Your Secrets: How to use them to get what you want

If you're like most people you love secrets. And if you're like most people, you have secrets of your own.

Carefully hidden and closely guarded, your secrets reveal the innermost side of you; that inner and sometimes darker, shadow self. The one that no-one knows.

Maybe least of all yourself.

The best thing about your secrets, you believe, is that they'll never see the light of day.

This is not what you want.

The saving grace about secrets is they are the lock and key to revealing your inner strengths and latent qualities. When dreams of who you could be collide with what you are then your secrets are the key. By bringing them into the light you'll discover what it is that's holding you back. And when you know that you'll be on the road to getting to where you want to go and showing who you really are.

External clues to internal secrets

Want to know what secrets you're keeping from yourself? If you're not getting much insight from within, start tuning into the clues you're getting from your world.

Often what you find difficult to admit to yourself, you find hard to tolerate in other people. Those who boast, those who make mistakes, who stammer, are shy, or overeat. They're reflections of a part of you that you suppress or hide from others, and perhaps yourself, convinced you're not like that.

The truth is we find it intolerant because it reminds us of a part of us we don't like or accept. And therein lies your clue.

One of my clues came to me in a strange way. After many years of this, I eventually became aware that my inability to sit through a suspenseful, exciting scene in any kind of movie occured in other contexts in my life. While I'd become nervous and close my eyes if I was in the theatre, or go into the kitchen if I was at home, in my daily life as soon I started to do something that was exciting and rewarding for me such as a new creative project I would avoid it and do whatever I could to avoid it, like take frequent breaks. It dawned on me that this was the reason I procrastinated - it was nerves. I worked through this by reframing it, and came to understand it was in fact excitement that I was onto something big!

Don't do what you did

So what's the worst thing you've ever done? Or, what do you continue to do now that holds you back? By holding you back, its keeping you in a comfort zone. Perhaps it's a zone of control, of power, or stability, where there is no forward movement or growth. What do you find difficult to do that you say you should do?

Are you someone who takes pride in being open and transparent with your customers yet you cheat on your partner, you stop short of giving away key information that would send your customers to the competition, or help others succeed? Do you talk up your successes and play down the roles of others? Do you keep a habit that you're ashamed of? Are you intolerant of other people's mistakes? Are you a perfectionist and perhaps critical of others mistakes, and therefore your own?

What is it you do that you would rather not do? Identify that and then take steps and do what you would normally not do.

Who doesn't love a good secret, especially those about other people? Whether or not we know these folks their secrets can be intriguing. Through them they give us an indication of their motives, their inner selves, what drives them- and what they secretly hide. And in this way they tell us about ourselves and affirm our own humanness- maybe we're not so bad after all.

Yet the most inspiring stories that warm our hearts and tell about the nobility of the human spirit are those where people overcome adversity, temptation, or manifest courage, sacrifice and immense generosity of spirit. Would I, could I ever do that, you ask yourself, if I were in that situation.

Some things you wouldn't hesitate to do. Called upon to rescue a drowning child most of you would jump into the water in a heartbeat. Other situations you simply know it would take immense power of will on your part to do something. Like loan your new car to a friend, invite a homeless person to your house to share your dinner, give up your weekend to help someone you don't like move home. Or, God forbid, reveal your secret.

The fact is, as human beings, we are inherently noble creatures and have the capacity to act with integrity. We often don't do noble things its true- but not necessarily because we don't want to. Often we find it difficult and sometimes we simply don't know how, no-one's showed us or modelled to us the highest and most principled way that we could act. And beneath it all our underlying strategies, which govern how we think and behave, are about our safety and our self-interests - our secrets.

Secrets are the hidden ‘stuff' that reveal your in-congruencies. The personal slant you give to things that allow you to continue doing what you do. The guilty knowledge of promises you make to yourself that you don't keep. Whether something from your past, or a present truth- its hurts to hear it. Which is why often the least painless way is to pay attention to other people's stuff. We can falsely boost ourselves along when we don't want to face our truths and when accused out loud we can justify it be becoming outraged, guilty or upset.

But when reaffirmed of our capacity to act above and beyond the call of duty, or to perform simple good deeds to neighbours and strangers during times of suffering and distress, our confidence in ourselves and each other is restored. And we're reminded of the power we have to be genuinely 'good' and to make the right choices. That we can do better and have within us and before us the ability to make new decisions, create new beginnings and manifest the potential noble qualities that lie inherent within each of us is a supremely reassuring thought.

The key to moving forward is to look inside. Start with you and find within what it is that holds you back- so subtly but surely. Whatever the answer is for you, it's right there.

He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Steps to Successfully outing your Secrets


  • Look within, remembering to tread kindly and go easy on yourself while you explore. The only rule is to be non-judgemental and utterly detached- just as if you were a scientist watching the results of an interesting experiment.
  • Think of the promises you have made to yourself. Choose one of them that you haven't kept but which remains important and see what steps you can start doing now to fulfill them. What is the cost of remaining where you are, doing what you keep doing?
  • Consider a quality that you admire and choose someone who emulates it well. Or, think of someone you look up to, or inspires you. What quality is it about them that makes you like them? Identify it and model it, starting with small baby steps. Pretend to be them with that quality and do as they would do, act as you think they would act, and think as they would.
  • Decide that you will no longer listen or indulge in gossip. It keeps you externally focused and saps you of positive energy. If you're looking for role models then those who gossip aren't yours.
  • Concentrate on the good things about you- your strengths and think of what you do want to achieve and the person you want to be, not what you don't want. There's a big difference between the two - one if positively focused with high energy, the other negative and depleting.
  • Forgive yourself of past mistakes. A friend of mine found herself with a severe back injury after neglecting the tell-tale initial signs several months before. After berating herself in the beginning, while lying in bed, she realised as she had been focusing on practising the quality of 'diligence'- on others. Her business focus had previously been centered around fulfilling her client's goals to the best of her ability, while neglecting her own needs.
  • Plan your next step - make it small and achievable. Remember 'baby steps' to kick start the process until you get greater momentum.
  • Celebrate each positive step as you get greater congruence. Even a simple 'Yay me!' to yourself will help reinforce your forward progress.


Finish every day and be done with it.You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is part of the Hub Tennis series.

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Comments 49 comments

Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

This is a brilliant Hub, Lifebydesign - what a great take on the topic - and i love the images, too!

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

From a great writer herself, thanks Inspirepub!

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Super duper hub! Definitely a read to come back to.

regards Zsuzsy

Jerrico Usher profile image

Jerrico Usher 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Very well written hub, truly a life by design role model! This is a practice I've been doing for years but I never thought of the things that held me back in the "secrets" arena, brilliantly put.

It did make me think about what is currently holding me back, I think in many ways I'm terrified of success. I chase it every day but every time I get close, have the entire blueprint ready to go, baby steps planned out and everything- I end up pulling back my energy just before the moment of truth.

I know what I'm capable of and I know that I can achieve it, but I keep pulling back every time, like now for example... I have the blue print for adsense sites, how to build them, I know I could build one in a heartbeat, my hubs have always received great feedback and hits.  An adsense site is nothing more than a long hub (as most of mine are) split up into about a 10 page 500 word site with keyword saturation and a variety of other optimization (on page) techniques. I even have the off page optimization technologies and formats down cold- but I hold this plan, this experience in the palm of my hand and yet don't enact the first step, the striking of the match to light the candle.

To use that metaphor actually, I feel doing this would be as easy as to anyone else lighting a candle.. I hold the match The striking strip is right there, the candle is easy to light, all I have to do is a to b to c to d strike, hold, let the wick ignite and sit back and watch the candle burn... this is where I am in knowing what to do and knowing I can do it, but when I go to strike the match I make excuses to not do so. I put the matchstick down and say "I'll do it after lunch" which turns into "after dinner" which turns into this weekend, then and then and then...

My roommate has seen my skill sets; she is constantly asking me why i don't "strike the match!" I get the feeling I'm afraid of success that I know I can have, something inside me says I can and want it but something holds me back as if by achieving success the journey will end, the candle will be lit and their will be nothing left to do, I'll stagnate somehow, but in reality the journey never ends it just continues, new developments only change the game, not end it..

Sometimes I think maybe I still have things to do at my current level of success and my subconscious mind is not sharing this information with me, things that if I do become successful as I'm capable of doing, won't allow them to happen. It's like if you win the lottery and have all the money and resources you need, you may lose the desire to write hubs, to build adsense sites, because after all the goal, the money, is no longer there, you've achieved it so why waste time writing sites when you can just go spend the money.

