From the day you’re born you start to acquire different hats. From a son or a daughter to a brother or sister to a friend, colleague, parent, the list goes on. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. The range of hats we wear throughout our lives is unique to us. However, one thing for sure is we wear many of them.
Some hats we switch in and out of with such ease, we do it unconsciously. Some hats take less energy like the ones we wear with friends in comparison to the ones we may wear at work. Some hats we struggle to take off and switch off from. One thing is for sure though, the pandemic has caused us to strip back and reassess some of the hats we wear and take on others, more than we are used to. And I don’t know about you but the absence of some of these hats can make us feel lost. And why wouldn’t it? Our hats are like our clothes they make us who we are and shape us. But in a world overflowing with opportunities, it can sometimes feel as though we are competing to see who can juggle the most hats without faltering. It’s no wonder we can feel stretched, and struggle to find a ‘balance’ in life.
So, what am I getting at here?
There is a time in our day or week where we don’t wear any hats. When we are alone. Many of us over the past year have experienced so much more time alone than ever before. Whilst this has been hard, it’s also given a lot of people (myself included) time to re-assess some of the hats we wear. Does this hat make me happy? Do I give too much time to it? And most importantly underneath all of it, am I happy?
Remember at the end of the day when all the hats are stripped back, it’s just you, your thoughts, and the way you feel about yourself. Your achievements, friends, success, family are all wonderful parts of life but they are not the only things that define you. The way you see the world, the way you talk to yourself and truly feel inside your head does as well. So, take the time to check in with yourself, and that person underneath all of the hats.
Something I’ve learned over the past few years is, that it is very possible to use our hats to mask how we feel underneath. And when they are taken away what’s left can be an uncomfortable place to be or face. So, try each day to take the time to lean into your thoughts and spend some time without any expectations or hats. I know it can be hard with families, and commitments but it’s so important.
On the outside, we can perceive people to have absolutely everything to live for because of the many hats they wear. But if you’re unhappy underneath all the exterior, it will slowly manifest itself. I’ve learned that the hard way.
When you board a plane, they always tell you “put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others” and why is this important? Because it’s impossible to pour from an empty cup. So, when you sit down at the end of the day stripped back of all your hats, ask yourself this, how do I really feel?