TMHS 248: The Power Of Vulnerability And Taking Off Our Masks – With Lewis Howes

There’s a Japanese proverb that says, “You have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and your family. The third face, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.”
This statement reflects something beautiful, chilling, and very real about how we operate as human beings. We all wear masks. And it’s not a bad thing.

We put on masks to accentuate different parts of our character. Sometimes you might put on the mask of a strong leader, while at other times you wear the mask of a humble servant. You might put on the mask of the tough guy or girl to draw a line in the sand and get your point across, while at other times you wear the mask of the vulnerability, letting your guard down to whatever life may bring.

We can pick these masks up and put them down. It’s healthy, it’s natural, and it’s embedded in how we connect. But, what happens when a mask gets stuck on? First of all, please know that you’ve definitely had this happen before! For me, I think of Jim Carrey in the movie The Mask. At first this incredible mask gives him superhuman abilities… then, over time, the mask takes over his life. He loses himself, and taking the mask off seems impossible. The danger of getting a mask stuck on is that you can forget that it’s just a mask, and it’s not all of who you are.

Today, we’re going to dive into some of the most valuable insights you’ll ever come across when it comes to your own inner psychology. New York Times bestselling author Lewis Howes is here to share the goods on how we can instantly cultivate a better relationship with ourselves, our loved ones, and the world at large. Right now is the time to see the true reflection of ourselves so that we can be empowered in our choices, confident in who we really are, and capable of change when we need it. Simply click play, listening deeply, and enjoy!

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • What the most important relationship is in your life.
  • Why unwarranted aggression is often a sign of a deeper problem.
  • How vulnerability can open the door for real strength.
  • Why you can still feel unhappy after accomplishing your biggest goals.
  • How sharing your hardships and dark secrets can make people connect with you even more.
  • The shocking rates that men commit homicide and suicide compared to women.
  • How having an “8 Mile moment” can free you from worry about what other people think of you.
  • What women can do to help the men in their life open up, connect, and have better relationships.
  • What the “Stoic Mask” is and how it affects our lives.
  • How our thoughts can lead to devastating illnesses.
  • Why the masks we wear can actually be very helpful in our lives.
  • Why we tend to identify great athletes as great men (even when that might not be the case).
  • How focusing on material things can be inspiring (and how it can backfire).
  • How many of our masks are fitted onto us as kids.
  • Why giving and receiving affection can be tough for many people.
  • How acknowledgement drives many of our decisions.
  • The powerful acknowledgment exercise you can do RIGHT NOW to change lives.

Items mentioned in this episode include:

Download The Transcript


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  • 26 Oct 2017, 11:41 am

    Wow, I saw Lewis speak more than four years ago and I would have had NO idea any of this was there under the surface. It just goes to show we never know someone’s story or what is going on with them. It makes me want to be more compassionate and empathetic because unless we walk in someone’s shoes we really can’t understand exactly how they are feeling. I really appreciate Lewis’ story and it definitely makes me feel more connected and want to follow him more closely. I already have the book on preorder from listening to his podcast with Amazon but I’m even more excited to read it now.

  • Rebecca
    2 Nov 2017, 10:25 am

    I just listened to this podcast and bought his book before I was even 3/4 of the way through. Just have to say this was a fantastic discussion and I can’t wait to read his book. Thank you Shawn for bringing light to these issues and setting the example you do in this life.