The irony is that I truly believe I am about to strike it rich soon, according to my tarot cards a windfall is coming, but what doesn't make sense is that this would be the same paradox in my opinion. Maybe the real reason is that I am trapping myself within this level of success to gain more insight before I strike it rich, be it the lottery or my own build up of wealth, because when the money comes I'm supposed to use it for some greater good I can't yet see.

After reading this hub I see that you can understand my frustration, but this hub helps me to try to understand that deeper part of my psyche, secrets are truly the part of you that holds you back, its like a road block in your subconscious that is unresolved and thus won't let other thoughts pass through that road..

I'll stop babbling now... Long story short, great hub, inspirational and thought provoking.


p.s. you should add a poll to this hub

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks for dropping by Zsuzsu Bee- appreciate your comments!

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Jerricho, it sounds like you're really close to it and you're just on the cusp of a breakthrough! You're just oscillating between the two extremes- what you want versus what you don't want and its holding you in a pattern. Identifying it is good, as you've done- great candle analogy. If you're not there already, I would suggest looking at what the feeling is when you 'go to strike the match'. Can you reframe that for yourself? Examine your reactions just as if you were your own third-party consultant looking objectively at the scene, at your responses and reactions. What are you going through at that moment? Why are you doing what you're doing? Also, put yourself into a peak physiological state of relaxed awareness before performing this important activity. This will help stop your current loop. Then as you take your baby steps start noticing your response. How does it feel now? (make your baby steps a little bit smaller especially where you’re finding it difficult to move forward). If you don’t quite locate what the fear/feeling is that’s holding you back, this is when persistence on your part needs to kick in and you show up for yourself, you hold the belief you can do it and you ‘just do it!’ Your will will find the way to succeed. Down the road you’ll get a much better idea of what it was, but you gotta just trust yourself to come through now when it matters.

Hope that helps :-)

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

ps. thanks for your comments, that was a good personal story and the kind of thing I hope can help others as well.

Brainstormer profile image

Brainstormer 8 years ago from Australia

I read this through twice and will come back tomorrow to read it again. Extremely thought provocative and there is a lot here that I can accept as true for me immediately. "When dreams of who you could be collide with what you are then your secrets are the key". I think I will be mulling on that all night.

Nice to meet you and thanks for the hub

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks Brainstormer, and pleasant dreams to you tonight!

Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

Hi Lifebydesign. I trained as a hypnotherapist, so much of this hub is familiar territory, but you have expressed it beautifully, and I find much of what I know has been re-framed in new terms. It's very true that we all have secrets. It's looking them in the eye that is the difficult part for many people!

I enjoyed the hub, and look forward to reading more.

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Amanda, glad you enjoyed it and thanks for your lovely comment. As a hypnotherapist you'd have some great stories and experiences! True the hardest thing is looking in sometimes, but once you get the hang of it its such a gold mine isn't it?

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

I really enjoyed reading this wonderful hub! You have given me much to think about. :)

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Hi amy jane, thanks for coming by!

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Thanks for your inspirational hub. I think it has helped me to examine what holds me back from getting into selling my art work. I know I have the ability to do it, I just need to stop procrastinating and follow through.

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Great stuff SweetiePie, I know you'll get past it. All the best and let us know how you go!

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

What a marvelous, thought-provoking hub Lifebydesign. :) I especially love what you said about being non-judgmental when you start looking within. Sometimes that alone is a major breakthrough to finding who you really are and acceptance of the self. There are many things to think about here and I am sure I will come back to read more.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Lovely to see you ripplemaker. I agree, we can often be our own worst critics - it definitely helps to step back from ourselves and be more objective..and kind.

dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Lifebydesign this is truly an empowering hub. Thumbs up! There is much to learn in this article and I'm glad to know we move in the same energy. Looking forward to learning more from you. Godbless:)

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hi dayzeebee, thanks for the visit and right back atcha!

Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Hi Lifebydesign!  You certainly honor your nick with this hub! :-)

What a beautiful read, extremely inspiring!  I'm particularly taken with the concept of being kind to myself when I look within.  I don't do that nearly enough!  Not looking within, gosh I probably do that too much! Laugh!  I mean, being kind to myself!  I tend to be very tough on myself, and I think maybe that holds me back when it comes to "accepting and moving on".

