The Season of Masks
October is the month of change, as we start to see fall leaves coming and going. It also happens to be the season of masks and costumes for many of us who celebrate Halloween. A time where we all get to play at being someone a little different than we are in the day to day.
The Social Media Facade
However, when you stop and think about it, many of us are not showing our genuine selves to the world around us – at least not all the time and definitely not when it comes to social media.
We feel the need to put on a “mask” and present ourselves as happier, shinier, and more put together than we may be on a daily basis. We put our best foot forward and want to show only the positives – not wanting others to see self-doubt, our struggles, and parts we may find embarrassing. However, when we engage with the world around us through social media and day to day life in such a disingenuous way, we are not expressing our true selves. This facade isn’t the best for our mental health. In fact, it can often lead to burnout and emotional fatigue since we are not proactively addressing struggles or challenges.
Three Steps to Authenticity
So today, I introduce 3 ways we can express ourselves genuinely – online and in person.
- Know Thyself: The first step is to learn who you truly are. In order to unmask and be your authentic self, you need to know yourself. Figure out all nuances of who you are – your strengths and likes, your triggers and stressors. What makes you a unique person? What parts of you do you have a hard time truly showing?
- Bravery in Authenticity: Next, be fearless. So much of what drives us to hide our true self behind a mask is fear of how others will perceive us and how we will be treated. When we can calm those fears and show our real selves, we open ourselves up for making real connections with others that love us for who we are. In fact, we are often our own worst critic and those around us want to celebrate us rather than tear us down.
- Your Support System: And finally, surround yourself with a great support network that can love you on the tough days, and appreciate all parts of you. When we feel valued and supported for our true selves, that makes it much easier to cope with stressors that come our way.
Remember, we all want to be professional and well received at work. We want to be loved and appreciated at home. But when we don’t show our true selves, we are not appreciating our true selves.