This question truly resonated when it first came to me because I realised that I was indeed hiding in a number of ways. The Covid lockdowns had reset our comfort zones and with a wonderful home office I really had very little reason to physically venture out into the world.

That meant that my reflex was to keep my world small. And yet, it is only by exploring the boundaries of our comfort zone that we get a sense for what we are ready to offer the world and the world us.

The question obviously also works on much deeper psychological levels. There are certain things we do not want the world to know about us. This does not have to be a dark secret but even a lack of confidence or imposter syndrome or some other relatively minor fact that looms large in our minds.

We worry that if the world really knew what we were like we would be shunned. We therefore hide it away and create personas that help us pretend to be who we are not.

I am not suggesting that you bare every last secret. On the other hand, I am inviting you to test where and how you might be a little more vulnerable and reveal a little more of yourself over time.

See How it Feels!

As someone who when I was young revealed very little of himself, I have found it becomes easier with practice. It is also incredibly liberating in that you come to realise that the world really does not care all that much.

Certainly, much less than we think it will. There are a host of behavioural science studies that show that we inflate our own importance (the spotlight effect). This is perhaps another example.

Also, there are a myriad ways in which we hide so be curious about how it might be manifesting in your life. Indeed, I have worked with a number of people who were hiding not only from what the world did not know about them but more from what the world did know about them. I have worked with people who were hiding from the future – from the fact that they were ageing or were escaping broken dreams.

So, how might you be hiding?

Questions in the Image:

  • How am I hiding?
  • What do I not want the world to see?
  • What might being seen as I am feel like?
  • What part of me cares what others think?

Want to Read More Around This Topic?

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown (link to The book delves into the concept of vulnerability, and how embracing our vulnerabilities can lead to greater courage, compassion and connection in our lives.

Nurturing Curiosity – Daily Practice: This is part of the Nurturing Curiosity series of tools, insights and questions designed to help nurture curiosity as part of our daily practice. In point of fact, every interaction we have is an opportunity to question what we are observing and how we and others are seeing the world. Also remember that questions come in many forms throughout our day – a yawn in early afternoon may be nothing more than a normal dip in energy levels and yet it feels somehow different so perhaps I might ask Am I getting enough rest? Is the quality of my rest good enough? What can I do to restore my energy levels?

What Thoughts Would You Like to Share? My name is Tom O’Leary, and I envision a world in which curiosity shapes leadership. In this world, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning. My mission is to shift leadership focus from authority, over-measurement and control to curiosity, learning and innovation, empowering leaders to prioritise the essential. My journey, lived in a number of countries and through various languages, has always been driven by a profound sense of curiosity. In fact, life has taught me that possibility lies not so much in seeking answers but in learning to ask better questions – the ones that help prioritise what is truly essential. I welcome your thoughts, feedback, or personal experiences related to these questions or any insights they may have sparked.