I was recently listening to one of my all-time favourite songs of Sting – “Shape of My Heart” – if you don’t know it, put it on now! And if you do know it, put it on anyway 😊

 

In the song, he sings:
“I’m not a man of too many faces,
The mask I wear is one.”

 

This verse really stopped me in my tracks. I love how much vulnerability he put into these few words. Simple truth, yet so disturbing… He only shows one face to the world… yet it is masked.

 

Uncovering your mask

 

It brings to mind an exercise I did some time ago. It involved a pen and an A4 piece of paper. On the paper, I drew a mask – an empty outline of a human face. Then I cut it out so it looked like a real mask.

 

On the outer side of the mask – the side facing the world – I wrote all the words that described the face that I was showing the world – ‘confident’, ‘happy’, ‘outgoing’, ‘relaxed’, ‘in control’, ‘smart’, ‘professional’, ‘courageous’, ‘funny’,…

 

On the inner side of the mask – the side facing my face – I wrote everything that I was hiding behind the mask: ‘vulnerability’, ‘fear’, ‘self-doubt’, ‘sadness’, ‘loneliness’, ‘feeling inadequate’, ‘feeling not enough’, ‘anxiety’,…

 

New insights

 

Performing this exercise was deeply insightful. It made me a little sad but also a little more open to the idea of taking off the mask. After all, why do I actually need to hide the real, authentic me?… Why can’t I carry out in the open these deeply hidden gems of my human nature?…

Tell me, what would YOU write on the inside of your mask?
What are YOU anxiously hiding from the world?

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