Most people – almost everybody as a strong desire to be accepted by the people around, so we resort to wearing social masks. We change how we think, behave in certain ways; hide our emotions so that we can be approved of by others. Even smile when we’re really hiding a sea of pain, we throw our heads back in laughter even when the joke isn’t funny, act excited when inside you are internally cringing – and it’s usually all in a futile attempt to repress our emotions and because otherwise, showing our true emotions would be otherwise socially incorrect.
We create fake personas that hide our insecurities and mask our flaws, wearing metaphorical masks – all in a fruitless attempt to fit in with the social standings of others and to hide who we really are within. We cover everything that matters up: our fears, dreams, stories, scars. You may begin to lose touch with what matters, solely focused on keeping up the façade, and pleasing the people who you wear the mask around.
Here are five simple steps to ditching the mask, and reclaiming the old you:
1. Find out if you really want to drop the mask.
Once you have made the decision that you want the mask to slip, you are already halfway there. It is most likely going to be a difficult course of action, and there is going to be a lot of self-discovery in your journey: finding out things about yourself that you could never have imagined.
Stay your course; self-betterment is always a good thing.
2. Come to terms with anything you are battling internally.
Everyone who wears a social mask is probably struggling with some aspect of their life, and is using the mask as a front. Find what is constantly keeping you on edge, and take it out of your life. Instead of avoiding them, deal with your struggles. Once the toxicities are out, you might be able to see yourself a little bit more clearly. Peace comes from within.
3. Reclaim what you lost.
After wearing a mask for so long and pushing away your own preferences and opinions, you might find that you have almost lost touch with the little things that define who you truly are. Through the passage of time, it will come back to you, and you will be able to piece together the truly wonderful creation that you are.
4. Watch and monitor yourself.
Make a conscious effort to monitor the way you conduct yourself, your speech and your actions. If you happen to be in a group setting, and the people around you ask for your opinion on something, make sure your answer is genuinely yours. Share your ideas, and make an effort to not be swayed from your convictions.
5. Help others find themselves.
Find someone who you think might also be prone to hiding behind a mask. Share your experiences with that person, and get a sense of who they are. Reach out to people, connect with them, and work towards enjoying the people you are. The journey to self-discovery may be easier when you have somebody to help pace you along and encourage you.
When you have eventually taken the mask off completely, do not be tempted to put it back on. Give your all to the world – your strength, your beauty and your mind. Have no regrets about who you are and what you have been through.