Take off your mask if you want to live your best life. You can’t hide who you are and lean into that unique design at the same time. Something has to give.
If you want to give into the extraordinary that waits just beyond the horizon, then remove the masks hiding your awesomeness. If you prefer to settle in your current uncomfortable, then leave it on – and you can do extra if you are so inclined.
What Does It Mean to Wear a Mask?
“The first time I met you, I kept watching to see when the mask would crack.”
My friend, for the last decade, finally confided that he didn’t believe it. He didn’t believe people could really be as positive and hopeful as I portrayed online.
“But I soon learned it was real.” He finished.
My husband quickly jumped in with, “Tell me about it.”
Too often, we show the world what we think we are supposed to be like, and eventually, it sucks all of the energy and all the life out of us. We put on the business suit – in real or in persona – and do things the “right way” even when the creative spirit in us stirs up the need to disrupt the status quo. We cut our hair and wear the latest fashion to fit in with the “right people,” even when the outdoor bohemian mindset screams to be released from her cage.
A mask is something we pick up and carry around to keep from letting people see who we really are – either because we are afraid of the truth or because we think the lie is more likely to get us to where we want to go.
Take off the mask.
- See the real you.
- Be the real you.
- Share the real you.
- Grow the real you.
Your realness will make the way for your best life every single time. You have to choose to change out of the mask and step into your amazing self.
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Masks Come in Many Forms
When I was in junior high, I was a tomboy to the nth degree. I had a horse I occasionally rode to school. My hair was practical, not stylish. I could barely spell makeup. And I helped my brother run a lawn care business.
And then I met the cool new girl from the big city. As the daughter of friends of my parents, I saw her a lot. She taught me about makeup and clothes, and being a girl.
That was the first mask I put on. It’s not that I wouldn’t have worn makeup or looked pretty, but it was that I was trying to be her – which was something I’m not.
When I was just out of college, I went out with a guy who was an introverted musician. He didn’t want to be out and about. Even when he was at a gig, he stayed behind his drums.
Since he traveled a lot, he expected me to follow the same path of his introverted musician ways. So I did. I stayed in and read books instead of hanging out with friends.
That was the second time I distinctly remember putting on a mask. Anyone who talks to me for more than a minute will guess I am not an introvert. And yet I gladly put on the mask for him, and I don’t even think I realized I had done it until after he was out of my life.
Any time we step outside of our unique design, we are putting on a mask. Little by little, the mask begins to wear us down and suck out the ability to recognize who we are and what we are supposed to be doing.
If you want to break free and break out into all of your possibilities, then you have to take off your mask and be all in for you.
See the Real You
Sometimes all we see are the masks we wear. We have forgotten the person that stands behind us. If you are going to let go of the masks, you have to see the real you. Read back through old journals – the older, the better. Read over the notes in your annuals (or old notes you passed during school). Look through old photo albums. Dig down and keep digging until you pull back all the stuff that has accumulated, and you begin to see the real you again.
Be the Real You
Start acting like you again. Don’t wait until you are “perfect” to walk it out. Start right now where you are and keep moving until you get to where you want to be. You don’t have to be the size or shape or look you were when you remember being you last. You just have to find the spark in the heart and let it glow.
Share the Real You
Expose the real world to you. Share in online posts or articles (or videos). Go to gatherings or host a gathering. Do something to live the real you around others and then share how you shed the mask when they ask – and they will.
Grow the Real You
Keep investing in the you that you are. Honor your strengths and feed them with more learning and more growing. Accept your weaknesses by acknowledging them but not giving into them. Make decisions based on the real you, and you will begin to live the best life you were created to experience.
Dare to Go Mask Free
Your uniqueness is amazing. The more you recognize how powerful and important your uniqueness is for this journey, the bolder you will grow in it. But you will never see that truth as long as you are hiding behind the masks.
Dare to be you and take off your mask.
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Dare to Keep Going
Keep on keeping on no matter what detours, distractions, or blockades life may throw at you.
Stop apologizing for being you. Stop asking permission to walk your unique path. Stop waiting for directions on how you are supposed to go. Start accepting your voice and leaning into it. Start making your way in a way that works for you.
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