The most profound lesson that I have learned in my adult life is the power of vulnerability. Like most when I first heard that word, it made me think of weakness. I have come to understand and embrace that being vulnerable is the strongest thing a person can be. So why aren’t more people willing to be vulnerable and put themselves out there?
The need to fit in is so strong that we adapt to our surroundings and peers. Our first masks come into play and the layers start to pile on as the years go by. Our true self becomes hidden underneath the masks as we want to look and act a certain way to not stand out. Anytime that you layer something over and over it becomes heavy and suffocating.
We spend so much energy lugging these layers of masks around that our true self becomes lulled to sleep. Think of how good it feels when you peel off the layers of winter clothing. Once again you can move freely and swiftly. Sure, the layers protected you against the cold but if we could stay warm without 10 layers isn’t that better? (I know I love my sleek Patagonia jacket).
Without question, what people ask the most is “Won’t I get hurt if I’m vulnerable?”. The answer is yes but no more than you are already are. The difference is that relationships with your friends and family becomes so much more fulfilling when you are your authentic self. I know it’s a scary idea to put yourself out there fully, but courage is like a muscle and it gets stronger every time you use it.
No one can ever keep you completely safe, there is no magic bubble to protect you from the world (although I’ve seen some parents try). Save yourself the energy of trying to look a certain way and put that energy into your relationships and your life. Remember masks are for parties. So put yours away and let the world see your true self. The removal of the mask is like any reveal, it’s exciting and inspiring.