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The Masquerade

“Donning a mask may unleash some unforeseen talents.”

Although “All Hallows Eve” – later shortened to Halloween – is not celebrated worldwide, many do enjoy dressing up in costumes and becoming a different version of themselves. It often liberates and provides many a sense of encouragement allowing them the freedom to do things they normally wouldn’t consider doing merely wearing their “everyday” clothing. It can turn shyness into audacity and apprehension into action. This transformation is often the polar opposite from what we’d normally expect from that person.

Oddly enough, adorning a costume and exuding conduct different from our normal behavior frequently requires no apology, and that is how it ought to be. It’s not too dissimilar from going to a concert and being the entertainer rather than being the one who is entertained. At times, others are amazed by this duality and it may even expose a few hidden talents.

However, once we step back into the clothing to which we are accustomed, so do the predictable actions return that others are used to expecting. We hesitate or may never dream of doing those very same actions we do behind that mask because it might create some very uncomfortable feelings.

Perhaps there are countless reasons why a few threads and some face paint can completely transform our personalities and inspire us to do things we’ve never dreamed of. But if that transformation is constructive, positive, and/or beneficial to us, why not cultivate it into who we are?

It may be a challenge to pinpoint the reasons why these costumes open up a whole new side of our personalities, but regarding the reasons why we clam up once we return to normalcy, are pretty clear.

The first reason is that many of us are conditioned to embrace “normal” and discard change. Comfort lies where things remain the same or change happens at a snail’s pace. However, one of the greatest lessons to learn is that we grow best when we get outside of our comfort zone. Another way of looking at it is conformity often constrains or restrains growth.

The second reason would be a lack of self-confidence. Inexplicably, just a little bit of anonymity can provide the courage to step out of that comfort zone and afford us with an assurance that we can do it; even if that mask isn’t really concealing our whole identity. Logically, this makes no sense yet undoubtedly, it happens countless times especially around this time of year.

It shouldn’t be difficult to imagine having the courage to do the very same things that we’ve done while hiding behind a mask. After all, we are the same person. Although masks can and do act as support, think of them more as training wheels on a bicycle. There are times when we need a push or even a gentle shove and it’s a great feeling to know that support is with you. All of this culminates in raising our self-esteem, adding to our confidence, and even opening some doors we never dreamed were possible.

This week look for occasions when that mask can be removed and a bold, confident person seizes you and your actions. Find those situations and step out of that comfort zone transforming you into a powerful and empowered person.

My thanks to Photo by Thomas Ploch on Unsplash for the beautiful photo and I look forward to your comments.

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