How often do we smile when we want to cry? How many times do we say, “I’m fine” when we are not? We all wear a mask throughout our day. Perhaps it’s a professional, tough guy or a pretty mask. Maybe it’s the car we drive, the zip code we live in or the career we have chosen. It’s not necessarily a negative thing to wear a mask. Protecting what’s going on inside can be a healthy coping skill. If we are struggling with a personal issue at home, it may often best to leave it at home than to bring it to work.
The willingness to take off the mask is where there is opportunity for personal growth. Embracing our uniqueness and praising the individuality of others can lead to a more authentic experience of ourselves and those around us. We all have moments of feeling insecure or ashamed of our true selves. Why are we so afraid to show our authenticity? Some of us feel the need to continue to wear our mask despite the fact it may be hurting us in some way. Trying to maintain a façade of well-being or of wealth can be detrimental as we are ignoring our fiscal or mental health.
If you are feeling creative, you can make a mask and decorate it. You can identify the different aspects of your mask on the outside and identify what is happening for you internally on the inside of your mask. This exercise can help you better articulate who you are to others and gain insight about yourself.