As we get ready to celebrate Halloween at the end of this month we will see all over social media elaborate costumes and masks. Many people love to be creative during this time of year and come up with all sorts of interesting ideas. Wearing a different costume or mask can be fun however, wearing a mask all the time can be exhausting and cause depression.
A healthy self-esteem is rooted deeply in being who you are everywhere you go. For example, how you act at work is the same way you would act at the grocery store or in your home. People that know you would not be shocked to see you behave one way out socially and then how you behave at home when no one is watching.
When we get caught up in wearing a mask we are stuck in approval seeking relationship patterns. The mask comes on to project what we want others to think about us and we fear being found out for who we really are.
When you have to wear a mask to get through your day to day life you will feel exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically. The amount of energy it takes to preform and be someone you are not takes a toll on your peace of mind and ability to enjoy your life.
The difference between a confident person and an arrogant one is the presence of a mask. Arrogance is masked as healthy self-esteem but arrogance is really about projecting an image that makes you appear better than others. Arrogance separates us from true connection and blocks relationships from growing into an emotionally intimate connection.
True confidence has no mask and enables us to connect with others in a healthy way. A confident person with a healthy self-esteem is able to speak truthfully about what gifts and talents they have and equally truthful about challenges they face. A person who wears a mask of arrogance does not have the ability to be vulnerable in any way.
When you can love and accept yourself for who you are, spots, wrinkles and blemishes on the inside and out, you can experience true joy in every- day life. When you decide your worth you will break the cord of approval seeking relationships and experience greater emotional well -being.
While it’s fun to dress up and wear a mask for parties and celebrations it’s exhausting to wear one every day. Love yourself enough to practice liking and accepting yourself. Be aware if you start to hide beyond the mask of arrogance or even extreme shyness because you are striving to get approval from others.
If you need help growing your confidence work with a counselor and find some good reading material to help empower you each day.
YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Meghan Fritz is a psychotherapist practicing in State College, PA