It’s Halloween and let’s face it, if you wear a mask today, most likely nobody is going to call you out on it
We’ve all worn some masks, but I think it’s time to call a moratorium on using them as a permanent fixture
Entrepreneurs often wear masks without realizing they have them on.
When you are first beginning a new venture everything may feel “foreign” to you so you may initially put on the CONFIDENCE mask because you want to appear to be knowledgeable and capable. Yet, sometimes the best way to develop trusting relationships is to be honest and share what you DON’T know.
People don’t want a “know-it-all”. They want a sincere and honest individual to trust with their issues. They want someone who might have even experienced what they are now dealing with.
Another mask easily donned is the IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT? mask. This mask changes what we really are into becoming what we think others want us to be. Maybe, this mask has you appearing to be the life of the party or the consummate extrovert when you are really a more introverted leader.
The problem with attempting to function with this mask on is that what we do is not natural or even enjoyable. We attempt to deliver a different persona because we think it’s what is expected. Wearing this mask causes constant stress.
Transparency builds trusting relationships. Don’t work hard trying to be something you don’t even want to be.
Most of us have slipped the I CAN HANDLE THIS mask on and sometimes much more often than we should. You might recognize this mask as one that attempts to cover up any overwhelming issues, nagging at your progress. Instead of seeking out help, asking for someone’s assistance or even admitting we can’t take on anymore, the mask says, “Everything is fine and there’s no problem, just carry-on.”
The best thing you can do for your business, your career or your life is to learn to delegate what you can’t handle alone and to ask for help when you need it.
HELP is not a dirty 4 letter word.
And finally there is the EXCUSE mask which we wear to conceal our real fear of change or moving out of our box. When we have this mask on, we can more easily blame our circumstances, our resources, even our friends and family for being the reasons we are stuck in a rut.
This mask is the one we turn to when we need an excuse for not simply pointing the finger back at ourselves, after all, it is easier to let others take responsibility for our condition, then we don’t have to expect more from ourselves.
Nothing will change until you take the excuse mask off and see what you need to do to turn things around. As long as you are wearing the excuse mask, everything remains status quo.
The problem with masks is not only do they cover up ourselves to others, but they are also limiting of own clarity and perception.
Maybe we can fool some people sometime with our mask, but we can never fool ourselves and that is a critical point to remember, especially when we fear ever taking our mask off. In the long run, we can’t wear our mask forever and the only truly genuine moments we know will occur after removing them.
We have little to fear from others when we realize the mask did little more than disguise what most people already knew.
What are you afraid of showing or telling someone? Pretending that you are someone else or that you really are what the mask personifies is great for a few hours but becomes an obstacle to getting on with your life if it turns into a permanent facade.
You can do something else and yet don’t necessarily need to become someone else. Think about that, especially if you’re trying to start a new venture.
Kathy Brunner is a business coach who helps people develop thriving businesses. Ready to take off your mask and start living the life you always dreamed? Schedule a COMPLIMENTARY CONSULT today.
Also published on Medium.