We all wear masks.
Men are indoctrinated at a young age to put on these masks because we are supposed to project a certain image in society. For example, men are supposed to be leaders, assertive, strong, physically fit, and not supposed to cry.
Women are expected to be caretakers, submissive, to not question things, and often be less intelligent than men.
These masks are all societies expectations. Boys hardly express their emotions because they are taught as young children it is a sign of weakness. Boys grow up suppressing their emotions and not learning to become emotionally aware. Girls are taught to hide their true selves and potential to fit the role of society…
If you find yourself feeling that you have to act a certain way or do certain things, take a moment to ask yourself why?
You might say, it is because you are “supposed to”.
Guys are supposed to not cry. Girls are supposed to be feminine and pretty. These masks or facades are forced upon us as we grow from children to adults. Certain masks are becoming less and less prevalent as time passes by.
Ponder what masks have been forced upon you when you were growing up? What values were you encouraged to have? What were you supposed to do?
Really take the time to self-reflect and question where your thoughts originated from. Are these your thoughts and values? Or your parents? Or your friends?
Now, take the time to realize that these are social constructs and they are simply what they are--ideas. Ideas can be challenged and changed. How does one “take off the mask?”
Power in Vulnerability
New York Times Best-Selling author, Mark Manson says:
“The greatest demonstration of power and security is to actually make oneself defenseless, to become as comfortable with one’s weaknesses as possible.”
Mark is a big proponent on taking off your mask and showing the world who you truly are. In doing so, Mark states, there is a subtle form of power that comes from it. Vulnerability is showing yourself for who you are as boldly as possible, accepting the reactions, and jumping on the opportunities.
What do you have against a person who is comfortable with his weaknesses? A person who shows themselves transparently and does not try to hide or deceive who they actually really are?
--nothing. There are so much power and freedom in dropping your guard, taking off your mask and revealing who you actually are. There is power in vulnerability.
I encourage you to take off your mask.
Imagine two people. One person gets a DUI and tries to hide it. He goes through a bail bonds company, never speaks of it and is ashamed of his mistake. He lives in constant fear of being discovered.
The second person gets a DUI, owns up to it and says he messed up. They admit it was reckless of them, apologizes and says they will not make the same mistake.
Which one is more powerful?
Show the world who you truly are...everything. The good, the bad, the ugly. As stated by world renown psychologist, Robert Glover, humans are drawn to each other's rough edges. It shows that we are human.
Again, be transparent. Show the world who you are unapologetically. Your relationships will become stronger and more importantly, you will feel free.