As we watch little ones don masks for Halloween, I can’t help but think about the masks that we adults wear. Some of us hide behind masks in an effort to protect our vulnerable selves. Others wear masks of foundation and shimmer to beautify the self we project to the world. And a few may wear masks to misdirect or mislead, hiding their true nature and desires. This Halloween let’s take OFF our masks! Let’s reveal our true self to at least one person today.

The masks we wear at work.

Did you know? 64% of us wear a mask at work, according to a workplace study. Let’s be clear: this isn’t hiding something bad we’re doing. Rather, it’s hiding something core about who we are, for fear of making others uncomfortable or fear of being judged and seeing our careers impacted negatively.

Masks at work jobsage workplace survey statistics

Even more alarming is the amount of energy expended to maintain this mask at work. 25% surveyed claimed it took “a lot” of energy, and 47% feel it takes “some” energy. Only 23% of us feel we expend little to no energy hiding our true selves at work.

Today’s a Monday, so let’s start this work week off right. Find one person you don’t normally praise, and tell them one thing you’ve observed that you like, honor or respect about them. You see? We can help each other take our masks off.

The masks we wear every day.

Do you know that one quarter of Americans under the age of 35 don’t like themselves? According to Yougov, our looks are the #1 source of insecurity. And going beyond the superficial, IPSOS reports that over half of Americans feel that no one knows them well. Now, as someone who blogs about my life, family, and innermost thoughts, I admit this is a little foreign to me!

Yet, how very lonely and isolating this must feel. I imagine a soft, malleable mask pressed onto the face begins to harden over time. It grows layers of protection with each misunderstanding or rejection, melding tightly to the skin. Eventually, the mask becomes indistinguishable from the person and removing that thick, encrusted mask must take a monumental effort! Let’s treat one another with care and help soften those masks, so that one day, we might remove them entirely.

This Halloween let’s take OFF our masks!

How to remove your mask:

Ready to try and remove your mask? Here are 5 tips to get started:

  1. In what context do you feel you can be your true self? Is it with your core family? Alone, out in nature? Reflect on where and when – then carve out time to place yourself in this space on a regular basis.
  2. Don’t be fooled by Fakebook… I mean, Facebook. In our heads, we know that everything we see isn’t real, but if we spend enough time in the edited, alternate universe of social media, we begin to judge ourselves through that lens.
  3. Start small by declaring a “dirty secret” or “guilty pleasure.” Like for me? I love Fast & the Furious movies. I can watch them over and over with a couple fingers of whiskey. Doesn’t paint me as much of an intellectual, right? But that’s me.
  4. Take on positive challenges. That’s why I’ve started posting The Spare Room Challenges on my Instagram page, small acts of intention you can take on a daily basis. Do them alone or with a friend!
  5. Seek out goosebumps. You know those friends where every time you talk, you get goosebumps from giddy moments of connection, or when intense moments of truth grab you both by the eyebrows. Find those friends and hold them close.