As Halloween is fast upon us, we know that there will be plenty of kids and adults dressed up as their favorite characters or witty concepts– and many of them will be wearing a mask. These masks they wear will be for the purposes of dressing up to go out and trick-or-treat or win the costume contest at their school. But what other reasons do people wear masks beyond Halloween? What does a mask do? It allows one to hide behind a face that is not their own. It allows one to conceal their true appearance. It allows one to hide their true identity. Sometimes we want to hide who we are because we are suffering from an identity crisis.
As women, we hide a lot. We hide because of the huge amounts of pressure that are put on us to fulfill a status quo. We hide because we feel huge amounts of pressure to fit a certain mold. We hide because we constantly try to fight the temptation of comparison.
The good news is that when you are struggling or feeling uncertain about who you are, it is not the end of the world. All of us question and doubt what we are doing or what path we are going down sometimes. There is a way out.
Know thyself. Our identity refers to who we are as individuals. They are cultivated in response to both internal and external factors. That’s why it is important to surround yourself with positivity and affirm yourself everyday. When you look in the mirror, be proud of all that you are. Take time to get to know you. Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Understand what your passions are. Take some time to explore things that you normally wouldn’t.
It takes a village. We all know this saying, but it is so true not just for children but for adults as well. If you cannot name at least three people that you can go to in a time of trouble or count on for counsel, its time to network and expand your village. No one should go through life in isolation, and having a handful of people that you can rely on can make a huge difference in the long run.
Stand up for yourself. In a world where people often want to silence you, now is the time to speak up. If you are a person that typically keeps your opinion to yourself, this may not be an easy task. Babysteps. But what is important is to not be ashamed of the choices that you make. If you are confident in what you do, then make a case for that.
Learn how to say no. Trust me this is something I struggle with. In order to find balance and have time to develop into the best you, you have to learn how to say no. Stop doing everything for everyone. It will give you more of a sense of control.
Work towards success. You should always have goals because it keeps you more focused. Set small and big goals. When you accomplish your goals you will feel better. I am the queen of checklists, and when I cross something off of the list, I feel like I accomplished a lot, even if it is something small.
Why do I want women to feel empowered? Because when women and girls feel empowered, they can reach their fullest potential. Because your voice matters and every idea you come up with counts. Because we all should strive to make the world a better place.
Need more tips and advice? Please reach out to me directly, I would love to chat more about this. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any of the photos