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Peeling Back the Masks

I remember feeling surprised when I found this picture. I rarely let my guard down enough to let anyone see me this bare back in 2007. (Or ever).

When I looked in the mirror, it felt like I was looking at a stranger. I didn’t recognize my reflection. Who was this sick girl? I’d barely been sick in my life, and now cancer?

Being an athlete, I was good at wearing the mask of being “strong”. And in this bald, stitched-up, lethargic state, I felt anything but strong. My muscles had vanished along with my hair, my stamina, and my confidence. My abdomen had been sliced with a 12-inch incision scar that obliterated my once-six-pack abs.

Vulnerable didn’t even begin to describe how raw I felt.

But, boy, was it necessary.

Because this was the part that mattered the most.

All of my labels ripped off without warning.

All of my masks had been stripped away.

The identity that I was so attached to had fallen to pieces.

It was like being naked in public and frantically searching for something to cover up with. It was excruciatingly uncomfortable.

But it also created a void where I could exist without all the roles, identities, and labels I thought I had to wear, be, and live up to all the time.

And that was the key. 🔑

That key allowed me to ask myself some big questions, find out what really mattered to me, realize what I was done giving energy to. It is what allowed me to give myself permission to experiment, explore, adventure, stop taking life so seriously, and stop creating so many damn rules, boxes, and lines for myself.

We always have a choice. Always.

We get to decide who we want to be today. And maybe tomorrow that will change. THAT’S OKAY.

We can redefine ourselves at any time.

We can try something new, go for a big dream, pivot, adjust, start, stop, take up a new hobby, start a business, let go of an old dream, stop forcing what isn’t working or drop everything and move across the country.

But it’s only possible if we loosen our death grip on who we think we have to be. It’s only possible if we open our minds and hearts to re-evaluate how we define ourselves.

Go on, give it a try. What would you do if you weren’t “tied” to who you think you have to be?

Grab your copy of My Cosmic Hammer on at


About the Author:​

Kristin Pierce loves chai lattes, inspirational quotes, writing in coffee shops, and questioning beliefs. She is an award-winning author and a self-awareness educator whose mission is to empower others to deconstruct the limiting beliefs that are keeping them small and stuck in order to rise to their potential, come alive, and impact the world. Kristin is the Founder of Inner Compass Academy and Inner Compass Books. She is a MindScape Instructor, Advanced BodyTalk Practitioner, Registered Massage Therapist, & Children's Book Author. Stay tuned for her upcoming memoir, My Cosmic Hammer.

Sign up for her Breaking the Mold FREE Webinar and her Inspire Newsletter.

Find her on Facebook & Instagram @InnerCompassAcademy and @InnerCompassBooks.


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