The Person You’re Afraid to Be

Most of us have two faces we wear. The “public face”, which is carefully cultivated to give the best impression possible, and the “secret face”. The secret face is the person we really are, when no one is watching.

One man, with two faces on the mirror

Most of us are afraid to show our secret face in public. So our public faces are polished, and present a carefully crafted fiction of who would and what we are.

The irony is, we hide our secret face because we want people to like us. We want them to approve of us. The very approval you seek, the very response you most want to receive from people, can only be yours once you become the person you are afraid to be. For many years, I kept the spiritual side of my life shrouded and hidden from public view. I thought, as many do, that business and spirituality did not belong together. But more truthfully, I was concerned that people I respected would think I was a little bit crazy to believe the things that I believe.

The person I was afraid to be was the real me.

One day, God made it perfectly clear He was tired of being my best kept secret. So I surrendered, and faced my fear. I made a public declaration of who I really am, stripped off my mask, and showed my secret face.

Some people were shocked, and ceased to listen to what I had to say. Some wanted to pick a fight with me about my beliefs. Some mocked and made fun of me (some still do.) I'm okay with that.

I'm okay with it, because the person I was afraid to be was the very person that others were praying would show up. That's my tribe. It may be a small, modest tribe. But what would've happened if I had not planted my flag on that hill, and said “here I stand.”

What about you? Who is the person you are afraid to be? And who is waiting for you to show your secret face?

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at