A friend gave me a card that says “Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.”
I’ve kept that card on the windowsill in my office. It reminds me about why I became a coach. It’s about where I once was, and where I don’t want my clients to be: masquerading. As a normal person.
Normal. What does that mean? There was this idea of “normal” that I knew. It was the expectation that I follow a certain path. Get a responsible job. Move to a house in the suburbs. Buy a dining room table. Cut the grass on Saturday. Not that there is anything wrong with any of these things, this can be a fulfilling life.
But only if these things light you up.
If they don’t, then the job and the suburbs and the dining room furniture and the weekly-trimmed lawn feel empty. Like a costume you put on day after day and pretend you are living a full life. It is exhausting, because that costume feels like a thousand pounds.
It is draining to keep trying to be someone you are not. It takes willpower to ignore the real dreams and desires within you and instead tread the path of someone else’s idea of success. It is diminishing to hide your gifts and talents behind a façade.
Our purpose in life is to be who we are – our true selves – living in a way that is aligned with our authentic nature.
It can be surprising, even shocking, when you discover that you’ve been masquerading and how much the mask of “normal” has constrained you into a life that wasn’t meant for you. It might mean the goals you’ve worked and sacrificed toward for years are not as meaningful as you imagined, or a status or title or profession that is valued by your family and peers holds no interest for you. Or you may have outgrown something that worked for you a decade ago.
The thing is, once you see the masquerade you can’t unsee it. You may try extra hard to continue to wear the heavy costume, but all that pretending just drags you down and holds you back from living and giving at your full capacity.
So, what do you do? Once the masquerade is revealed, congratulate yourself! You are starting to meet the real you! Then you can begin peeling away the mask to reveal your unique and beautiful self. Stay tuned for more in upcoming blog posts!
“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou