“Oh.. the MASKS we wear…”
Our journey to authentic leadership and self awareness continues with identifying what gets in our way of achieving what we want and deserve as a person and as a leader.
What often prevents us from letting our true self shine so we can live authentically is the “masks’ we wear in our lives. Masks cover up who we really are and drive how we behave in the presence of others.
Masks develop over our life and are often are derived from fears, childhood programming, low self esteem or our need to gain approval from others. They cause us to cover up our true gifts and cause shame internally when we know who we are pretending to be is not in alignment with who we really are.
Living our masks can cause us to be critical of ourselves with negative self talk that impacts our self esteem and self worth. Many of us have been socialized to sacrifice our authentic self in order to meet society’s expectations. In pleasing everyone else, we have lost our unique personhood.
Masks can prevent us from experiencing pure joy, love and freedom that are our birthright and stop us from being “real”. They drive our energy, who we attract in our relationships & team and impact our words, tone of voice and body language when communication with others.
If we want to change something in our lives, personally or professionally, we must change our energy to attract that which meets our needs and wants. This process begins identifying our masks that we wear, who brings them out based on old patterns or triggers, and how do we remove the ones that are causing us to not get what we want.
Some of the masks we wear are below:
Caretaker of the World
Leadership Exercise… Ask yourself the following questions and let the answers come naturally and write them down.
- Around others, or in the public eye, what type of person do I pretend to be most?
- Why am I afraid to be my authentic self and to show others my core essence?
- Which of the above masks do you know that you wear? Are there any others not listed that would define you?
- How does wearing these masks alienate you from your authentic self?
- What masks will you strive to remove over the next few months?
- What happened when you changed your mask?
Being true to ourselves and knowing what we need and want, combined with celebrating our gifts and working on what masks to change or remove, is how to live empowering leadership and sets the stage to be able to build others.
Until next week … when we look at leadership from within ….