Taking off the mask in pursuit of authenticityJan 24, 2022
How exhausting it is to keep a mask on all the time? There's something to be said for just being your authentic and true self, and it's going to attract your tribe.
This is a question my husband actually asked me last fall - How exhausting is it to keep up this image you’ve created? He was speaking specifically about my relationship with his family - but it really made me think about all the times I put on a mask.
I put on the mask because I think it is what people want. When in truth- I put it on to make myself feel better. I am not a fan of confrontation, and genuinely want interactions to be happy and not contentious. I learned early on as a kid that my emotions were too much- so I hid them. I change how I feel to fit into who is around me.
What I have found is that my desire to be “easy” or a “get-along” person has left me a little empty. It wasn’t until we were really unpacking this interview that I realized it was because I was surrounded by people who truly didn’t know me. For a long time that was ok - I felt like I had enough close friends. But going through the last few years it slowly became not ok. I was/am lonely.
Going through life feeling like you don’t have a tribe is hard enough - but going through entrepreneurship without a tribe is detrimental. And while, I feel like I have a great group of buddies who I can call, laugh, and cry with. I really want to be more authentic- more me around them. I don’t want to worry about what I say, or how I look - I just want to be…me.
The thought even makes me nervous! When we start peeling off the masks we have been wearing we allow ourselves to be open to rejection and judgment. But at the same time we give ourselves so much freedom. Freedom to have meaningful relationships, freedom to embrace who we are, and freedom to change the world with our unique talents. All I can think about is when John finally embraced his disability and started sharing his story and truly being his authentic self, he created a better world for so many people other than just himself.
I hope you get the chance to peel off your mask with at least one person this week - I know I am going to try.
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