How many masks are you wearing, and what or who are they covering up?
For me I have found over the years that I was wearing a lot of masks, and because of that, I didn’t truly know who I was, and had the tendency to be a “people pleaser”, which simply means I would do anything to keep the peace, avoid confrontation, and have a longing to please others, and would always put myself last.
Who is the person underneath the mask? Well, I didn’t have just one mask, but many. There was my perception of how a dancer teacher should be, how I behave as a wife and in certain social settings, and then another mask for other social settings. Some of these masks were magnificent, very well maintained giving the aura of being under control, but it takes a lot of energy to be something you are not, and the experience isn’t very satisfying, or authentic and would leave me questioning myself, and I was constantly filled with doubt.
So what is it to be authentic?
Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite the pressure of the external, material world.
There is so much external pressure to be thin, wealthy, to have more, to want more, when really there needs to be an emphasis on how to “BE” more.
How is that we are being from our heart space? How are we relating and growing? Is it from a place of love, or a place of ego?
In the process of creating my current business I employed a coach to work with me, and one of the first things we did was look at my values. She asked me “why do you do what you do?” My answer was simple, “because I love it”. We then listed the other values that were key for me, and then put them in order from 1 to 10. And I kept putting “my love of my work” under all the other values. And I soon realized that the love represented me, behind the scenes, keeping everything running. And my coach asked me, is this something you do in your own life? And I realized with a big thud, yes, I put myself last. So we promptly put “love” to the top of the list.
Being aware of my values has allowed me to tap into who I am, and what I need to be fulfilled. Once I started living my life from this place of uniqueness, I no longer needed to try and be someone I wasn’t. I have more energy to simply “be” me. It doesn’t matter if that doesn’t work for others, because it’s not about them, it’s about me, and what I can bring to the world in my own unique and authentic way.
Uniqueness, along with worthiness, self-determination and belonging, are the 4 pillars upon which our self-esteem is based.
At Dance Creations we are passionate about nurturing and encouraging the uniqueness of each student. We have created a wonderful book “One of a Kind” which delves into uniqueness from the viewpoint of a young dancer’s journey. The main character (Lydia) discovers the joy and freedom of being herself, and how miserable it can be when we try to be someone else.
To purchase a copy of this wonderful and unique book, click on the link below: