Halloween and the Masks We Wear

Happy Halloween, my beautiful friends!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year.

I LOVE all things spooky and have been binging horror tv, movies, and podcasts this season.

My husband shared a podcast recently called Throughline produced by NPR that did an episode on the origins of Halloween.

As we listened, I knew a lot of the information provided (because like I said, it’s my fav). However, there was one tidbit of info I wasn’t aware of…

The LGBTQ+ community helped Halloween become mainstream.

Why did the LGBTQ+ community adopt Halloween as their non-official holiday? (Halloween = “Gay Christmas”)

Because it was the one night a year you could be anything you wanted without judgment.

(Fun Fact: you can thank Elvira Mistress of Darkness for introducing “slutty (I don’t mean this derogatorily) costumes“)

Halloween became the one night a year where everyone wore masks.

If you’ve ever felt like an outsider or that you have to mask parts of yourself to fit in in society, you can imagine how liberating it must have felt!

We all wear masks to hide parts of ourselves.

This is something we do just because we are human.

There is a part of the brain, called the amygdalae, that houses our survival instincts (fight/flight/freeze).

It is also responsible for survival motivation–we in the biz like to call this, the motivational triad.

Essentially this means, this part of the brain has three main functions:

  • Avoid Pain
  • Seek Pleasure
  • Be Efficient/Conserve Energy

We naturally fear the judgment of others (aka avoid pain) because back in our primal days, if we were cast out of the tribe, it meant death.

Alone, you couldn’t survive. You needed the tribe’s knowledge and help with hunting and gathering, and defending against predators.

Talk about peer pressure!!

Even though we no longer have the same concerns that our primal ancestors had, this part of the brain hasn’t evolved past that.

Because of this, we put on masks to try and protect ourselves and fit in.

How would your life be different if you didn’t wear a mask around others?

If you could accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all, set appropriate boundaries, and just live freely, how would you think differently about yourself and the world? How would you feel? How would you act?

Seriously, close your eyes and take a few minutes to visualize this.

What adventures would you go on? What would you try if you weren’t afraid of how you would be perceived if you failed?

This time of year is traditionally known as the time to harvest, prep for winter, and death/rest.

But I like to look at this time of year as a time to reflect on growth from the past year AND dream of the possibility of my future.

One of the best gifts you can give yourself is the ability to learn how to be comfortable in your own skin and mind and dream of possibilities.

What mask(s) are you ready to shed and who are you ready to become?

I thank our LGBTQ+ predecessors for their willingness to live authentically and turn wearing masks to hide on its head.


If this is an area of your life that you want to work on, I would be honored to work with you on it. This is the main area of my coaching practice because I’ve been through this journey and come out on the other side. Book your free consultation here.

“CHANGE HOW YOU SHOW UP IN THE WORLD, THEN GO OUT AND CHANGE THE WORLD!”

— Cameron Nichols

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