Removing Your Mask

If we can integrate the different aspects of ourselves into a cohesive self-image, we can become resilient to burnout.

Masquerade - Phantom of the Opera Mask on Ivy Wall
Masquerade - Phantom of the Opera Mask on Ivy Wall

Have you ever found yourself trying to fit into a role that really didn’t match your core beliefs yet you wanted to be chosen for?  Maybe it is the person always chosen to host an event or coach a team.  You may not really want to fill that role, but you want to be thought of and considered.

When the desire to be someone else, or at least be seen as someone other than yourself, drives our behavior, we find ourselves fighting a battle that cannot be won.  We can pretend to be someone else for a period of time, but we cannot continue this charade over the long run.  We try to fit in and hide what we believe is our inadequate true self.  This conflict places us firmly on the path towards burnout.  It is exhausting and disheartening to attempt to be seen as someone who is not the person we believe our self to be.

When we listen to the stories we tell our self about not being good enough or needing to be different, we find our self listening to lies that somehow have gotten into our head and sound like the truth.  Too often, the voices we hear in our head tell us that we are not enough, or a burden, or even unlovable.  We are not always good at recognizing our good attributes or being self-compassionate.

As we become more aware of the self-talk we are engaging in, we can begin to validate our beliefs with facts and even trusted friends.  In areas that we believe we do not meet even the minimum bar, we may discover the truth: we are actually much better than we tell our self we are.  With the facts in hand, we can begin to fight the self-talk that says we have to be seen as someone other than who we are to be accepted.

When we become more aware of our own value and integrate this into one self-image, we can break free of the person we want the world to see and be the amazing person that has always existed.  With this more honest view of our own worth, we are able to embrace our identity and remove the mask that we have been wearing.  By accepting yourself as you are today and being willing to continue to grow, you can truly become the best person you can be.

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