What Is The Story Behind Your Mask?
Posted on March 31, 2015 by Sheeba Varghese, One of Thousands of Leadership Coaches on Noomii.
Wearing masks can impact every area of our lives. Are you wearing one that is preventing you from living a life you love?
“Behind every mask there is a face, and behind that, a story” ~Marty Rubin
How true is this for so many of us?
If I were to hand you a mask and a marker, what would you write on your mask? Would it be “perfectionist”, “not good enough”, “must be in control”, “people pleaser”, “unlovable”, “super mom/woman”, “flirt…need attention”, “rescuer”, or something else?
Well, these were just some of the words I saw during an exercise that was done in a conference I attended in October. This exercise impacted me on such a deep level that I felt it would be great to share some of my thoughts here with you.
During the exercise, I could feel a strong resistance to write the words that came to mind onto my mask. My fear of what others might think also began to percolate within me, and that totally makes sense because the words I wrote on my mask were: ‘perfectionist’ and ‘not good enough’. Isn’t it interesting how these 2 words go hand-in-hand?
But the gifts that I received from others instead were kindness, acknowledgment, love, and understanding without even a hint of judgment.
Here are a couple of things that I personally learned that day about masks, and perhaps it will be valuable to you as well:
It’s important to take time to look at the stories behind the mask AND it is also VERY important not to park there. Otherwise, years can go by and victim thinking, anger and bitterness can be the very bedrock of your life.
Often, masks are created when we compare ourselves to others. You are unique. Comparisons only breed competition. Although this world thrives on competition, I would instead encourage you to embrace your uniqueness and live content in that.
Masks affect every area of our lives. They affect how we engage with our spouses, our children, with work, colleagues, friends, family and ourselves. They affect how we engage in our day-to-day lives. They affect our priorities or lack of them. They affect our passions and creativity. They affect the intimacy levels of our relationships, and they affect our time and finances.
After a while, masks become quite heavy and prevent us from living a life we love, because everything we do in life becomes skewed from the identity we have chosen to wear. You can make another choice. In spite of your journey, your story, you can choose to live life differently and thrive! Your circumstances may not change, people around you may not change, but YOU can change how you show up and engage in the world.
What is written on the mask you are wearing?
How is that mask preventing you from a living a life you love authentically?
Are you ready to understand it and remove it?