As I continue to examine self, I realize more and more about the man behind the mask. On my quest for self actualization (the realization or fulfillment of one's talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone)... I realize that I must remove the mask I have been wearing to reach my fullest potential. Do not think that for a moment that I have been living a lie, because that is simply not true. What I am speaking on is the fact that I just have not lived up to my fullest potential or revealed what I am fully capable of achieving. If you are honest with yourself you too will understand that we all wear "masks"... a mask can be as simple as a fake smile.
The image associated with this post has become a bit of a symbol for me. This image speaks to the fact that I, as well as most everyone else hides behind a mask at times. Masks can keep others from knowing our true identity as in the case of super heroes, but masks can also make us strangers to ourselves and those who think they know us. According to an article on psychologytoday.com, One of our greatest fears is that if we show our true selves, the world will say, “Oh, it’s just you.” But being just you is actually the best and most perfect thing you could ever be. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” Or if you are interested in the spiritual perspective, the psalmist wrote, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.
The article goes on to reveal three reasons we should shed our masks:
1. To live in your full potential
2. For relief
3. For healing
I can state that despite my accomplishments thus far... I have not yet reached my fullest potential. There is so much that I have to do, things that can only be done with no mask. I have to show the world who I am in order to utilize my talents that only I have... and reach self actualization. Wearing a mask is exhausting... mentally and spiritually... and in order to reach my fullest potential I need all of my mental and spiritual strength.
I realize that there is only so much time in a lifetime and I need to live authentically and fearlessly as Jared Stephen Sampson. If you have been impressed by anything that I have accomplished so far, I can assure you that you have not seen anything yet. Up until now you have only known the man behind the mask(s)... By revealing this to you... I am acknowledging that a. there has been a mask (for a number of reasons) b. I am removing the mask and c. you will come to know me as I have always known myself.
I leave you with one more clip from the psychologytoday.com article that I hope you will read... We weren’t born with masks. We put them on, so we can take them off. Start with this simple exercise: Think about a negative messages you have held onto. Ask yourself whether it is true? More than likely, the answer is no. And if it is not, then you have to ask these questions: Why am I carrying that message? If I put it down, what would happen? Probably nothing. The main risk we face is the world’s reaction. Opening yourself up threatens others; it invites them reevaluate their own lives. Many times, it forces them to realize that they too have the power to change, but they haven’t.