There is a difference between a disguise and a costume. The purpose of a costume to is express a culture or person or idea through an arrangement of clothing. A man dressed as Mark Twain expresses a love for historical figures, while a child wearing a Harry Potter costume expresses his love of a pop-culture icon. A costume reveals something about the wearer and also about the figure being referenced.
Many of us wake up each morning to put on our disguises. Some might think that the suit or uniform we wear to work is the costume, or disguise. It is not. It’s just a suit. It’s just a uniform. But it’s not a disguise.
A disguise is a type of costume. The purpose of a disguise is to conceal an identity. As Uma Thurman said in “Kill Bill: Volume 2,” to David Carradine, “Ah, so, the point emerges.”
The disguise is the pretense of being satisfied with a life we were not meant to live. The disguise is a fake smile we wear to work even though the work we do is unfulfilling. The disguise is telling me people how we’re “fine” when we are far from it.Â It is an invisible disguise.
A uniform is part of a brand. A suit is a cultural norm. These things are, to a degree, required in order to conduct business. It is part of the cultural norm.
The invisible disguise that hides your discontent for yet another unfulfilling day, that is completely voluntary. When you choose to live a life unaligned with your purpose, when you choose a career that is not fulfilling, when you choose not to see value in your authentic self, that is all voluntary.
We tell people we don’t really have choices, we make excuses, or worse, that we’re fine with the way things are. Having these scripts handy helps to sell the disguise.
Once you live a life aligned with your authentic self, with work that gives you purpose, meaning and fulfillment, you will no longer have any need for your disguises. You can be your authentic self all the time.