How often are you wearing a mask? 

We all do this in one way or another. We can indulge in a lot of mask wearing, and often times without even realizing it. 

What am I talking about? When we change or 'mask' our own natural personality to conform to social pressures. We do this for a variety of reasons. 

We can wear masks as a defense mechanism if we are being harassed or abused. We sometimes feel the need to wear a mask in our work, fitting the professional standards of whatever we do for a living. We might conform with a mask to avoid conflict with someone.
We most often wear masks because as humans, we are deeply wired to connect, and we feel that we need to reflect what makes others more comfortable, or what we perceive may make them like us more. This deep need to connect with people can cause us to wear all kinds of masks, adjusting & switching masks out for each person or group. 

We conceal emotions, opinions, habits, interests, & parts of our personalities that we fear will be judged, or cause for rejection in some way. When we are wearing a mask, we are not being fully authentic to who we are.

Sure....there are times in our society when we know that we need to utilize masks in a way that feels necessary. We tend to feel the need to wear a lot of masks in our work. For example, If you work retail, you can't necessarily tell your customers off when they are being rude, even if you would like to. (not if you'd like to keep your job anyway) The reality is there are these things that we feel we sometimes need to do to fit in with society, but that's not the point I'd like to focus on today. 

My point of writing about this topic is to ask you to really pay attention to where in your life you are wearing masks that are not necessary. The masks that are really not true to who you authentically are as a person. The times that we hide from others in fear of judgment or loss of friendships. The times that we act differently trying to impress someone with an act that's not really us at all. The times when we simply reflect back to people what we think they'd prefer to see. The times when it's really not serving us to wear these masks.

Do you know when you are doing this?
Can you feel it?
Are you aware?
How often are you wearing a mask? 
How many different masks do you wear in life?
One for work?
One for different social circles?
Separate ones for a partner or friends? 

Where can you work on shedding some of these masks, allowing the people in your life to really experience more of YOU? How good would it feel to just let the REAL you be free in more circumstances? 

True connection comes from being authentic & vulnerable. This means if we really want to deeply connect with people in our lives, we need to be vulnerable sometimes & shed the masks. 

Secondly, I'd love for you to bring awareness to the people & places in your life that you are comfortable shedding your masks. Who are those people? The communities that you gather with? 
Where do you feel like you are absolutely able to be you? Treasure those people. Know that those are the people that you can go to when you need support. Those are the people that love you for who you are. They are also proof that you are absolutely lovable just as you are! Spend time with the people that you naturally leave your mask off with. THEY are your people. 

If you are into some personal growth work this week, this can be a great topic to journal around. Pay attention over the next week, and just observe who you feel like your natural self with, and who you become aware of wearing a mask around. Where can you make some adjustments so that you are feeling more like the authentic you more of the time? Because you are awesome, you deserve to live more authenticly, and the world deserves more of YOU. 

Wishing you a beautiful rest of your week! 

Shelly