I have a question for you today:

What mask are you wearing?

No, you don’t need to check your calendar. It is not Halloween, New Year’s Eve, or Mardi Gras season. I mean the mask that you wear all the time. Let me explain.

Most people focus on what other people think of them. It is natural to want to fit in, to be one of the crowd, to impress other people. We want to seem confident, positive, and enthusiastic at all times. Guess what?

That is fake.

No one with whom I am acquainted (and I have met thousands of people throughout my lifetime) is ALL of that ALL the time. There are a few people I know who are a lot of those things, a lot of the time.

But no one is 100% awesome all the time – if they are HONEST.

The band Heart released a song years ago called Dreamboat Annie. One of the lyrics talks about people on a city sidewalk. The phrase that Heart uses is, “Sad faces painted over with those magazine smiles.” In other words, the people on the sidewalk were all wearing masks.

I understand what some of you are thinking. “Scott, I do not want to tell the world all my problems by the way my face looks. I want to keep my issues to myself, and not bring others down.” Well, though we appreciate your not wanting to be a “Negative Nellie,” those of us who know you well would like to know the REAL YOU. How about this for a happy compromise? Smile to others, do your best to have a positive outlook on life – but be real with those who are close to you. A burden that is shared with a friend oftentimes can lead to a solution, as two heads are better than one.

A few years ago I was the National Training Director for a Network Marketing company based here in Tennessee. As it was my first time in that position, I was doing my best to be extremely positive, and to cram in as much information as I could on our national training calls. I always felt drained after those calls, as I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to be a Peak Performer. One evening after a call, my phone rang. It was a distributor named Marjorie. She sensed my self-imposed pressure, and had noticed how much I was trying: trying TOO HARD to be everything to everyone. Here is what she said:

“Give us you.”

When I asked her to explain, she said for me to relax, and just show everyone the real me. The one who had much to share, but also the one who knew that he could not train everything to everyone on every call. Those three words helped me to become a much more authentic version of myself from that day forward. Thank you, Marjorie!

Decide today to take off your mask – at least long enough with those in your inner circle – so that you, too, can just…

…give us you.