Unmask the Real You: 3 Ways You Might Be Hiding Your Authentic Self

Before I present what I believe are the three ways you might be hiding your authentic self, let’s first talk about masks.

As youngsters, we learn how to create all sorts of masks, and these aren’t the kind that we make with colored paper, crayons, and glue. I’m talking about the masks we make to protect ourselves emotionally.

We figure out how to conceal our true feelings and cover up what really goes on inside.

When did you start wearing a mask and why?

For me, it was very early on. I was four years old.

I remember my mother going away for a long time to a mental hospital. My sister and I got to visit her, but it was nothing like waking up in my own bed and stumbling out to mom’s morning hugs.

I was sad because I missed my mother, confused because I didn’t understand what was wrong with her, and I wondered if it was my fault that she left me.

The mask I designed during that time in my life was the “I don’t need you” mask. Very protective, right? I’m not going to let anyone close because they might leave me.

So, how does my story about the first mask I made for myself have to do with you and finding your authentic voice?

I’m letting you know that I understand you might have had to cover up your inner voice for a very good reason.

Your fears of abandonment, rejection, and failure were strong, and masking was an easy coping strategy.

But masks will hold some of the best parts of you down. They become self-imposed barriers of expression.

If you have read this far in my article, you must be interested in knowing the ways you might be hiding your true self and what you can do about it.

Here are the three ways you might be hiding:

1. Over-rehearsing. When I was a Toastmaster, I used this mask to win contests, but I left my spirit at the door. Do you script every word of a presentation and strive to be flawless? Over-rehearsing can sometimes mask your anxiety. Embrace authenticity, and make space for those powerful pauses where you can catch your breath and connect with your listeners on a more personal level.

2. Avoiding making waves. I still use this one whenever I want to avoid conflict. Hey, at least I’m aware of it. Do you avoid discord and prefer harmony? Being cautious about speaking up and expressing your opinion can stifle your career and keep you stuck, not only at work but also in your relationships. Express your genuine thoughts and emotions, but still be respectful of others.

3. Filling “dead air” in conversations. Too much silence in a conversation is still awkward for me, but I know that the alternative of chatting mindlessly does not lead to deeper connections. Do you fill empty spaces with trivial topics? You can reframe silence as a door that opens you to deeper connections. Listen actively, both to yourself and others, and respond in a genuine manner.


Today, I’ve touched on a few ways you might be masking your authentic self. Do you want to come out of hiding and be able to express yourself in all areas of your life without fear?

My “Find Your Voice” coaching programs will help you unmask and find the inner strength to be more authentically expressed.

Your life, your future, your success, and your happiness depend on you having a voice. Schedule with me now for a single session or check out my coaching programs.


Best to you,