Taking Off The False Mask


I’m merely remarking on the paradox of asking a masked man…who he is…

So like thousands of others, you’re here to continue building an attractive image…

If there’s any piece of advice that I would consider a “fundamental law” in terms of building an attractive image, it’s this:

Never put up a false image.

Sounds simple enough. You’re probably thinking “duh, no need to read this article.” And if this is you, maybe you’re right. Maybe you present yourself honestly — no part is fabricated or false.

The “false image” has to be the greatest self-sabotaging agent in terms of attraction. Everything from mistrust from others to women being repelled is rooted in it. On top of the social setbacks, it’s responsible for much of the insecurity, sense of inadequacy, and lack of self-esteem one eventually feels.

This bullshit is a poison.

Yet, all of us have had a taste. It’s our go-to medicine when we feel that our core isn’t enough. It’s our quick fix short-cut when we feel like we can get away with it. The real killer is the fact that NONE OF US will admit it.

That’s the tricky thing about facades. Your ego will summon an army to defend and rationalize it before surrendering the lie.

What is a false image?

Put simply, a false image is pretending to be something or someone you’re not. Put another way, it’s a social mask to hide the real you.

The image I am talking about is deeper and thicker than the fabric on your back. It is everything that you project with your words, actions, mannerisms, style, lifestyle and more.

For example, are you going around telling people you’re a total player when the prospect of approaching a cute girl sends chills down your spine? Are you acting like you know everything about stocks when you just started learning about it last week?

Have you ever been asked about your past love life and found yourself exaggerating the figures and stories? If you can relate to this, then you know what it feels like to manage a false image.

We’ve all had experiences when we were on the receiving end of such “white lies.” If you’re like me, you probably smile and keep it to yourself, but inside you can easily read that this guy is just an insecure guy who cares too much about what other people think.

An Honest Image Is More Attractive

The paradox of it all is that people will love you more for being honest about yourself than anything you could ever pretend to be.

“Being yourself” is not an excuse to to be lazy and stop improving a part of who you are. Nor does it mean going around and showing people all your flaws when it’s not necessary.

It means that if you’re a white belt in a martial art, admit that you’re a white belt. If you’re a purple belt, admit that you’re a purple belt. Don’t go around with a black belt you didn’t earn just so you have the short-term pleasure of telling others that you’re a black belt.

This is where many guys fail. They add things to their stories that didn’t happen to make it more interesting, they pretend they got the girl when she clearly rejected them, they pretend to know something when they have no idea what they are talking about. Everyone sees through it eventually, or it catches up to them to bite them in the ass.

People will ALWAYS give you more respect if you’re honest about where you’re at. They’ll see that you’re a man of integrity, and a person who’s on his way towards consistent growth. Any time that you lie about who you are they’ll lose trust in you, and see that you’re always trying to cheat your way through life.

Making the Most of What You Have RIGHT NOW

When you’re trying to build any aspect of yourself, especially your image, it’s very tempting to pretend to be something that you’re not. We want to feel good about ourselves right NOW, and get to where we want to be as quick as possible, but by doing this we also set ourselves up for failure.

If you’re piling yourself into debt to keep up an image of a stylish guy, you’ll never feel real confidence because you’re continuously looking for the clothes to give you the value you want. The clothes aren’t a garnish to what is already a great dish, the garnish is trying to be the dish. You will never feel or exude real confidence that women can feel just from your presence alone, because without the external validation you won’t have much self-esteem inside.

The TRUTH Will Always Surface


Who you REALLY are will always surface, even through the smallest details. You may pretend to be an asshole but your courteous side will come through when you open the door for someone. You may pretend to be a tough guy, but your insecurities will come through by the way you respond to a hot girl’s teasing. It’s through these details that give people the greatest window to who you truly are.

For example if one of your friends stole a candy bar right in front of you at a convenience store, you’d be careful trusting that person with anything else. You now know that he doesn’t respect the law and tries to take things without earning it. He might even lie that he paid the guy already when you clearly know that isn’t true. You might see him do the same thing again and again when he thinks you’re not looking.

