3 REAL LIFE STORIES of “The Mask”
Do you spot your own mask?
(These case studies are based upon real clients, whose names and identifying details have been changed to protect their privacy.)
MASK #1: The “I’m Fine” Syndrome (I fear rejection by my peers and family.)
Meet Dr. Amanda Pryner. “Dr. A,” as her friends call her, has a thriving plastic surgery practice in Illinois. She has been so successful that she purchased her own multi-million-dollar clinic and has a large, productive
staff. However, she suffers from what I call the “I’m Fine” Syndrome – her need to be liked and “be responsible” causes her to hide her rage, resentment and sadness behind an “I’m Fine” smile when she is anything but.
Dr. A has put on 40 pounds from the stress and her body is crying out for a change but she’s afraid to take action… she has made herself indispensable to others so people can’t reject her. They “need” her and hence, she can’t say “no”, can’t leave, can’t set boundaries.
She wants to help women increase their self-esteem, but her day-to-day grind at the clinic takes her away from her true healing work. Her former husband is unsupportive and verbally abusive and her young daughter is acting out due to the chaos.
MASK #2: “I Can’t Charge That Much” (I am unworthy.)
Jennifer Walker is a successful documentary filmmaker who moved to New Zealand with her husband and two sons to escape the noise and pollution of New York City. Once in the country, her creativity began to flourish. She easily found funding to finish her latest film and she started painting again.
Other filmmakers began approaching her for advice and she started giving that advice away, often for hours at a time, for free. She intuitively knows what they could do to find funding, fix their film’s storyline or get the film into distribution, but she is afraid to charge for her expertise, especially since it just “flows through her” without tons of logic to back it up. She just “knows” things and is usually “on the money.”
Jennifer is afraid of the awkwardness of asking to be paid what she is worth. Her feelings of unworthiness usually overpower the willingness to sit in that awkward moment and state her very high – and justified! – consulting rates.
Here Are 3 Ways to Drop the Mask!
Here are three ways to drop the mask and ask to be paid for your gifts. Fears that live deep in our brains, out of the reach of our conscious, strategic mind cause us to hide behind a mask. When you try to “make a plan” to “conquer your fear,” the action plan doesn’t usually address the fear itself and so the fear wins out.
Here’s what you can do to get on top of your fear and WIN!
Strategy #1: Learn to Say “No”
Yes, you read right. If you related to Dr. A’s story (Ms. I’m Fine), chances are high that you are a perfectionist who has trouble knowing when enough is enough. The word “no” is a rare one in your vocabulary. You take on too many projects, commitments and pursuits to please anyone and everyone. You want to ‘do good’ at everything so people can’t reject or criticize you. (It doesn’t work. You still get judged.) You are looking for approval in all the wrong places.
This need for approval can lead to over-working and doing things you don’t really want to do, making you feel bitter, resentful and exhausted on every level. You may lose touch with your desires and get lost in the obligations and demands of other people. This is a form of sacrifice or servitude and its long-term consequences are often physical, emotional and financial melt-down.
On the plus side, you feel driven to serve humanity and shift global consciousness. Your enormous energy allows you to take on a lot of responsibility. But whom are you ultimately responsible to and for?
Remedy: Freedom can be yours if you start setting boundaries and are willing to sometimes endure being told by others that you aren’t “doing enough” for them. They may even say, “What’s gotten into you? You used to be so nice and now you are being so bossy. Where did Ms. I’m Fine go?”
And you can say, “That’s right. I am standing my ground. Standing my ground for my health, freedom and my creative gifts. Surely you can ask someone else to fulfill your request.” And then you ash that REAL SMILE of triumph!
Can you take off your mask of false happiness and risk possible social rejection in order to be paid for your spiritual gifts?
Strategy #2: Charge What You Are Worth
Remember Jennifer, the underpaid filmmaker?
Once she realized that her clients didn’t appreciate her input, demanded excessive service and were unwilling to do the work to succeed, she began to see that not only should she not give her work away for free – it was actually harmful to her and her clients!