Anyway, thank you, that was wonderful!

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Elena, we're our own worst critics often :-)! I suppose a good rule I try to remember myself is to treat me as I would my best friend. All the best to you!

sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa

Hi Lifebydesign I stumbled upon this hub and was truly interested in what you had to say. inspiring hub.

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks sixtyorso, glad you stumbled by! And thanks for the comment. :-)

foxility profile image

foxility 7 years ago

Great hub. I wasn't sure what it would be about but I was gladly surprised by your relaxed style and poetry.

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hey foxility, why thank you for the poetry analogy. And thanks for coming by.

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Wonderful hub - inspiring, thought provoking - I know it's all been said but I'm saying it again :) And it struck a chord - there's so much in us that needs fixing - dispassionately and sometimes kindly! You know you could be up there beside Louise Hayes, don't you? :)

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Shalini, you're sweet. Thank you :-) And that it struck a chord thank you again, I do like to inspire.

Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Wow! You can write! And you're deep too. Felt at times as though I was reading about myself. You have quite a bit of insight into things and looking at your collection of hubs a variety of unique subjects. I am lookin forward to reading more of them...with pleasure!

Ok. I'm dying to know. What is your absolute passion you are living right now (from your profile?) Tell me! You can email me if you're more comfortable that way. Anyway, I've had a thoroughly enjoyable stay at your hubs! Can't wait to catch up. (I feel like I've been remiss regarding your writing.) It's so good!

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

wonderful hub - the secrets that damage most are those which we keep from ourselves as well as the world.

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hi LondonGirl, yep, you said it in one. And don't we do it so well? :-) Thanks for stopping by.

Hey Chris, I'm so chuffed you found me. It must be getting a bit hectic at your place with the large fan/groupie/stalker base? And thanks for the sweet comments, you are too too kind. My passion? I love to encourage and inspire people to show off their best and highest qualities, and get rid of the 'stuff' that's holding them back. I coach, mentor, guide - oh its so much fun, almost as much fun as hubbing!

Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

That's great, and you do it well! I keep "chuffing" (causing people to be chuffed.) people in England and Australia. I think that word will become a part of my vocabulary. I like it, and it's unique around here.

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Cool! Go forth, use 'chuff' and use it well my lad. Okay, so what equally cool phrase can I borrow from your part of town?

aniketgore profile image

aniketgore 7 years ago from India

nice hub. And alongside contents i like the design.

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks aniketgore, its one of my favourites.


KStyle 7 years ago

This is wonderful reading and writing.

You are a PRO!

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

KStyle, that's very sweet of you. Look forward to reading your hubs as well :)

Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

I read this originally quite a while ago, and I am still wondering...How can I, Chris, use the secrets I know about you, lifebydesign, to my full advantage?

Just curious.

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

I'm not telling. :)

GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

Awesome Hub. =) Glad to meet you!

"Often what you find difficult to admit to yourself, you find hard to tolerate in other people."

Oh SO true!

And love the photos.. "Explore This!" haha..


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hey G|M, great to meet you too! This is one of my favorites. I'm waiting for inspiration to strike again...! :)

earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Great hub Lifebydesign! The world is a mirror, so what we hate most, are aspects of ourselves we see in others.

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Earnest, so true. I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. Thank goodness I say, otherwise where else could we get feedback on how/who we are, why we are - especially when we think so much of ourselves :)

Thanks for visiting!

santoion profile image

santoion 7 years ago

Very good hub.Thank You !

grandnag profile image

grandnag 7 years ago

Lifebydesign. Nice hub. I'll follow with some intention. thanks.

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hi santion, Grandnag, thanks for visiting. Glad you liked it!

Daniel Carter profile image

Daniel Carter 7 years ago from Western US

Thank you for this hub. I read it on a day when I particularly needed to look at this idea squarely for what it is.

Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hey Daniel, thanks so much. I hope it helped. :)

Putz Ballard profile image

Putz Ballard 7 years ago

My wife says don't ever tell me opne, it will not remain a secret long.

fyxer profile image

fyxer 6 years ago from mt vernon

great hub, very interesting,

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