You’d never think of partnering up with a guy like him in a business because he’ll most likely steal from the company or cheat in some way or another. The little things he does shows volumes about his character. Until he stops trying to cheat the principle that the truth will always surface, he’ll never get trust from people or the kind of respect he wants.

When you lie about your current place, you put yourself in a role which is very tempting not to keep up. By pretending to be more than you are, you’re actually stunting your growth and possibility for REAL change. You now get comfortable because you’re already where you want to be in the eyes of other people, and you’re less motivated to chase the goal now.


The Black Belt vs. the Yellow Belt

Going back to the martial arts example, you know that there is always that guy who just wants to get through the motions as quickly as possible so he can get his damn black belt. He just wants to be able to tell other people he’s a black belt and have a belt to hang up on his wall. He doesn’t care whether or not he earns it, he just wants it as soon as possible.

Then there’s the other  guy with a yellow belt who just loves the art and enjoys it for what it is. The belt colors are a good benchmark to strive for but he is patient and does not want to move up until he feels deserving. This guy focuses more time on his stances and moves and learns how to do them properly with precision and proper force.

If these two guys both had a match, the guy with the yellow belt, who really knows how to fight properly, will come out the winner over the black belt who only pretends to be a master. In the end the black belt gets nothing.

Nobody respects him because he doesn’t even respect himself. All he has is a piece of cloth that he has nothing to show for. The guy with the yellow belt gets respect for being the best yellow belt anyone has ever seen, and his Sensei sees that he’s now even more deserving of moving up the ranks.

This is the difference between genuine core confidence versus a false image that has no benefit at all.

You Reap What You Sow

Take a hard look at your life. Is there any area of your life that you spend more energy trying to hold up the false facade of who you are rather than actively pursuing it? Do you TELL more than you SHOW?

If you are not telling the full truth is any area of your life, stop now before you dig yourself deeper and become trapped spending more energy trying to keep up the false image you’ve created rather than using your time becoming that person.

If you don’t believe me, try to outsmart people, try to get away with it. Most people aren’t dumb, if they are social people then they most likely have sharp intuitive skills. The bullshit sensor just goes off whenever somebody is putting up a false image.

(If everyone owned one of these bullshit alarms to call people out on their bullshit the world would be a better place)

Whenever you pretend to know someone you don’t, to know information about something you really don’t care about, or be someone you’re not, remember that everyone will eventually see through it.

It doesn’t help you at all because all you’re saying at that moment is “Look at me! I’m insecure about who I am, I’m not good enough, let me try to cheat my way through life, and hopefully I’ll get away with it because I think you’re stupid.”

People close to you will always see through your lies, but usually keep it to themselves to avoid confrontation. They know you’ll just get defensive or get pissed off.

They’ll give you chances to speak the truth but every time you lie they’ll lose trust in you. When a real tough situation comes, nobody will be there to back you up because nobody can be a genuine friend to someone who is not genuine themselves. Nobody respects a person that doesn’t respect themselves. Most people will eventually get sick of your crap and may just cut you out of their lives, or go into the role of just using you for their benefit because you do the same.


This is a scene from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. Kevin Spacey’s character pretends to know things he doesn’t and acts smarter than he is. After giving him chances to stop the bullshit, Al Pacino loses his cool and goes crazy on him. Kevin Spacey has nothing to say because he knows now that everyone can see through his bullshit. He has no way out anymore and has to admit to his real place. Notice how once it’s finally out on the table, people who have been holding back their thoughts come in and agree, like the guy at who comes out at the end and says, “You are a shithead, Williamson.” This scene would have never happened if Kevin Spacey was honest about his abilities and did the best he can to help instead of just trying to hold up a false image.

You never open your mouth, till you know what the shot is.”

Some people are so immersed in this way of doing things that they don’t even realize that they are doing it. They have been making excuses all their life and defending the false ego they have created for themselves.