She made a firm decision that she would no longer work for free. She hired a business mentor to help her structure and price her programs appropriately. Best of all, she started seeing profit where before she’d only seen an endless stack of unpaid bills.
Remedy: Make the decision that you will no longer work for free. Reflect on all the programs and services you have invested in to grow your own worth and skill sets. Aren’t you also worthy of being paid for your expertise? If you keep giving it away, it won’t be appreciated. Perhaps find an accountability partner who holds you to asking for what you are worth and receiving it. Watch that bank account balance go up. It’s a GREAT feeling!
Strategy #3: Own Your Intuitive Powers!
Catarina is a gifted intuitive. So gifted that people come from all over the world to meet with her and to have online chats with her to receive her wisdom.
However, she is afraid if she asks to be paid for her intuitive powers, she will be responsible for what people do with her guidance. She fears this responsibility and hence, her power. She worries she will be punished for being so powerful.
As long as she pretends she is doing this “just as a hobby,” she can hide out and play small. It feels safer.
When Catarina was a little girl, when she dared to point out the dysfunction in her household – the abuse, the lies, the manipulation, the half-truths – she was silenced. She was punished physically and denied affection and care. She was told, “That’s not true. You don’t see/hear/feel/know that. You’re crazy.”
Since she was dependent upon these people for her well-being, shelter, food and clothing, she learned quickly to keep her intuitive wisdom to herself and bury it deep inside.
Remedy: First, ask for help in stepping out. Being powerful in a visible way is scary, especially if you were bullied at home and/or in school. Having a trusted mentor and therapist can be useful in discovering that you have a right to stand in your powerful point of view and share your gifts in the world.
Also, it can be vital to acknowledge to yourself that you fear being persecuted for being a powerful, intuitive women. (There is a long history of this persecution in our cellular memory.)
This may sound dramatic but I have had hundreds of women raise their hands in unison when I asked from the stage, “How many of you, by show of hands, fear being persecuted for taking off your mask and sharing your intuitive wisdom?”
One of my clients told me recently, “I fear being stoned for sharing my intuition.” Another said, “I fear being beheaded.” Another said, “I fear being shot.”
Perhaps you have the fear of being pursued for sharing your intuitive gifts. This can cause you to feel unsafe in your body and on the planet. You might experience panic and anxiety at the thought of being paid for your spiritual gifts.
Once you’ve asked for help and admitted to your fears of being persecuted, you can now make the BIG DECISION: “Am I willing to risk persecution and share my intuitive gifts or am I going to stay small and hide out?”
Facing the reality of stepping out allows you to make a CONSCIOUS CHOICE. This is YOUR choice.
There are no guarantees of safety, reward or winning in this life. However, the reward of being free to be yourself far outweighs the fears that keep you trapped and stuck.
Your Next Steps
I invite you to notice what your predominant fears are and talk them over with some of your other spiritually- oriented friends. What are their fears? Are there ways you could support each other and hold each other accountable to moving forward in the face of these fears to be paid for using your spiritual gifts?
Until you deal with these fears, it is unlikely you will move forward. For example, if you fear the panic you experience picking up the phone to call a prospect, you will put off that call forever out self-preservation. Almost everything we do is to protect ourselves even if it keeps us stuck, bored or frustrated. Those feelings seem like a better alternative than facing what scares us.
If you possess these amazing gifts and are not being paid for them, it’s heartbreaking.
I dare you to take off that mask and soar!
If you are not out sharing your gifts, you are robbing yourself, your clients and the world. You may feel driven and compelled to express yourself in the world and at the same time, may feel these powerful forces of fear shutting you down.
The choice is yours: HIDE in your visibility wound or take off the mask and live out your true soul design!
When you are living your design, getting paid for your spiritual gifts, making the impact you are designed to make and feeling happy, successful, fulfilled and at peace, you are truly living “on purpose.”
Your body – and the map in your hands – reveal a path that will help you overcome your fears and live your design.
I’m so happy to be on this journey to prosperity and freedom with you! To Your Profitable Purpose,