Uncover the Real You: 12 Ways to Take the Mask Off & Live Authentically

Photo credit: Stefano Montagner

“By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.” – Edwin Elliot

Do you know who you really are, or do you hide behind a façade of selected masks and prescribed roles that have been handed to you by others? Do you reveal what is really important to you in the world, or simply shrink low when it is your turn to speak? Society regularly asks us to fit in and to follow the norms, but does it void your vibrancy and suppress your spirit? If so, you are not alone.

Knowing who you are is important if you want to discover the full expression of yourself, and to experience deep love, peaceful freedom and essential authenticity. Being real is created by aligning your internal and external worlds with your thoughts and actions. Creating new ways of being in the world apart from your chosen roles takes time and courage. It requires a willingness to face fear, look deep inside and examine learned behaviors or bad habits. Only then can you experience being fully who you are not only with others, but also with the most important person: you.

12 Ways to Embrace the Real You:

  1. Live Your Values– Identify your values, what is important to you, and how you want to live in this world. Claim who you are, as opposed to letting others define you. Think about how you can live your life in alignment with your values.
  1. Embrace Beauty– People often say that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. That means you get to hold the power over what you believe is beautiful to you, inside and out. Are you acquainted with what is gorgeous to YOU and what stirs your senses? Notice appealing sights, smells, textures, shapes, forms. Beauty is an inside job, so discover your own personal style and then let it reflect everywhere… in your clothes, home, music, art, nature, work you create.
  1. Pursue Passion– Know what makes you feel alive and consciously follow those activities that help you feel connected to yourself and others. Dance, sing, play, travel, dream, visualize, grow and create. Seek and expand your possibilities.
  1. Love What You Do– Are you following your bliss? Is your work irresistible, meaningful, or important to you? Engage in something you adore and brings you joy on a daily basis, even if it looks messy or unexplainable to others. Be fierce for it.
  1. Be in Choice– You are always free to choose your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and actions. Learn to say NO when you mean no, and yes when you mean YES. What do you choose in any given moment…heavy or light; easy or hard? Are you consciously making your choices with your thoughts, words, and actions? 
  1. Practice Gratitude– Be thankful, understanding, kind, and compassionate; express it often. Let people know how much you appreciate them and what they do. Who and what are you grateful for? Start a Gratitude journal, say prayers of thanks, and acknowledge others’ generous acts.
  1. Ask for What You Want– Do you know what you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want? Practice wanting. If you ask for what you desire, you just might get it. Not asking is an automatic no. Communicate clearly and positively. And, besides, who knows what you want and need better than you?
  1. Trust Yourself– Trust your intuition. Your experiences will inform you, as well as your faith and wisdom to never go against yourself. Develop your self-confidence. Do you trust yourself? Upon whose opinion are you seeking or depending? 
  1. Clear Clutter– What are you holding on to? People, places and things? Old memories, piles of stuff in your home or office? How are these “things” holding you captive? Keeping the unneeded holds an energy that will often hold you back, so clean it out. NOW.
  1. Have Playmates– Are you spending time with people who honor you, celebrate you, or have similar interests, goals, values and vision? Engage in creative collaboration and amazing alliances. Who can you get to play with you on a project? Don’t go it alone. Find people with whom you have fun personally & professionally. Enrich your circle of connection and enlarge your playgrounds.
  1. Try It Anyway– What holds you back? Is it a belief, an old story, low self-esteem or simply a bad habit? Risk changing. Be afraid. Do it anyway. (A great idea without action is simply an idea,) so do something new or different that moves you towards living your rich, authentic, rewarding life.
  1. Celebrate Success– When you reach your goals, do you stop to enjoy your fruits? Do you acknowledge your hard work, perseverance and determination? Rejoice and revel in all that you do and have done. Learn to savor. How will you celebrate, with whom and when? 

A Revealing Exercise to Help You Take the Mask Off and Be Your Best Self:

Take a blank piece of paper. On one side, write “MY PORTRAYED SELF” This is the person you show to the outside world, the many roles you play. On the other side, write “MY REAL SELF” and describe the qualities and values you believe you hold, in other words, your true essences.

Next, find a trusted person to share what you uncover about yourself–your secrets, fears, insecurities as well as dreams, desires and plans. Observe what is different on each side, and then brainstorm some ways to bring these two different sides into alignment.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to download my free e-book filled with coaching tools titled, “Be Who You Are”  here.
Meet Jennifer: Life Coach, Inspirational Speaker and Author Jennifer M. Blair is founder of Excavive™ Coaching and Consulting, based in Louisville, Kentucky. Her work focuses on empowering people to pursue their passions, increase their self-confidence, communicate powerfully and build the kind of lives they want to live. If you love these Blog posts, many have been adapted from her first book, The True You: Tools to Excavate, Explore and Evolve, published in 2011.