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Take off the Mask

Episode #10

This weeks’ episode brings another very familiar story and the common thread for entrepreneurs and business owners. Tim & Doug discuss a true story about a business owner they know, this man is extremely successful but admits he has no idea how he has got the success and feels like he just got lucky. Naturally, this leads to extreme insecurity and fear, he doesn’t want his staff or people around him to see this, so he continues to wear the mask of being an all confident, all-knowing leader.

Often leaders or business owners can wear a mask that shows them off to be the type of person they think they SHOULD be, however behind closed doors and inside their own heads, they are somebody completely different. They are somebody with huge doubts and insecurities that they don’t want others to see as in case it’s perceived as a weakness.

While all of us don’t put on a mask to such a big extent, the likelihood is that all of us put on some form of a mask, we all have insecurities and things we don’t want our colleagues or family/friends to know about. Accepting and facing these insecurities head-on will ensure that they don’t show themselves in a way that damages your life and business.

The process of taking the mask off is simple, but also daunting and difficult to bring yourself to do. Taking off the mask means being completely honest with yourself first, asking yourself those important questions that will define your life; Who are you really? What do you want from life? Are you happy?

What you will discover in this episode:

    • How to recognize when you are hiding or putting up a facade in life.
    • How your mask can hold you back.
    • The top 3 things you can do immediately in the process of removing the mask.
    • How taking off the mask and embracing vulnerability can give you freedom.
    • Simple actionable techniques to start this process.


Hungry for more?

Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man. 

Listen on:


Episode Transcript

Doug Holt  0:00  

We talk to business owners, and we ask every one of them, “What’s the most important thing to you?” “Ah, it’s my kids, it’s my family, it’s my relationships.” Yet, they put on a mask they put on a facade, and the people in their lives, people that they want to be close to, only get to know the representative. And this causes so much strife and problems in their life and eventually, it has to split their business. 

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man Show. I am your host, Doug Holt, with my co-host, Tim Matthews. Tim, how are you doing, man?

Tim Matthews  0:38  

Absolutely fantastic. How are you? 

Doug Holt  0:41  

I’m doing well. Great day. We’ve been talking off the air for a couple of hours now. So it’s kind of funny to jump on and hit record. But we’ve had some great conversations. And we always start off doing this where we’re going to jump right into these episodes to share the content. And then you and I start going off on these tangents, talking about all the men that we’ve been working with and what they’re up to. But, Tim, you had a special comment that we were talking about that we wanted to bring onto the air and share with it in the hope that it would help some of the listeners?

Tim Matthews  1:09  

Yeah, I did. So this week, I was working with a new client, the guy that joined The Activation Method that we’re doing is onboarding. And his story was such a common one from a lot of the men that have also been through The Activation Method where they start. I want to share with the listeners to see if, one, they resonate with it, and two, discuss how to solve it. That if any of the listeners are experienced that we can add some value and support them a little bit. So here’s why this guy was up. He is a successful entrepreneur and award-winning entrepreneur. He does really well financially; he does really well professionally. To everybody else, this guy has it all, he’s got everything together is the happy go lucky sales guy walks into a room, people love him. He’s confident, and he drives a car, he’s got money, he’s got freedom, he’s got the choice. He’s got the ability, but behind closed doors, he doesn’t know how the fuck he got there. In his own words, it feels lucky, and he’s afraid that it could be ripped out from underneath him at any time. And as a result, he doesn’t trust many people; he doesn’t trust his staff very well, not as well as it could do at least, which means he’s quite controlling, doesn’t lead his company in a way that he knows he could lead it. He then overworked then hustled and then works on hours. This then means these relationships, and one of the reasons why he joined the program was he wanted to break the cycle because his past two relationships have both ended because of his working hours and his business. He feels torn because he loves his business, but at the same time, he also wants to be in love with himself and with a woman that he absolutely adores. He is not with the mother of his son, and he feels very trapped right now. He feels trapped by the burden of his business and trapped by how everybody else sees him. And how everybody else perceives him or what they perceive him to be because, like I said, right at the start of this behind closed doors. He does not feel or seem self in the way that others see him, and the guilt and the shame away and really heavy on his mind and his heart, as a result, is in this pattern of sedition and sabotage. And he wants to break it.

Doug Holt  3:43  

Well, I mean, a couple of things come up, right? This is such a common thread for business owners and for men that are out there, and there are so many things that are going on for this guy. But first, kudos to him, and I know who you’re talking about just stepping up and raising your hand because we know there’s something better there’s nothing scarier than actually raising your hand and admitting it and trying to get help or that I’m trying but just actually doing it and getting help. So kudos to him and wearing the mask right. That’s why we call it wearing the mask and people call it facades or whatever it may be for the individual. But that just seems to perpetuate the problem, doesn’t it?

Tim Matthews  4:20  

Yeah, he is really afraid to take it off; he is afraid to let people into his life be his team, his staff, his family, his ex. IN the X relationships he’s been in, he is afraid to let people into his life and show them the real him in the case to take advantage of him, and it’s perceived as a weakness. So as a result, he puts on this facade a mask, and the more he chooses to wear the mask, in his own words, he calls himself a chameleon. In molds to change and suit the environment and the people that he’s with. The more that he knows that, the more that he has done it, the heavier the mask he wears. It’s almost like he’s dug a hole for himself, and now he’s ashamed. And he’s afraid to take the mask off in case of what people will think of the real him in cases they rejected, in cases, they’re not good enough. And we spoke about this with his staff and his business because his business is in a huge growth phase, which is really exciting. But naturally, he is the bottleneck in the business, and the business is not going to get where it’s capable of being with this type of leadership; it’s just not. And he’s afraid that if he shows his staff the real him and then they’ll walk away because a real him isn’t strong enough, isn’t good enough, isn’t worthy enough. And he’s afraid of showing his emotion in cases deemed as a weakness.

Doug Holt  5:54  

Yeah, that’s the problem with that wearing the mask, and I’m sure there are so many people I can relate to this is you put on this persona on social media, let’s just use Facebook or Instagram and about how amazing your life is, and all these great things that are going on. Then you feel like you need to live up to these expectations, but the voice in the back of your head has this imposter syndrome going through, and that’s not really how it is. You’re not showing the fights with your wife, the things that are going on at work, the fires that you’re putting out, and almost setting up an undercurrent of self-sabotage because you don’t feel good enough, because you feel as if you’re lying to everybody else. And then you’re on this hamster wheel type experience, where you’re always trying to keep up with this persona. And as you keep up with this persona, you obviously become disconnected from yourself, but also the people around you, the people that you know, are also disconnected from you, because they’re not getting to know the true you. And what we talk about when we talk to business owners when we’re working with them. They’re very involved in their business when we ask every one of them, “What’s the most important thing to you?” Ah, you know, “It’s my kids, it’s my family, it’s my relationships. Yet, they put on a mask, and they put on a facade, and the people that are in their lives, the people that they want to be close to only get to know the representative. And this causes so much strife and problems within their life, that eventually it has to spill into their business.

Tim Matthews  7:32  

Yeah, completely. I mean, this guy, in particular, was telling me about one time he sat with his ex-girlfriend on the sofa and she turned to him and tapped him on the chest and was like, “Who are you really? I don’t feel like I’m getting the real you, who are you?”. And he said, “Tim, I couldn’t answer it. For weeks, I couldn’t answer it. I keep it really struck a chord because I realized that for all my life. I’ve been people-pleasing and self-sacrificing.” He’s been successful in business but like a lot of the guys when we first worked with them, Doug, they’ve got there, and he got there through sheer brute force from literally pushing the boulder up the hill night and day, no matter what it took boom, boom, boom. Now we speak a lot about the big one destination and two paths. And for him when he got asked this question by his ex-girlfriend, and it really struck a chord. And that’s where he starts to feel trapped by the mask because the people-pleasing himself sacrifices more than men, they showed up in his life for everybody else, based on how everybody else perceives him, based on what everybody else wants him to do. And then posting things as you see on social media to back up, or everybody else thinks of him to prove it. Well, then behind closed doors when the world isn’t watching, it doesn’t want any of that stuff for the most part, and that isn’t who he is. And the longer this goes on the heavy, the heavy the burden wears. And it’s almost like the more the mask gets welded to his face, the tougher it is for him to get his fingers behind it and pull it off, or so he thinks. In reality, it can be very simple. It can feel scary as hell. And it can be quite painful going through it to take the mask off that process of coming clean or getting the skeletons out of the closet. They’ve been honest with yourself and with everybody else. It can be a very scary experience. A very painful experience and also a very worthwhile experience. 

Doug Holt  9:58  

Hey, guys, I had to interrupt this show because I want to talk to you about a case study we put together; it’s only 11 minutes. And what we do is we go over and show you how almost 300 men have taken control of their lives have already had 4X of business revenue, and are having more connected intimate sex with their partner using The Activation Method. And they’re doing all of this without burning down their relationships. And without suffering and sacrificing their health. We want you to have this too. So go over to https://www.thepowerfulman.com/bonus/, the number 11 one, one, and get this right now. It’s only 11 minutes, and it’s going to show you exactly how these men have done it. Alright, let’s get back to the episode. 

What are the top three things that people listening to this, that guy’s that could have gone, “Man, how does Tim in my head right now?”, “How does he know what’s going on with me in my business?” What are the top three things that these guys could do?

