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Halloween Appearances

It’s the time of Halloween here in Canada and North America.  I was out walking in the forest, and was reflecting on Halloween and that most of us dress up in all manner of costume as a matter of course all the time.  Some dress as who they want to be or emulate.  Others dress in a more macabre fashion.   Yet together, we all become actors in, dare I say, a rather weird play.

I remember going to a Halloween party many moons ago and dressing up as a superhero of some kind.  The actual costume is lost in time, yet I clearly remember a feeling of freedom.  I could act out the character, and enjoy that expression all evening long.  Yet, as the memory wafted by, it occurred to me: isn’t it rather strange to feel freedom when we dress as a character for Halloween, and every day we go about our business dressing up as who we aren’t, in reality.

Whoa (!), you may be saying, I dress just fine on a daily basis and certainly I don’t dress up in a Halloween costume.  But think about this at another level….  It isn’t just the outward appearance that I’m talking about.

Our dress and outward appearance reflect behavior, our thought processes and the ways we interact with others.  Do you adopt dress, talk or behave as the identity of your workplace, profession or corporate profile?  Most of us do perhaps because it is required, or in order to conform, move up the corporate ladder or be accepted.  Some of us keep ourselves and dress, buttoned down and tightly controlled.  Others express more boldly.  Yet neither may be authentic to the real you.

For years I kept myself under the radar, and while I have coached for years, going public with my coaching business has been a process.  Most people know me as a lawyer and I actively have kept the 2 identities separate.  It is only recently I realized I have to embrace both.  Doing so I felt the cloak of anonymity I had thrown over myself fall away, and the authentic “Eve” start to emerge.

So, this Halloween I’m reflecting on dressing as and being who I really am, rather than only part of who I am or as someone I’m not.  It is more fulfilling to experience the freedom that comes from being me…

Do you present yourself authentically or as the authentic you?  Or are you dressed in a costume most of the time?  It’s an interesting question, don’t you think?  Leave me a comment below and share your experience!

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