Who Are You, Really — and Why Are You Keeping it to Yourself?

4 strategies to unveil your true self to the world and live an authentic life.

Jill Reid
Jill Reid
Mar 9, 2020 · 5 min read

Most of our own thoughts remain sequestered, buried under input from outside sources — people, smartphones, computer screens, E-readers, email, books, social media, etc. Which is why it’s sometimes challenging to recognize who we really are.

And without a clear picture of our own identity — and eliminating our constant need to mask it — we may not have the opportunity to express an original thought, idea, or emotion to others — or even to ourselves.

I think it’s because our thoughts, our personal truths, are smothered under an onslaught of confusing, conflicting, and potentially damaging influences.

And we let them in, willingly. Beneath the rubble, we slip into a “safe” place — a sanctuary inaccessible to anyone else. And sometimes we forget where we’re hiding or why — and we become lost in a chaotic void.

When you first meet someone, they typically know little about you aside from a visual scan. And even the most open and inviting folks will make assumptions or jump to conclusions — quickly.

If a conversation begins, it usually consists of friendly banter, exchanging names, home towns, careers, family, pets. But do your answers truly reveal who you are?

More than likely, the discussion merely provides a description of the basic framework under which you exist — the box you reside in while moving through the world.

To create a true connection — with a level of genuine confidence — it’s important to direct our attention and efforts on unpacking and sharing our authentic selves.

What About Fear of Rejection?

What if the other person doesn’t like what’s really underneath our façade of social grace and polite chitchat?

It’s more a reflection of who they are than a terminal judgment about you.

That being said, below are four simple strategies you can incorporate into your life that will allow you to unravel the layers of distraction, and give yourself permission to be genuine in your personal interactions with others.


In spite of its obvious hectic and frenzied nature, the world can become a calming influence through intentional focus by eliciting visions of a peaceful, relaxing environment.

Fortunately, there are many aspects and variations of meditation, which provides each of us the opportunity to tailor our practice to personal schedules, needs, and comfort zones.

Just a few minutes of deep breathing, for example, can re-focus your mind and body on the now, letting you dispel the stress and doubt that can so easily overtake your consciousness.

If you’re able to plan longer sessions of meditation, create an inviting space by designing your surroundings to express your personality. Use lighting, colours, pillows, music, and scent to draw you easily and comfortably into a meditative state — and visit often.


The practice of journaling is often used to release thoughts, ideas, emotions — blocks of energy — that we’re unable to express openly, or to a logical conclusion.

Putting your internal words to paper requires honesty, and a willingness to remove personal barriers that may be blocking the expression of your fears — and dreams.

The good news is journaling doesn’t require a specific framework or process. Think of it as “free-wheeling” through your mind, giving yourself permission to spill anything and everything by writing it down and releasing it for consideration or dismissal, knowing your entries remain private and secure, contained within your journal.

Give this thoughtful and effective strategy a try — without boundaries or inhibitions — to freely open your heart to yourself.


Many of us believe breathing comes naturally, from that first gulp of air at birth, until the last fading gasp at death.

But there’s a lot of breathing in-between. And much of it is a learned response — a reaction to fear, anger, excitement, joy.

We take breathing for granted, assuming it just happens and will continue in a normal fashion, regardless of our internal state. And that’s the problem. If we’re not consciously aware of how we’re breathing — and why — we effectively turn over control of our bodies and minds to reactionary behaviour.

Fortunately, breathing is a tool we can use to calm, focus, and centre ourselves. As a result, we become stronger and more prepared to face the world.

Being aware of our breath takes a conscious act, and that’s the goal we’re aiming for.

Because when our mind is in tune with our body, we become closer to our true, authentic selves.

Reducing stress and achieving relaxation through breathing doesn’t take a huge time commitment (although it’s great if you have that option). Check out these 5 Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief from WebMD that you can easily fit into your day.

Alone Time

The truth is, most people don’t enjoy being alone with their own thoughts.

Whether it’s fear, anxiety, lack of self-esteem, or dependency on the influence of others, these folks would much rather be in a crowded room than alone — under any circumstances.

Perhaps the need to be surrounded by other people suggests they’re not sure of themselves — of who they are — and they’re hoping someone else will tell them.

But it’s not your job to assign identity or confirm authenticity. And no one else is responsible for doing the same for you.

Here’s the question:

If you’re unable to enjoy your own company by exploring your thoughts, dreams, and aspirations, how can you develop these personal interests and share them with the world?

Ready to become the real you?

Take a breath, and dig deep.

Face your truth — and your fears. Release the surprises and joys that lie buried in your soul.

By taking the necessary steps to embrace your consciousness, you’ll become more open to discovering your truth. You may be surprised how easy it is after you remove all the armour preventing others from connecting with you.

Then introduce yourself to the real you, the one you know has been there all along. And share that wonderful person with the world.

© Jill Reid. All Rights Reserved.

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Mind Cafe

Relaxed, inspiring essays about happiness.

Jill Reid

Written by

Jill Reid

Author of “Real Life” & “Discover Your Personal Truth” | Writing on life, relationships, happiness, health, & personal success — http://RealLifeBookSeries.com

Mind Cafe

Mind Cafe

Relaxed, inspiring essays about happiness.

Jill Reid

Written by

Jill Reid

Author of “Real Life” & “Discover Your Personal Truth” | Writing on life, relationships, happiness, health, & personal success — http://RealLifeBookSeries.com

Mind Cafe

Mind Cafe

Relaxed, inspiring essays about happiness.

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