With Halloween just a few short weeks away, people everywhere are inundated with costume ideas to match whatever theme they feel like pursuing this year. Family costumes, funny costumes, scary costumes, costumes of the hottest movie or TV show characters. And it becomes a topic of conversation for most people when they come across anyone under the age of 10: What are you going to be for Halloween this year? Kids rattle off ideas and you can feel their excitement build, all while parents try to minimize accessibility to new ideas to avoid the costume switch at the last minute.
But the excitement around the opportunity to be someone different, to dress up like someone else, doesn’t stop with children.
Why is that? Why are we so excited to pretend to be someone else, even if only for a few short hours?
You were born with your amazing face. It matches your unique combination of talents, strengths, passions and interests. It reflects your values, dreams and aspirations. Don’t try to hide it, trade it for another or find fault with it. Embrace it. It is you and represents the real you.
Embrace your face means you accept yourself as you are. You see yourself as valuable, important and just right. No fixing needed. No validation from others required.
One of the greatest things I’ve learned in my years on the planet is those who have happy, successful and amazing lives fully understand and accept who they are. They don’t compare themselves to others. They don’t see what they do or don’t have as good or bad. Instead, they know life isn’t a competition or about being perfect. They have learned to recognize that everyone is different and unique on purpose, that no one person is any more amazing or gifted than another. We are all gifted; it’s just that our gifts are different.
And here’s the greatest lesson: life is really all about being the real, honest, authentic version of who they really are.
For many years, I lived my life the way those around me thought I should. I tried to change my face to act more like others, do what they do, believe what they believe, live how they live. It was too easy to see others and want what they have, be like them or live their way. But it quickly became evident that when I did that, I felt further and further from who I was, like I was living someone else’s life.
The more you don’t embrace your face, the more you lose or hide the great things in you. You find yourself in places that don’t fit you, engage you or inspire you. You play small. You miss out. Not only do you shortchange yourself, but you actually shortchange everyone. See, when you don’t live fully, authentically and honestly, your true gifts don’t manifest themselves in our world. Your purpose or reason for living doesn’t happen if you hide who you are, and if you can’t contribute your very special thing to our world, we all lose.
When you find yourself wondering what this life really means, consider this quote from President Woodrow Wilson: “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”
Spend less time worrying about what others think about you. You were born just right. Stand proud. Discover, develop and live your true self. Embrace your face. It’s the face you were born to have.