Weather at the most famous carnival of the world in Rio de Janeiro, the parades in Cologne or carnival of Venice, you will find a multitude of masks everywhere in every shapes and colors.Masks help people to hide and take on a different identity. But what have masks to do with success?

The answer: At first glance, may be nothing. And yea, we all wear our masks, weather at the first meeting, partly inside our family or may be at our job. Or can you swear blindly that you are the same self as you are at home, leisure and your work place? Most likely not.  And exactly this is the crunch point. We try to put on a mask to supposedly protect ourselves to fit in the society- but actually we achieve the exact opposite. We are not protecting ourselves. We are making ourselves more vulnerable.

Would you talk and joke with your boss at an evening gala like you would do with your friends? Probably not. And may be now you are thinking: Hello! That is not possible.” But why isn’t it?  Who says it is not possible? And did you ever try it? We assume, that we need this mask to be successful and that is fiddlesticks.

Do you agree with me, that the people with the best and authentic masks are actually actors? They actually make a living by wearing masks. I am of the opinion, if I want to learn how to wear my mask best, I should learn it from actors. So I visited one of the famous acting schools in Hollywood, the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in L.A for a five day course. I didn’t learn how to successful handle my mask but exactly the opposite.

As instructor David Strasberg was introducing us, he said: “There are only 2 possibilities in life, either you repel or you attract. There is nothing in-between. Either you are loved/liked or hated /disliked. And there is only one chance to attract: be true! “What he meant by this was, that in order to be liked, we have to take off our masks for good. So that we become successful and attract others. We are 100% true when we come into this world. And then the masquerade begins. Through the course of our life’s we forget more and more who we are and adapt to each other. And that way we lose our roots. We lose the hold on life. We become unsure. We lose ourselves and tip over at the first gust of wind. We don’t stand with confidence, our men or our women, when our boss bawls out on us, we fall. We do not march through our life with energy and get us what we want, we wait for what we get .We do not quickly stand up after something goes wrong, but we lie there and lick our wounds first.

It may throw over the views of many. May be even your own views are thrown over the pile, but if you think closely, it is so simple. Look at successful people and companies. What differentiates them from others? They are authentic, they are edgy, and others often consider them as brave, charismatic or extremely self-confident. They are nothing but authentic. They are absolutely aware of themselves and that not through a mask, but by being themselves. Courage, self-confidence and success cannot function without authenticity. If you want to be successful, famous or confident in your life, you have to take your mask off. Don’t be scared that people may not like you. And even if, where is the problem? There are only the two options: People like you or they hate you. If they love you then they really love you, if not, then you know that they will not contribute to your success. Also for me it was a steep mountain to overcome at the beginning, but I did it and it did not only bring me success but evenly important, it made me love myself, more confidence and more courageous.

You can achieve all this as well! Just be yourself, look in the mirror, overcome your mountain and like David would say: Be True.”