I tend to pay attention when themes come up in my coaching sessions with clients. Most recently there have been several conversations around the “masks” we wear.
For example, you might wear a certain mask when you’re with family—not letting them know how you really prefer to raise your children. Or you might wear a mask with friends for fear of them learning how overwhelmed you really are with life. And the one I deal with most often—the mask you wear in the workplace. This one allows you to play the game, live up to (perceived) expectations, and most importantly—not let anyone see who you really are.
In my coaching, the masks that clients talk about are pretty big and definitely get in their way of fully being who they are.
Posing as someone else takes work
It takes a lot of energy to wear a mask; to be someone you’re not. One of my clients felt compelled to put on her mask every time she walked through the door of her large organization. She revealed to me that she worked hard every day to keep the mask on and keep co-workers at a distance due to her deep fear of being “found out.” Found out that she wasn’t as great of a mother as everyone thought she was, found out that she didn’t feel as confident as people thought, found out that she struggled with food addictions, and so on.
My heart aches when I hear this. Because each person is always doing the very best they can. And if you think they’re not, think again. My client is doing her absolute best in each moment. That, in itself, makes the world sing. We’re all doing our best and have so much to offer by being ourselves.
We put these masks on to show that we’re stronger, more confident, a better parent, smarter employee, more “together,” etc. We fear that we’re not ‘enough’ as we are; that we are lacking something. But in reality, we are all amazing…if we only let ourselves shine and not pretend to be something else.
Being all of who you are
It’s okay. Be precisely who you are. In fact, when you’re not being “you,” you shortchange the world.
Unsure how to articulate who you are? Then please take some time to read this post because it’s imperative that you begin the journey to get clear on this one.
We’re all human. So, first before our roles/titles/jobs, etc., we are people. We all have lights to shine. What if we could go to work every day and live in the world around us, being all of who we are…without apology? Wouldn’t we all be more relaxed and under less pressure to “perform”?
Take some time now to ponder these questions:
–What are the various masks you wear and what purpose do they serve?
–Where are you not being yourself?
–How could being ‘who you are’ bring you greater joy?
The key to following your joy is being who you are.