In Uncategorized, What's Holding You Back?

In the South, there is a saying that nothing looks more like a bottle of whiskey than a bottle of whiskey in a paper sack.  There are some things we just can’t hide!

If you are a regular reader, you know that last week I was at the Social Venture Institute on Cortes Island, British Columbia.  All this week I’ve enjoyed reliving those memories as many people posted pictures on Facebook.  There was a particular picture that caught my attention.  I was at the front of the room leading a workshop – with appropriately casual West Coast clothes: jeans, a long shirt and a long scarf.  Why the attire?  Well jeans are casual and comfy and the long shirt and scarf (I thought) would give the illusion of a slimmer version of the real me.

When I saw the pictures I was confronted with the reality.  What I was trying to hide was still on full display.  This got me thinking about all the things we ALL try to hide:

Self doubt

. . . just to name a few

Whether it’s hiding baldness with a toupee or comb over, everyone knows you are losing or have lost your hair.

Self-importance is a sure sign of self doubt.  A part of us believes that if we just “act big”, we will be big.  The next time you find yourself throwing your weight around, acting like the most important person in the room, pause for a minute and ask yourself what you are trying to hide.  It may be that kernel of self-doubt that most everyone I know has to some degree.

And what about the anger or indignation that can flare up?  You may want to ask yourself what you are afraid of.  Is it fear of being hurt, or being disregarded?  So many extraordinary people feel like they are impostors – indeed there is a name for it, The Impostor Syndrome.  We feel like we have fooled the world into thinking we are better than we believe ourselves to be.  Is your anger covering that?

We ALL have flaws – welcome to the human race.  And many of us believe we are the only ones who do, so we spend energy trying to hide them.  What we struggle to realize is, one, we all have them.  Two, what we do in an attempt to hide them, is only fooling ourselves.

So why did I think it was important to “hide” a part of me?  Perhaps it was old messages about how I should look.  Or my fear of being perceived as “old”, not hip.  I could go on, but you get the picture.  So this is a week, I’m going to think about what I’m trying to hide and make sure I’m not hiding it from myself.

I invite you to consider what you may be trying to hide.  Let me know how it goes for you and reach out for encouragement.

Until next Tuesday,




Showing 5 comments
  • Ian Curtin

    Hi Elizabeth, I am a former SVI and the Project Director of another Canadian program called the Inner Activist.

    As I read your post, I am reminded of the two questions we pose about what our ego is up to at the Inner Activist program we hold each March entitled Building Personal Mastery. “What are your trying to prove to others?” and “What are you afraid others are going to do to you?”

    Our program in helps people answer those questions in detail. Have a look at what we offer at Un unconscious ego can be a very dangerous thing.

    Thanks for your latest post. Good food for thought!

    Warm regards, Ian

    • elizabeth

      Hello Ian,
      Thanks for writing. I remember meeting you at SVI some years ago and walking and talking on the path that goes from Kiakum along the back of the garden. You are right that the work of making change begins with ourselves. It’s not about being perfect but being aware. Would love to hear your thoughts on this week’s blog.

      Warm regards to you.

  • Toby Reid

    Hi Elizabeth!
    Hope all is going well back home in the South 🙂
    It was great to meet you last week at SVI. I had such a great conversation with you and was stoked by your joy, passion and intelligence.
    Thanks for sharing this blog post. I think it’s a super important topic as much of what stops us is ourselves. As a friend once said “the only way out is in” and your post is a great reminder to that. I especially loved the paragraph that started “We ALL have flaws -“. So true!
    Until next time 🙂 Peace and hugs,

    • elizabeth

      Thanks Toby – a pleasure to meet you. I look forward to hearing what you aim your smarts and talent to next! I’d love to hear you thoughts on this week’s blog.

      Until next time.

    • elizabeth

      Thanks Toby – my reply got gobbled up so I’m trying again.
      It was a pleasure meeting you as well. Great to be friends on FB. And your friend who said the only way out is in was right! Love getting your comments.


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