Tim Matthews  10:56  

Top three things? The first one is to accept, just accept where they are. In fact, I’ll take a step back because there’s something really irrelevant right here, Doug, as I was speaking of acceptance that we teach, and I want these guys to understand it and apply it. I think it’s going to benefit them. And those three things are awareness, acceptance, and allowance. That’s the cycle that we take these guys through this guy in particular in the early stages, the pre-foundation stages before we even do any goal setting or any action or accountability. It’s all about awareness, acceptance, and allowance. And awareness is obviously becoming aware of the fact that you’re unhappy and becoming aware of the fact that you’re wearing a mask. And what does it look like for you to wear this mask, and for this guy, in particular, I almost said his name there? For this guy in particular, what we do is we take him through a process whereby we draw the mask out. So he pulled out a sheet of paper and drew a big stick man in the middle of their sheet of paper. And you guys could do this, drawing a stick man in the middle of a sheet of paper. And in the top left-hand corner, write thoughts. In the top right-hand corner, write feelings. Bottom left, write actions. Bottom right, written language. Those four areas are the four pillars of your being. And those are the areas in which the mask that you wear manipulates you, reinforce you, and influences you. So what we do is start to go through what are the dominant beliefs when you’re wearing the mask? For this guy, his dominant belief was, “I’m a fraud. I’m not good enough. I am a chancer.” All of those dominant beliefs were coming up for him. So for you, while you’re wearing the mask, what are your dominant beliefs? And then what are the dominant feelings? He felt trapped, overwhelmed, confused, anxious, angry; he felt normal as well. So for you, what are the dominant feelings you experienced when you were in the mask? And then, actions? What are the actions that you take? 

For this guy, he would avoid confrontation, and he would please people. He would make self-sacrifice; he would work late; he would normally eat food. He would know himself with alcohol. He would spend money to feel good. All these different actions that he was taking their language. How do you show up? How do you hold yourself? What are your facial expressions? How do you communicate your voice? Language is all about body language, in the picture, and what this does is bring awareness to what the mask actually looks like when you wear it; it brings it into reality. And then what you do is write a name, give the mask and name examples in the past for the example that this guy used for his was Desperado. When he’s wearing the mask, that’s what it feels like. It feels like Desperado, a desperate, needy guy who’s unconfident, unsure, overwhelmed, and everything else described there. From there, once you become aware, accept, drop the labels, drop the judgment around things being good or bad, drop the bravado, drop everything, and accept this is where you are. That’s just it, it’s just where you are, it’s not good, it’s not bad, and that it’s life. You’re a human being; it’s just where you are. And then obviously. you start to allow yourself to really be who you want to be. How do you do that? Start to have the conversations with the people that you know you get to have the conversations with. For him, one of them was his mother. A lot of his feelings of inadequacy and not being good enough came from him never feeling like he could make his mother proud. Never felt like his father loved him. He was afraid of blaming the woman that he loved in his life and having a conversation with her take ownership. Tell her that you are afraid of letting her into your life. And this is why you’re afraid to make it about you, don’t point the finger, don’t be a victim, take ownership of it, come clean, be real. What you start to do in this process is you start to take the skeletons out of the closet. This becomes really addictive because once you do it two or three times, and you realize that you’re not going to die, and it’s actually okay, it’s just a conversation. It’s almost like, if you imagine looking at yourself in a mirror, there’s a lot of mud that’s been thrown at the mirror, and you can’t really see yourself. You see your all hairs, even foggy with every skeleton you take out of the closet; it’s like you wipe one of those spots of mode off a bit, you can start to see yourself for who you really are. You realize that wiping off those spots of mud isn’t as scary and painful as you thought it was going to be. Actually, the more you do it, the more addictive it is because you feel free. To feel free and the burden of the guilt. And the shame that’s been weighing you down starts to be lifted. 

Doug Holt  16:09  

Absolutely amazing. Guys, listen to this, go back and listen to it again, and again, this process is pure gold and going through it. Tim, as always, so much information going through here. And we’re getting so many responses from the men and women who want their men to be listening to this podcast and going through it. And oftentimes, we’re talking about stories of our clients and things we’re working on. Men are coming through there and coming through the different programs and will continue to do so when you see these guys, and these guys are going through, these guys that are riding in any parting words of wisdom for those that are kind of on the fence, just feeling Desperado-ish, and not willing to step out and raise their hands. They’re feeling desperate, they’re feeling lonely, but would you say?

Tim Matthews  17:01  

It’s not as bad as you think. No.

Doug Holt  17:04  

Never is. 

Tim Matthews  17:05

Never is; you shared a great sight with me, Doug, while ago, whereby we actually write down the story that you are telling yourself, just sit down and write out, let yourself think it express it. I believe I’m this, and because of this, that happened, he did this. Whatever random times entire story out that you relive in the day in day out, all of it in your head, and actually went through it and underlined the facts. There’d be very few words they’ll be underlined. And that’s because it’s not as bad as it is. It’s just a habit that you’ve got into. You may have fucked up, so what? You’re a human being. It’s life, but you know, it’s not as bad as it is. So just don’t beat yourself up about it and raise your hand if you feel like you want to do that whether it’s with those, whether it’s with someone, whatever. Just raise your hand. Don’t do it alone, because you don’t need to. As human beings, we all crave connection. And we’re all tribal beings only, so don’t go out alone. There’s no need.

Doug Holt  17:54  

Human beings, not human doings. Well, Tim, man, it is always great to connect with you. And I always learned so much when we actually have these conversations. I’ve taken a lot of notes, and I’m going to go back through them as well. So until next week, my friends, great seeing you, and have an amazing day. 

Tim Matthews  18:25  

Yeah, you too.