Here’s why most of us hide behind masks with no candy to show for it.

Halloween is upon us. For most, Halloween is simply a fun-filled day where we dress up in over-the-top costumes, don masks, and enjoy being someone or something else for a change. That “someone else” could be Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” (my granddaughter’s choice this year), Superwoman, a witch, or whatever creative costume you come up with. While this evening is all about frights, fun, and pretending to be something you’re not, the sad reality is that a lot of people hide behind masks on the other 364 days of the year. 

How many times have you been asked, “How are you?” or, “How are things going?” and you immediately respond with, “Oh, I’m fine,” or, “I’m so busy these days.” This response leaps out of you automatically, even though you know full well that your life or business is in shambles, or everything feels utterly stale and stagnant at the moment. Why do we do that? Could it be that people wear masks or put on facades to protect themselves from scrutiny and judgment?

Now, some of you are probably thinking, “Well, I just don’t care to share the truth with that particular person,” and I understand—I don’t share with everyone, either. Nevertheless, I still invite you to ask yourself why we withhold our true selves from others.

In today’s world, it seems that almost everything is being posted on social media—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Being your authentic self can feel risky. One of the most important human needs is to be accepted by others, and sometimes, in the pursuit of acceptance, we act like who we think we should be, or who the world wants us to be, as opposed to who we really are.

“Do we put on masks to protect ourselves from scrutiny and judgment?”

So, how do we take off the masks and start living a life of authenticity? First, let’s define authenticity: “not fake, false, or copied; genuine; real, representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself.” Knowing this definition, the first step is to determine who your genuine self actually is through an ongoing process of self-discovery that requires self-awareness, mindfulness, and self-acceptance.

Here are a few tips to help you find and express your authentic self:

1. Explore your values and connect to your inner guide. Ask yourself what you truly believe–consider listing out all the beliefs you have about yourself, then examine each one and see whether it represents who you truly are.

2. Release patterns and beliefs that no longer serve you. 

3. Love yourself unconditionally so that you can be a good listener, give love to others, and treat people with kindness and respect.

4. Speak your truth. Express your true thoughts, feelings, and views unapologetically yet tactfully. By sharing our vulnerability, we let our subconscious know that our imperfections are acceptable.

Authenticity inspires loyalty and engagement; people are drawn to those who are real and display confidence in themselves. When we consistently choose to embrace who we are, especially all the aspects that make us different, we feel better about ourselves, and we give others permission to do the same. Just be you. Remember, you are beautiful, you were fearfully and wonderfully made!

Enjoy your Halloween if you’re celebrating this year, and be sure to remove your mask when the day is over! Just being you is good enough to be great. As always, if you’re curious how coaching can help you, reach out to me and schedule a complimentary session; I’d love to hear from you. Until next time, make it a great day!