Have you ever truly allowed yourself to be “seen”? Shed your protective layers and exposed your inner thoughts and feelings to the outside world? Fully expressed yourself? Let people see the real you?

And no, I’m not talking about the No Make-Up selfies that were a ‘thing’ on Social Media, which we maybe participated in because everyone else was doing it too and that kind of made it ok… 🙂

Does just the thought of exposing your inner self to the world make you want to curl up in a ball and hide? Do you feel embarrassed? Ashamed?

That used to be me.

Shedding the layers

Over the years I have become a master at hiding my true feelings and deflecting attention away from me in order to make friends, fit in, make other people happy and feel accepted by anyone and everyone I met. That is to say, to be accepted and validated by others.

A selection of carved wooden masks on a table

I have collected an array of masks, which I wear to display the version of me I need to be in that group of people and allow me to reflect back to them what they want to see. The real me is hidden behind the mask.

But recently I’ve learned that shedding these layers of protection and surfacing your inner self to surface to the world doesn’t have to be embarrassing or shameful.

I have learned this through taking part in a 90 Day video challenge. This involves recording a video of myself every day for 90 days and sharing it in a private Facebook group with other people also doing the same challenge.

And for me this has been a truly liberating and highly valuable experience.

Overcoming the shame

Eek! Seeing yourself on video? Listening to your own voice? Finding something new and interesting to say, every day, for 90 days? Why would anyone want to watch videos of you and your life??

At first this felt uncomfortable. I felt ashamed of parts of myself:

  • How I look (Crikey, look at that double chin! But I’m having a bad hair day today!!)
  • How I sound (Blimey, is my voice really that high pitched?? It sounds much deeper in my head!)
  • What I wear (Should I wear make-up? I can’t let people see my in my slobby clothes!)
  • What I say (Can I say that? Is that going to offend someone?)
  • How I express myself (I’m waffling, no-one will understand what I’m trying to say)
  • My beliefs, my opinions, my thoughts…

I didn’t feel worthy enough.

However, I’ve learned that the shame stems from stories we tell ourselves based on fears we harbour in our mind. Fears such as:

  • Fear of being judged – for what we think or say, or how we look
  • Fear of being mis-judged (“Don’t judge me!” “That’s not who I really am!”)
  • Fear of not being liked – which feels like we are somehow not worthy
  • Fear of negative comments – which would confirm my lack of self-worth

Learning to speak from a place of truth

However I have learned that none of that matters. That it’s only you that cares about what you’re wearing or whether you’re having a bad hair day or not. It’s only you that worries about how you sound. Everyone else just accepts you for who you are.

By removing the masks you have learned to wear and shedding the defensive layers you’ve built up over the years to protect yourself, you allow yourself to be ‘truly’ seen by the outside world.

And once you learn to communicate from a place of truth and authenticity, you attract a different sort of people – people who have similar beliefs & values. And this enables you to form deeper and stronger connections with those people.

In the video above – which is one of my 90 Day Challenge videos – I talk about overcoming my fears of being seen and the weight that was lifted when I shed my protective layers.

If you’d like to know more about the personal transformation process I am currently working through, please feel free to ask me any questions by clicking on the button below and filling in the form. Your questions will be treated as confidential, so feel free to ask anything!: