Discovering the Real You: How to Break Free of Social Masks and Live Your Best Life

In this thought-provoking episode of Stillness in the Storms, host Steven Webb helps you embark on a journey of self-discovery with “Discovering the Real You: How to Break Free of Social Masks and Live Your Best Life.” Steven, a renowned meditation teacher and inner peace guide, delves deep into the challenges we face in embracing our true identities amidst the pressures of society, expectations from parents and mentors, and the different roles we play in our lives. Through personal anecdotes, expert insights, and practical tips, Steven empowers you to shed the masks that hold you back and embrace your authentic self for a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life. Don’t miss this transformative episode, as it could be the key to unlocking your potential and finding the inner peace you’ve been seeking.

If you find value in this podcast and want to support Steven’s work, consider treating him to a coffee at Your support helps keep the show going and ensures that more people can benefit from Steven’s guidance on their journey towards inner peace.


Discovering the Real You Overcoming Expectations and Finding Your True Self


[00:00:00] I may fit in for you, but I no longer belong to myself. Bre Brown. I heard that quote. I heard her talking on something this week and she said that quote, and it just hit me so deeply and it just made me think how much my life I've tried to be. Everybody else tried to fit in with everybody else. I'm a people please.

[00:00:30] And I spend my life so much trying to conform to the way they think, simply because I think they'll like me more or I will feel less uncomfortable. But I may not fit in for you, but I no longer belong to myself. And on today's podcast, discovering the real you, overcoming expectations, and finding your true self.

[00:00:55] I'm going to talk about this topic. And I'm gonna look about how much we're influenced by our parents and mentors and our friends, and all around us. We're gonna look at the peer pressure, we're gonna look at the many masks we wear. And then finally, I'm going to end with embracing our authentic self and who we really are and what that means for us.

[00:01:16] I'm gonna share a story about Albert Einstein and Jim Carey. The way they were really held back by this and how it changed them. Desire to be who they really were. And I'm gonna share my story a little bit about my foundations and what's important to me. And when I go to what's important for me, that's where my passion lies.

[00:01:40] That's what makes me angry. That's what makes me really come alive. That's what, if someone mentions those subjects to me, that's where I come alive. It's like, yes, you're talking my language. And I feel at home at that. And you know those ad hoc conversations where you don't expect that conversation and you just click.

[00:02:00] It could be of a complete stranger. It could be just a friend or it could be a family member that you never realized thought in a certain way, and suddenly you have this conversation. It's like, oh wow, where did that come from? And you feel nourished and you feel alive. That's what we're talking about on today's podcast, discovering the real you, overcoming expectations, and finding your true.

[00:02:24] Welcome to Stillness in the Storms podcast. I'm Steven Webb, your host, and this podcast is here. I share my experiences, I share different things, haven't really got amazing tagline, and it's just about seeing life a little bit different and finding a little in inner piece where you can. So there was a couple anonymous coffees this week, so I wanna say thank you to them.

[00:02:46] Thank you to Audra and Mo, and thank you to Trish, Andrea. Lizette and Joe, thank you guys. You are awesome. It makes a huge difference. Um, anyway, let's get on with today's show who you really are. Let's, let's all become a little more authentic and genuine to our true selves. So first of all, I, I want to go back to that quote.

[00:03:14] I may fit in for you, but I no longer belong to myself, Bernie. Why did that hit me so much? And I think it hit me because I spent so much of my life pleasing other people trying to fit in. I was one of those ones at school where I got on with a lot of people and there was those groups that were cooler than me.

[00:03:39] The, you know, the female groups that I could never date, they were all much better looking than me. They were all like with the in crowd. They were intelligent, and they were clever, and they were brilliant, and they were very popular. I knew them. I got on well with 'em. They would lend me their pen when I got to a lesson, when I didn't have one.

[00:04:01] But I, I, I would never be that close. And then there was the other group that used to get in a lot of trouble and all that, but they seemed cooler. People used to really like them and all that. I'm thinking about the boys in particular now. I was kind of friends with them and I used to get in trouble with them a little bit, but I never really fit in with them either.

[00:04:19] So whichever way I was like I, I could be a bit of a gig, I could be a bit of a troublemaker. I could also be whatever, and I was trying to be e everybody else. And I didn't realize, uh, I can remember at one point a friend of mine walked a little bit funny and dragged his feet and I was like, I wanna walk like that.

[00:04:42] I thought that was cool. So I practiced walking, dragging my feet. I think I got in trouble at home for it. You know, it's crazy how much we try to fit in. We think if we fit in we'll be a little more comfortable, or they'll like us more, they'll love us more. They'll accept us. But we try to change who we genuinely are instead of trying to find out who we really are.

[00:05:08] And when I say find out who we really are, I mean, what is it that drives you? What is it that drives me? What? What is that passion deep inside that makes you come alive when that topic comes up? When you could be half asleep and someone mentions it and it's like, this is. This is my moment. This is, you know, I know about this, and you just come alive about it.

[00:05:33] And it's really difficult because very often we're in situations where we're trying to drive it towards what we're passionate about, but instead we're trying to fit in and we're just trying to go towards them rather than, and it is so difficult. It's so hard. It's so much hard work being everybody else.

[00:05:55] What 7 billion people are alive now. Not one of them were like me. And trying to be every single one of them was just way too hard work. Okay. I want everybody, but certainly, certainly give it a fair crack to me, a lot of people, and it was just tiring and I would be caught out cause it wouldn't be genuine.

[00:06:17] It's like when you lie and then you gotta have a really good memory when you're trying to. Like other people, the mask falls off and you see it with other people, don't you? When the mask falls off. But it does. It doesn't mean they're not being genuine. It means sometimes when we don't feel like we're fitting in that there's nothing wrong with, I suppose, changing and being open-minded to change for the sake of.

[00:06:48] You know, been so rigid. This is my only identity and I won't change, or won't it, it's a fluid identity. You know, you move with your life. I get that. And I'm not saying you cannot be and change, but what I'm saying is it's when we're trying to fit in so much with things that we don't even enjoy, we might, we might even choose a project because a friend's doing it and because we like that.

[00:07:17] And we're, we say yes to it because we think we'll fit in better, but we don't give it our 100% all because we're not enjoying it. And we do all that all the time. I, I'm a yes person. I'm learning to say no. A lot more what I say yes to now, which is a wonderful gift for my current role going into my new role, is that I've got so many opportunities that I can now say yes to.

[00:07:44] The things that really drive me passionately, the things that are so important to me, and then I don't feel like I'm working, I don't feel like I'm doing anything because it's, it's what genuinely drives me, our mentors, and. Parents and our friends, they so steer us when we're children. When we're born, we're a blank canvas and everybody's given us their colors.

[00:08:11] You know, let's take the metaphor of a blank canvas. You know, our parents give us their favorite colors. You're no good at math, so have this, you know, nobody in our family was only good at mass. Well, you know, that's an opinion. There's no reason why I might be not be good at mass. Well, if you tell me nobody in our family's good at it, I'm not gonna study it.

[00:08:33] I'm gonna believe I'm no good at it, so that I'm, that's gonna become true. If they say there's no artist or anybody creative in our family. Well, that's an opinion of a parent. Doesn't mean it's true for me, doesn't mean it's true for you or your children. But that's what we do all the time, don't we? We allow our family's identity, um, what we believe is in the blood to influence what we do and what we don't do, so therefore it becomes true.

[00:09:06] And that's very, very true when it comes to talent. We think we, we've got this born talent, but the, the truth be known, there isn't a born talent. It's whatever you work at, you become good. If you put hours and hours into anything, you'll become good at it. So if your parents tell you you're no good at the creative and you don't do it well, it's gonna be true.

[00:09:33] And that's how our parents shape us. Albert Einstein had the same problem with his, you know, this is crazy. Albert Einstein's parents wanted him to do a certain kind of science, and they said, no, you don't want to get into physics. You don't wanna do that. Don't go to that university. And it wasn't his passion.

[00:09:52] So he ended up dropping out. He failed his exams, and even going to the next university, he failed the entrance. Because it wasn't his passion. It was what his parents were choosing for him. And then when he did find his passion, well, you know the rest he equals Mc Square. Don't ask me to explain it. I have no idea.

[00:10:16] It's something to do with spitting an attom and making a fizzy drink. I've seen the film, but yeah, the peer pressure's crazy for us to. And I understand why. You know, if, if you are fitting in and then you feel like you're, it's more comfortable, you feel like it's more genuine and you, you feel like you find your tribe and you find your niche and you find your, and like I said, it's very fluid moving between these different things.

[00:10:47] What you fit in within the morning may not be what you fit in within the evening. You know, I don't always like the same genre of movie. If I'm with a friend, I like comedy. I don't like comedy by myself. I might been ungenuine when I say, well, I don't like comedy. What's, it's what I enjoy, what I like doing.

[00:11:07] But very often we'll bend, won't we? And I can remember even as a teenager and even an older one, when I'd start dating a new girlfriend or something like, They would say, oh, what's your favorite kind of movie? And I would say, well, I like this, this, and this. And then they would say something. I'd go, yeah, I agree with you.

[00:11:26] Yeah. Well, when I said I like that, that's not entirely true. And it's like, what was I doing? I feared, not been liked. I may as well turn and go, well, what's your hobbies? Yeah, I do the same as that. And it's complete bs, isn't it? But that's what we do and we do it so subconsciously because in evolutionary terms and psychological terms, it makes sense to fit in.

[00:11:52] It feels awful, not fitting in, and school is terrible for it. School is all about the fitting in, you know, school is, is mental how we look at school. So take this scenario, you, you have a playground where very often between a hundred or a thousand children are in a playground. They're all going through all kinds of things in their home life.

[00:12:18] They're going through all kinds of changes. They're learning about all different things. Their minds are expanding, their emotions are everywhere. They're learning this whole thing called life and human and all of these. And yet we expect them all to get on and play and be really, really good. And teachers can't even get on in the staff room.

[00:12:40] You know, they form groups, they, you know, they have all kinds of trouble, not knocking teachers there, but I'm just saying how ridiculous it is when we expect everybody just to conform and be good and fit in the groups. It's complicated and hard work to be anything other than what you. You imagine if there was some kind of way in school where we could find out who our true self is and we write down what's truly important to us, what's really passionate, our foundations, and then we could be put in that group.

[00:13:18] Oh boy, you watch how much we fly, how well we do, how much we grow our wings, because I know when I found what I found passionate about, I don't have to be motivated to do it. I'm there. You know, I love helping people. I love reducing suffering, and I don't mind how that happens, whether it's through politics, whether it's through the podcast or anything.

[00:13:44] It makes me become alive when someone says, you helped me out. You changed my life. You gimme a little more in a piece. It's like, wow, okay. I wanna run from it because I'm like, what can I do next time? That, that fear of showing up and having the spotlight on me is terrifying, but I think that's part of being genuine, right?

[00:14:08] Wouldn't that be, wouldn't you be non-genuine if it didn't frighten you? If it, if you didn't have that fear of letting people down, then you are on the wrong track. If you don't, if you are doing something in your. And like, you're a decorator. Let's, let's just pick on decorators for a moment. And not really, I don't mean it.

[00:14:30] Um, but if you're a decorator and you don't care whether that person is happy with your decorator or not, you are in the wrong job. So of course they care that, that they must paint a house and then come back and they say, you've done an amazing job. It's incredible. If they're, if they're like, yeah, that was dead easy.

[00:14:48] I can do that. I can do that all day every day. Then it. Maybe it's not that genuine. You know, there's a, there's a fine line between confidence and cockiness. I suppose. I'm going a bit off topic, but I always do that, don't I? So let's, let's bring it back to the many masks we wear, and that comes down to, uh, just saying about a painter and decorator.

[00:15:11] You know, on, on a normal day, we're a parent, we're a friend, we're, um, a friend to ourself. We might be a doctor, we might be a. You know, we're a driver. We're all these things, you know, the phone goes and we go to, I'm now a daughter or a son. Um, you know, I'm not talking about changing sexes while you're on the phone.

[00:15:35] I'm just saying you, you, you might be a female and you might be the daughter when your mum phones, or you might be that person that is offering advice about health or something like that to a friend that's phoning up. So we change our mini roles. But what's really important is that we have that foundation of what's below us, who we genuinely are, what's really important to us, and bring that to the role rather than trying to do the role based on how people think you should do it.

[00:16:08] You know what's really important to me? Independence. A person's independence. I'm so passionate about that. A person, if they can make their own decisions in life, they should be able to. Being paralyzed or being, having something wrong with them, which is, in my case, I'm paralyzed and someone coming along and saying I should and should not do things when they have all the choice of doing those things.

[00:16:34] Cuz they're able bodied. How dare they say to me that, well you've gotta be in bed by a certain time. You've gotta do this by a certain time and things like that. Just cause I'm paralyzed. No, I'm sorry. That's not the way the world should work. The world should work around our disabilities, around our, um, things that we find difficult, whether it's mental, whether it's, um, disabilities or whatever, but we don't, we conform the world to the, the ideal able-bodied person, the ideal.

[00:17:08] Normal person in that quote, and everyone else should adapt to try to be there as close as possible. And it doesn't work like that. And that's why we feel so incongruent most of the time. That's why our actions are not fitting our thoughts or our feelings. And that's why there's so much mental health maybe is the fact that we're asked to do things that we're not really comfortable with.

[00:17:36] We're not really authentically comfortable with it, or we're feeling something different to our actions or our thoughts. You imagine when all those things line up, so your thoughts and your actions and your feelings line up as one, and you feel congruent and you feel alive, you know? We're not talking about rich and money.

[00:18:00] We're not talking about all those other things. We're just talking about being in a situation where everything just aligns. What you're doing is what you enjoy. It's what you're passionate about. It's what is important to you, and what you're thinking is what you like thinking. You know that ad hoc conversation I mentioned earlier that you don't expect to have and suddenly you have this convers.

[00:18:24] And it could be a complete stranger in a tea room or over a cup of tea as us British people do. You know? So how do you embrace this authentic self? It's really about sitting down and really getting to grips with what's important to you, what makes you feel comfortable, what do you enjoy doing? It's as simple as that.

[00:18:49] And you can do a, a simple exercise. GRA gratitude and reflection exercise in the morning and night. So in the morning you can have a gratitude exercise. So you pick three things that you're grateful for that day that's going to happen, or things you have, and a reflection on how you bring an authentic, genuine, true self to that day and those things.

[00:19:15] So if you are a deeply caring person, how does that person show up caring in this situ? It might be an awkward family barbecue. Well, if you are deeply caring and it's not normally goes that way at a family barbecue, how do you show up as that deeply caring precedent at the barbecue If you are open-minded and wise, or if you are the funny one, or, uh, how do you show up as that at the barbecue so you feel genuine rather than trying to show up as the person they think you are, the person you've been labeled all your life.

[00:19:52] Imagine that. Imagine it showing up as you really are, and then the practice in the evening would be grateful for three things to happen that day, and how did you show up genuinely as your true self.

[00:20:08] I, hopefully that helps. Hopefully it gives you some thoughts on who you really are, what's really important to you, and if you want to carry on this, Maybe I can do a second podcast that spells out the actual, um, practices and how we do it and what, why it's important. And we can do exercises that helps us discover.

[00:20:31] Um, Simon Sin says it in a similar way. It's discover your why and it's so important. You've only got one life. You've got one life. Do it your way from, do the actions that you want to do. I know it's d. We're living through a time where money is fundamentally important. We've got a capitalist system that is genuinely unfair.

[00:20:57] We've got a health crisis on our hands. We've got a cost of living crisis. We've got all these things. So it's really difficult when you're working and when you're doing these things to do what you truly want to do. I'm not saying give up your job and suddenly go and tour the world. If that's in your blood and.

[00:21:15] But I'm saying read the books that you feel genuine about. Listen to the podcast that resonate. Have the conversations with friends. You know, if you are doing a job, how do you show up as you do in that job as opposed to somebody else doing a job? You know, you may be a carer and you may be a really well organized carer.

[00:21:38] How do you, how do you show up? A deeper caring, kindness carer, a wise carer, you know, I don't know, whatever. Whatever really, really floats your boat, I suppose. Whatever really makes you feel genuine. How do you do it? It's really, it's really quite difficult. It's, I spent a lifetime trying to find it and I think, I think I found it.

[00:22:06] What, what bugs? What is really important? What injustices do I feel? That's where it's really important. What challenges do I enjoy doing? Do I never tire or run away from, you know, that's where your passion is. That's where your gift is. That's where your joy is. That's where your inner peace is. You know, you have this one life you imagine getting to the end of your life, and they said, yeah, you never really did find.

[00:22:32] Um, really drove you. And I'm not saying there's one particular thing this changes through your life. Don't think that you'll get to, you've got this one single purpose and you've gotta find it. You've gotta turn over every haystack. You've gotta look in every part of the world to find this one action that you need to do in your life, because Destiny has told you that.

[00:22:54] No, I think that's b. I think it changes. It depends on how you're feeling. It depends on what's happening at that time. I, I don't think you've got a single purpose. I think your purpose is to be true to yourself at any given time. There you go. There's your purpose on the fly. Your purpose is to be genuinely to your true self and show up as that at any given.

[00:23:22] And that can change as you get wiser. If you're a wise person, that will change over your life. That will grow and it'll deepen and it'll, and it'll have a bigger impact and effect on you. That, thank you all those that support this podcast. Thank you for listening. Thank you to anybody that gives a review.

[00:23:42] You guys are awesome. These podcasts are really starting. Help people. I think, um, if it helps you, that's awesome. You know, and thank you to the ones that treat me to a coffee. It makes a big difference. It enables me to get more podcast. Out there for the simple fact I can get it edited by somebody else because that's not my passion editing.

[00:24:09] It really isn't. I don't like doing it and it takes hours and it's just a nightmare for me. So you can really, you, you ease the burden on my life. If you can help me to get someone else to edit my podcast, if you're get a thank you Take care. You're awesome and I love you.