In the realm of following your heart’s passion, I’ve noticed that when people do not feel safe to be themselves, they start to wear a mask. This mask can be worn at home or at work, and may even morph into many “masks” for those who tend to compartmentalize their lives. Wearing a mask is tiring; and wearing a mask when you are grappling with your heart’s passion is positively exhausting!
So, why do some people choose to hide or mask their true self … especially, when showing up 100% yourself and expressing your heart’s passion is the most direct path to happiness, inner peace and joy in all areas of life?
In my life coaching practice, I’ve observed five reasons why people, including highly skilled professionals, may choose to camouflage their true heartbeat. If you go through the list and recognize yourself, don’t worry … I’ve added a powerful question at the end that might provide food for thought.
5 Reasons Why People Mask Their Heart’s Passion:
About 25% of people choose not to express their heart’s passion because they feel that pursuing their dream is uncomfortable for them, for others, or both. This is where inner strength and a gallant spirit come in handy. The good news is that as with many things in life, discomfort often fades away with repeated exposure. So, if you find yourself in this category, small steps in the direction of your heart’s passion might just give you that extra boost of courage to show up in your life mask-free.
If not now … when?
For about 45% of people, the reason not to express a heart’s passion may be related to timing. This group wears a mask to hide an aspect of themselves that they do not wish to reveal to anyone, at least not yet. From my experience, I’ve found that “waiting for the right time” may be an excuse to procrastinate. If you are in this group, your thoughts and sentences will often be peppered with the words “I’ll do this when …”
Oops, curve ball …
About 15% of people wear a mask because their heart’s passion is not a convenient “fit” for a home or work life that they have created–and are heavily invested. For example, a mainstream professional discovers that he has a burning passion for pantomime, not as a hobby, but as a life’s vocation—and just after investing time and money into an education, lifestyle, and setting up an office. (Gasp!). Making a U-turn when your life and identity are structured drive down “Well Planned Boulevard” can be very unsettling, especially when you discover your heart’s passion is out-of-the-ordinary or unexpected. In this scenario, TRUST in yourself (and what your heart passion is telling you) is essential.
Another option, please …
About 10% of people wear a mask to hide their authentic self because they don’t understand or “get” their heart’s passion. They may even feel quite invaded, as if their heart’s passion has chosen them, sometimes against their will. In essence, they are trying to talk themselves out of who they really are, so as you can imagine, the self-talk on this journey can be quite funny. (As an aside, I was in this category, right down to the inner dialogue).
After listening at a deeper level to my clients over the years, I’ve found that this scenario often shows up when a person’s heart’s passion is perceived as not being valued by society. On an optimistic note, once a person is able to discern their own value system and turn the volume up on their inner voice, the once de-valued heart’s passion becomes more attractive, and sometimes simply irresistible!
What if …
About 5% of people get caught up in an endless cycle of mulling things over; just like an automated feedback loop. They live in their head and don’t pause long enough to connect with their heart. If you find yourself plagued with “what ifs”, followed by a generous helping of more “what ifs”, one of the best ways to center and connect with your authentic heartbeat is through physical activity; anything will do as long as it helps you move out of your head and into your body, if only for 15-30 minutes a day.
The Question …
Finally, if you are tired of wearing a mask to hide your authentic self or squishing down your heart’s passion, please ask this question: “If I don’t feel safe to show up as myself, who am I showing up as?”
As I have observed countless times over the years, there are always ways to incorporate an aspect of your authentic self or heart’s dream into your life TODAY. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing; and it is never too late in life to show up as you.
As Oscar Wilde so wisely said: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”