The Power Of Costumes

I have mixed feelings about costumes.  I love the fun of it, the chance to “try on” being out of character, but I hate the idea of hiding who I really am, or even worse… seeing others feel BETTER when they’re someone or something else.

When my husband Jake and I showed up as Superman and Wonder Woman (as pictured below), it was for my nephews birthday party.  I’ll never forget parking at the top of the steep driveway, hidden from the house view as we adjusted the finishing details of our costumes, and then hearing an unexpected squeal of childish surprise from further away.  30 feet down the road, another carload of guests had arrived, and the 5 year old in the group saw us and exclaimed “I didn’t know they were having REAL SUPERHERO’s at this party!!  Do you think it’s ok if I say hi??!!”

Jake and I played along, said hello to the chuckling adults and the wide-eyed child.  Yes, it was cute.  But something about it also bothered me.

First, how come the parents and grandparents in the car with this child were not considered atLEAST superheroes, if not more?  They have fed, clothed, loved, provided for this child for all of his 5 years.  And yes, I know, most children don’t appreciate these things at a young age… but where along the way did we, who are now adults, accept this idea that grand gestures matter more than steady, simple, loving acts?  Isn’t it kind of common in our society now a days to see adults expecting heroics from others, all without giving them the same admiration they would give any comic book character?

Second, why was the child afraid to say hi?  Could it be true that our costumes made us more intimidating, and required extra effort, courage, and even permission from someone else for him to approach us?  If so, maybe costumes aren’t as cool as I used to think they were.  Sure, suiting up like Wonder Woman made me feel more powerful, sexy, cool, or whatever for  the moment.  But if my costume as a popular role model made me somehow less approachable to a 5 year old, how much could I be repelling clients, friends, and others by masking my authentic self on a daily basis??

Listen, Halloween is a holiday where I expect to see people dressed up, being different characters.

But this costume party got me to thinking… what about the other 364 days of the year?

  • Do you spend your days hiding behind a mask?
  • Do you put daily effort into being someone other than your authentic self?
  • Trying to look a certain way, act a certain way, or worrying about what others think?

I used to live my days trying to please everybody else.  Trying to be the person I thought they wanted, or needed, me to be.

Except the days I was too exhausted to act the part that I thought others were expecting.  On those days, I would do my best to hide, avoid everyone.

Both options were slowly suffocating me.

On a cold day in December, I spent Friday morning taking care of clients.  As usual, I woke up way earlier than my body has ever liked to, but when I showed up for our sessions I smiled and acted like I liked to be working so early, the same way I had been doing all week.

Next, I skipped my meal because a friend stopped by and she really needed to talk, so I listened.  (If you’re thinking I should have ate while I listened, you’re right, in hindsight I know that.  But at the time, doing what I needed to do while also helping someone else seemed rude to me.  I also was so focused on helping anyone and everyone that I didn’t consider to invite those looking for free coaching to book an appointment.  Sigh…)

By early evening, I was ready to snuggle into sweats, crawl under a blanket, and dive into netflix.  But my date wanted to go to some swanky restaurant.  Without argument, I got to work getting ready.  On the list was to shave my legs (it had been cold all day afterall!), blow dry my hair (because my frizzy curls just wouldn’t do for a high end venue), makeup, outfit, etc.  A few times while getting ready, I pouted at myself in the mirror and made audible groans because this WAS NOT HOW I WANTED TO SPEND MY NIGHT!

In fact, most of my day had felt like a chore instead of a choice.  And this is how I lived most days.  Except like the alternative I mentioned above… the days I would turn my phone off and just hide, feeling like a guilty criminal for doing so.

Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore.

I decided to start showing up as myself.  The same me, all the time.  At work, at family events, on dates.

I showed up with straightened hair when I wanted to, and my full curly frizz the other 99% of the time.

I realized a certain brand of pants felt like sweatpants but looked like dress pants… and I started wearing them all the time.  With slippers, or with heels.  And I felt AWESOME in them!

I started saying NO.  To client appointments that made me want to pull my hair out; to friends who took sooooo much more than they gave; and to my man when what he was offering wasn’t making me happy.

I did this even though I was afraid of so many things, like people not liking me or getting mad at me, losing friends, losing clients, being single forever… basically ending up broke, lonely, and hated.

And yes, there were plenty of awkward moments at first. (I’ll save those embarrassing shares for the ladies in my VIP Facebook group)

I mean, seriously, who would’ve thought it could be so hard to just be myself?  Yet… it was!  It was hard because it was scary.  It was new.  And quite honestly, it took some practice.  I did lose some friends along the way, but I’m hardly broke, lonely, or hated.  In fact, now my days are filled with abundance and love.

You don’t need a costume to be a superhero.  And you don’t have to take decades like I did to figure out how to be successful in all areas of your life, WHILE BEING AUTHENTICALLY YOU!

Only YOU can be magnificent at being you, and the world needs more of that!

While dressing up can be fun, it’s an exhausting way to live every day. You deserve the freedom and confidence to be unapologetically YOU!

If you’re ready to fast track your results, get your Breakthrough Coaching Session here.

It is my mission to see you living your happiest life!

(Image below is my husband and I at my nephews superhero birthday party. Yes… There is a time and place for costumes )

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