Although someone can be good at something, it doesn’t mean that they feel comfortable letting other people know. But if this doesn’t relate to what they can do, it could relate to their appearance.

In this case, one could feel the need to cover up their body, or to hide their face in some way. Ultimately, one is not going to allow themselves to shine, and it could then be normal for them to be overshadowed.

A Way of Life

Now, this is not going to be the same as having moments when one receives attention and moments when they don’t. What it can come down to, is that one will always be on the side lines, so to speak.

But unless one allows themselves to be seen, it is not going to be possible for them to experience life differently. As a result of this, one is going to be used to experiencing inner conflict.

Two Sides

On one side, there will be the need for them to hide how they look and/or what they are capable of, and on the other side, they will have the need for other people to recognise what they look like and/or what they are capable of. Yet even though this is the case, one need is stronger than the other.

The need to hide who they are is greater than the need to show other people who they are, and this is why their life is harder than it needs to be. This would show that one doesn’t feel safe enough to be themselves.

Pleasing Others

When it comes to how they feel through experiencing life in this way, there is the chance that one is used to feeling frustrated, angry, powerless and even hopeless. They could come to the conclusion that they have no control over their life.

It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that one will always feel this way though, as they are likely to feel good from time to time. Through hiding themselves and playing a role, it will allow them to receive approval from others.

For Example

One could spend time with people who are doing well in life, and there is not going to be any chance of them taking the light away from them. As one is there to support what these people are doing, they could return the favour.

But instead of them focusing of what one is good at and giving them the same support and encouragement, they could simply thank them for being there for them. This could show that these people are pleased that one is focused on what they are doing.

Another Experience

Still, while one could be surrounded by people who are caught up with their own needs, this might not be the case. When they are given the opportunity to talk about what they are doing, they could soon the change subject or down play their achievements.

It is then not that the people around them are self-centred; it is that one doesn’t allow these people to find out about them. Therefore, it won’t matter who they are with, as it is going to be the same scenario.

A Positive Sign

However, although one doesn’t feel comfortable enough to express themselves, it hasn’t caused them to give up. They are still taking the time to develop themselves, and this is something that needs to be acknowledged.

This shows that there is something within them that is pushing them forward, and if they didn’t have this, their life would be very different. With that in mind, it is going to be important for them to get the other part of them on board so that they can reveal what they have worked so hard to develop.

A Closer Look

If one was to take a step back and to reflect on what they only feel comfortable when they hide, they may find that they do this to avoid overshadowing others. The thought of standing out could cause them to be overwhelmed with anxiety.

They may find that when they stood out in the past, other people didn’t respond to them in a positive manner. This could have been a time when someone ended up rejecting them, or they could have ended up being upset, for instance.

The Meaning

Yet regardless of what took place, one would have ended up associating being seen with being cut-off from others. Thus, in order for one to belong, it will be necessary for them to stay under the radar.

One way of looking at this would be to say that even though one has had bad experiences in the past, it that doesn’t mean that they should hide their light. At the end of the day, one is not on this planet to play small.


When one develops themselves, they are doing what they can to fulfil their own potential, and if someone is offended by this, they are the ones who need to look into why this is. After all, one can’t control how other people feel; the only thing they can do is to trigger what is already within them.

So if someone is offended, it could be because it reminds them of how unhappy they are, or how they haven’t taken the time to develop themselves. Either way, it will be important for them to own their own experience, and to do what they need to do to change their life.


If they don’t do this and they focus on the people who are working on themselves, they could try to stop them from expressing their greatness as a way to feel better. This would then show that they lack boundaries and are not taking responsibility for how they feel.

In this case, it will be important for them take a step back from their own behaviour, and to see why they are experience life in this way. Through doing this and working on themselves, it will give them the chance to shine, and they will no longer try to stop other people from expressing their greatness.


And if one finds that it is a challenge for them to shine their light, it might be necessary for them to work with a therapist. This could be a time where they will be questioning what is taking place in their mind and processing what is being held in their body.

Through stepping out of the shadows, it might cause one to lose a few people; but this is something that can’t be avoided. The alternative would be for them to hide and to have people around them who are unable to support them, and this is going to be far worse.

Author's Bio: 

Prolific writer, author, and coach, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over one thousand in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. His current projects include 'A Dialogue With The Heart' and 'Communication Made Easy'.

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