Living Without a Mask -- 5 Days to Uncover Your Authentic Self

It takes a lot of energy to live with a mask on, trying to be all things to all people, or trying to please everyone. Not to mention it's impossible to and trying will only cause you to burn out.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

It takes a lot of energy to live with a mask on, trying to be all things to all people, or trying to please everyone. Not to mention it's impossible to and trying will only cause you to burn out.

Here's a solution: lose the filter.

It's time to let go and unleash your true self. The world needs you to be who you really are -- that's how you will make the most impact.

When you live as your authentic self, you will feel freer, clearer and more powerful than you've ever felt before.

Here's a 5-step plan to help you uncover your most authentic self so you can live a happier and more fulfilling life:

Day 1: Get Naked and Put Yourself Out There

No, not like that. What this means is look for ways that you may be "hiding" in your life, and start to push yourself out there, in an authentic (aka: naked) way.

There are four ways you could be hiding. The four ways are:

  • Over-perfecting--trying to make things perfect or to have the perfect conditions before starting something is just an excuse that keeps you playing small in life.
  • Over-spending--trying to find a "perfect" solution is a way to postpone finishing something and putting it out in the world.
  • Over-analyzing--this causes indecision, which keep you stuck instead of taking action.
  • Over-caring--you care too much what people think or are waiting for someone's approval, which will keep you spinning your wheels but never getting anywhere.

Which of the four are you guilty of?

Action Step: Grab your journal and admit on the page which of these four ways of hiding you're most guilty of. And then free-write about what it's costing you to keep doing it.

Day 2: Get Certain

Humans are primitive beings and we have an instinct to belong to a tribe. Essentially what that means is your brain is programmed to protect you from things, including yourself, in order to maintain your spot in your tribe--and to survive.

Day two is all about challenging that fear-based programming by focusing on the things you are absolutely certain of.

Get out a piece of paper and make a list of everything you feel absolutely certain of in your life. Whatever that may be.

We don't practice certainty enough. Certainty is one way to turn down the volume of the instinct that says "stay in the tribe" or "belong here."

When you're certain, you're operating from a much more powerful and authentic place. Continuing to do this will help keep the old fear-based programming from coming back.

Action Step: Make a list of everything you know for sure or are certain of. Bonus points if you read the list with conviction to someone close to you.

Day 3: Un-stifle Yourself

Another big way we hold back in life is because we're trying to protect our image or "save face." So today, your challenge is to be perfectly imperfect.

Let loose. Sing show tunes. Dance. Take silly pictures and post them on Facebook.

Don't hide the things that make you fun and unique. Celebrate them. And remember, the more "you" that you can be, the more people will connect with you in a real, authentic way.

Action Step: Do something bold. Do something silly. Unleash your true self on the world. Or at least on one person. Keep doing this a little every day and soon you'll be living as your true, authentic self.

Day 4: Share Your Wildest, Hairiest, Scariest, Biggest Dream

Our wildest dreams are a reflection of who we really are, at our core. Use your dreams as a guide toward your true path in life.

I was once talking to a friend of mine and I asked her--what's your biggest dream that you've never told anyone about? And she said--"I want to own an island." To anyone else, this dream would sound crazy, but just speaking it out loud was enough for her to start thinking bigger.

Once she started thinking bigger and allowing herself to dream bigger, she got clarity on being out of alignment in her life. So she changed careers and everything changed for her.

What's your dream? Your challenge today is to find someone you can share your dream with. At the very least, write it down and put it somewhere you will see it frequently.

Following this dream will lead to the most authentic version of you.

Action Step: Write down your biggest, craziest, scariest dream. Bonus points for sharing with someone else (or on social media).

Day 5: Commit to Yourself and Declare "I Am Enough"

Uncovering and connecting with your most authentic self is a lifelong journey. So today is all about making a commitment to keep doing the inner work that will help you be the authentic you.

Commit to doing something, even something small, every single day to move toward living as your authentic self.

Maybe that means saying no to something you would usually say yes to. Maybe that means dying your hair pink. Maybe that means just speaking up when you would usually stay quiet.

You deserve to live the life of your dreams and be who you are, without apology.

Action Step: Put your hand on your heart and say out loud--"it's safe for me to be me." Do this every day until you know deep down that it's safe to be your authentic self.

If you want to keep going with this challenge, think about finding a new tribe Not necessarily ditching your current tribe completely, but hanging out more often with people who think like you do and who are also striving to be their authentic selves. Being around people like this on a regular basis will inspire you to go further.

How do you find ways to be your authentic self?

Go To Homepage

Popular in the Community