Emma loves surprising me with old family photos. It’s her way of reflecting on memories.

This particular picture brought back a flood of thoughts. Here I’m doing what always came naturally: HIDING.photo

My glass half-full head says, nah, I’m just letting my two adorable toddlers take front and center. But the real me knows a different truth: I hid because I hated how I looked. Not just around cameras, but in so many other ways too.

Last week when I spoke to a great group of several hundred meeting planners, many women asked how other people treat me at a new, smaller size.

The only one who acts differently is me. I’m not as reserved. I’m excited to show up and more willing to speak up. I work on feeling my best, which enables me to act my best.

So I want to turn the tables on you: Where are you hiding? This is hardly limited to weight or body image. In fact, it’s not even all physical.

When you don’t look and feel your best both mentally and physically, you retreat. You hide.
—- Do you sit silently in meetings, afraid to share your thoughts?
—- Do you decline personal and professional invitations because it feels safer to avoid going?
—- Do you allow others to make decisions for you because you doubt your own judgment?
—- Do you shy away from pursuing an opportunity because you question your qualifications?

These are just some of the ways you may be hiding in plain sight.

If we’re all committing to NO MORE MEDIOCRE in 2014, then that includes the necessity to come out of hiding.

To be your best, it means you must be willing to show up, speak up and allow your best self to shine. Not just once in a while, but every single day.

Think about what you can do today to peel back the layers, remove the covers, take off the blinders…and reveal your greatest strengths to the people and projects around you.