How to let go of your social mask

March 10, 2017

One of the best parties I ever attended

That night I learned about hygge, how to make clear ice cubes and the potential for authentic connection when we can let go of our social masks or trying to prove ourselves.

The only person I knew was the one who brought me to the party. By the time I left, I had many wonderful interactions, created lasting memories and made a few real friends (did I mention it was super fun, too!?). This was at a “bad taste” party in Copenhagen, Denmark almost eighteen years ago.
I have heard that because Danes tend to form tight-knit friendship groups, it can be hard for an outsider to gain acceptance. That was not my experience. In our mismatched bad taste outfits, we all looked so ridiculous that it was impossible to take ourselves seriously. It broke the ice so to speak and we were free to be who we really were. No pretensions. Nobody dressed to impress. And that’s where the magic started.

 [Don’t get me wrong — I love clothes and come from a family that has generations of designers and dressmakers. For some people, clothing and fashion can be an exciting form of self-expression, creativity and identity.]

The social mask is not just about how we dress. It’s how we behave and interface with the world.

The internet and social media support the proliferation of persona and projections. They are not all bad and develop as a protection from the outside world. However, we may confuse our identity with who we really are or get locked into a way of being that limits authentic connections.

I am interested in helping women to have more fulfilling lives that are in alignment with their true selves. We do this by bringing more awareness and flexibility to the roles we inhabit.

I learned how to help women feel safe enough to let go of social masks and conventions when supporting them to birth their babies as a doula. Labor tends to go more smoothly when we can get real and raw by letting go of self-consciousness. It’s certainly a process and the hormones help but there is nothing more intimate and vulnerable.

It’s not just in birthing a baby that the energy and costs of maintaining our social mask, being who others think we should be or different from how we really are becomes exhausting and make us unhappy.

Please Note: There is such thing as appropriateness and it’s often not a good idea to let it all hang out indiscriminately. That is not what authenticity or living from your truth is about.

So, what is your social mask protecting you from?

How might it be holding you back?

Who do you get to be without your social mask, when you are not trying to please or impress anyone else? 

What else becomes possible? 

Two practices for more authenticity (and fun): 

  1. Notice where you are overly identified with your social mask/persona and begin to find ways to release it, allowing your beautiful, authentic self to shine through. Again, this is not about finding excuses to be inappropriate or becoming excessively vulnerable. It’s about speaking your highest truth, setting boundaries and acting in alignment with your values.
  2. Play! Try on different social masks or find safe environments where you can act out or date another aspect of yourself.

If neither of these appeal to you just yet, I recommend throwing a “bad taste” party, watching some Amy Schumer stand up comedy and/or setting up a coaching session with me here to breakthrough some blocks.

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