truth. A person does this out of the belief that the substitute will make a better impression or be better liked or will get further ahead or will get a particular outcome or will be safe, etc. Attachment to these beliefs is small because it means to trust and accept and value a false self, an imitation, more than the real self. I started becoming aware of such attachments long ago and am still in the process of letting go of them and expressing and living my real self. What helps me avoid an escape strategy is trusting my truth, trusting what I am experiencing, and reminding myself that honesty is the best policy and the truth will set me free. Good experiences including a sense of satisfaction when I am real help me to avoid escaping to a substitute.