How many personas do you have? Do you have one for work, one for your family, yet another for friends, and then another for the parents of your kids?

This persona, this mask that you wear can be beneficial or not. If you have a work persona that is different from your home mask, what is it and how does it help you with your peers and your boss? Or do you have a separate persona you wear when you are in direct contact with your boss?

This may sound frivolous, however, we all have different personas. And yes, it can be confusing to others if they catch on. It can also be confusing to you, the one who holds the power over these masks.

Who are you and who are you pretending to be?

If you think you are the same person all the time, you are incorrect. If you do not acknowledge that you have at least one other persona, you will not understand how to blend these images together. It must be exhausting to carry all these personas with you day after day. What if you could be only YOU each and every day?

This act of masking is what many do in order to feel safe amongst different situations, mostly social.

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

—Kurt Vonnegut

We’ve all seen them, the pretenders. They certainly run rampant on FaceBook. You see people wearing these masks and then you speak to them, if you are lucky, and discover they are illusions of themselves. They are not real, they are following in others’ paths, allowing us to think or imagine that they’re very, very successful or equally as powerful. The truth then appears at a break in their persona. A word, a gesture, appears and you go ‘Whoa! What was that?’ – not what you expected. And I do say the word expected because people who attempt to force their personas or masks onto you for their own benefit, know that this is the persona you expect to see. And they gave exactly that to you.

Bosses and leaders carry many personas. If only they could afford to be more authentic, we would appreciate their skills more we say. However, in many cases, we EXPECT them to have many masks and personas. It is expected in the society we have created. And when the supposed truth about who they really, truly are comes out, we are shocked, surprised and yet, we are part of the game in supporting their personas.

Any of us can be kind, strong, sad, and cranky without a persona. We can be genuine human beings and stop wearing any personas or masks to enjoy our lives.

The fewer masks we wear, the closer we are to having more peace in our lives.

Wouldn’t you like to live a life of truth and openness?

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Joanne Victoria
JOANNE Victoria, The I Know What Works Coach, is the author of 7 books including Lighting Your Path - How To Create the Life You Want and Pushy For a Moment-Instant Solutions to Everyday Challenges. Joanne lives in the Seattle area. After professions such as Real Estate Broker/Owner, CFO of an investment company, CFO and Sales & Marketing Director of a home-building company, owner of New Directions, a business development firm as well as Gemma & Bixley, a coaching and consulting company, Joanne was ready for her next adventure, helping IT people live the life they want. Joanne took her business and personal development, added in several ounces of intuition and humor, along with studies in philosophy, Buddhism, and leadership, all to be the best qualified I Know What Works Coach ever. Joanne is the host of the "The San • IT Project Podcast", and partners with IT Professionals in Telecommunications, Technology, Entertainment and Mass Media whose work/life integration plan has imploded and who want more success, more confidence, more fun and more inner peace.
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Larry Tyler

Great insights my friend. I use to have a collect of mask when I painted and I would use different ones for different paintings. Now days I am afraid that what you see is what you get.


You’ve touched base on a very important topic of wearing the mask my friend Joanne. An emotion that is so easy to kindle because you know our society but so difficult to stop using it.