Sometimes you have to go Al-Pacino on yourself.

Talk to yourself from an outside perspective and call yourself out on all your bullshit. You know what is truth and what is not. Don’t even let yourself rationalize or bend the truth to justify some of your actions.

If you want to be a genuinely attractive guy at the core…If you want people to genuinely love having you around…If you want to cause a woman to feel a natural, indescribable attraction for you…you must be honest about yourself at all times. If you have built up a huge identity for yourself that is false, and you are too embarrassed to admit your real place to your friends, then cut your losses and start over now.

If you continue lying about who you are, you will never become the kind of man you want to be. The principle guarantees it.

As a little experiment this week: practice being honest about everything.

Catch yourself when you lie about something you know, will do, have done, can do, etc. Notice when other people pretend to be something they aren’t and notice how it makes you feel towards them.

I think this is just a big reminder to anyone reading this blog. Image isn’t just your clothing or what’s on the surface. It’s the entire character of who you are, and this is one of those things that can’t go overlooked. So many people do it and they don’t know that it’s ruining their lives.

In other words: you can either live pretending to be someone, or actually work towards becoming that someone.



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  • Sam Midhurst says:


    I’m not one to usually comment, however this post was above and beyond the call of style expert. Great post. Thank you.

  • Seul says:

    this is probably the best article i’ve ever read. no bullshit.

    i’ve realized that i’ve been lying myself and others for a long time. now, it’s time to change.

  • Matt says:

    A refreshing change from the usual cries of “fake it till you make it”, and certainly a more realistic method of self-improvement.

  • nay says:

    doesnt work that way. My real self is very egoistic, aggressive and sometimes even evil. If I would “take off my mask” people would desert me instantly. I sometimes tried to “take off my mask” when speaking to my family and they were like “omg you are schizophrenic, stop it now! YOU ARE SICK!!!”

  • nay says:

    I found the best solution sometimes is not lying but just not telling the truth. Because for me really the truth is ugly, and I am much better off “good guy” mask on.

  • Leo says:

    Brilliant post, thankyou very much for this. You said so many things which really needed saying.

  • Jae says:

    Thanks for the comments guys, this is something that we all need to work on.

    Nay, sometimes the truth is ugly, and you’re right that it’s not the smartest thing to show people the ugly. But trying to hide the truth is futile, because the ugly will always come through. In the end, people will see who you really are. If you like being egoistic, aggressive and sometimes even evil, then you also have to like the way people react to that. If that’s you, then all you can do is be that. If you don’t like it, or the way people view you as that guy, then something has to change right?

  • Tiffany says:

    I think if people don’t accept a person for who you really are, they shouldn’t have any privileges to get to you know. Waste your time on talking to someone whose willing to get to know the real you. It’ll get you a long way.

  • RckStr says:


  • Ghola says:


    I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months now and have to agree with the previous comments that this is the best article yet. The fact of the matter is that it is very hard to make positive changes to ourselves if we aren’t honest about where we are starting from. The most important part of personal transformation is the acceptance of who we are today. As long as we maintain our fakery, we give away our power to begin that transformation.

    Keep up the good work!

  • John Ford says:

    This strikes me as a rather shallow article. It doesn’t account for fringe personalities, nor does it apply to anyone with more layers than a rice-crispy cake.

    To use myself as an example: I aim for a sharp style, in keeping with my indisputable reputation as an asshole. Yet I’m more than happy to follow common courtesy most times – hold a door for someone, do a favor, lend a hand every now and then. I don’t see these things as mutually exclusive at all; it’s just like clothing: contrast can work to your advantage.

    Also I’d advise you to watch some superhero movies, read some comic books – look out for that part of the plot where the hero is having an identify crisis. Who is he? The mask or the man?
    People who maintain a facade long enough, become the facade. More than that though: they’ve successfully improved themselves (to their eyes). The question that arises is: as there is no definite point where the man becomes the mask, is not the facade merely another road to self-improvement?

  • Jon says:

    If only I came across this months ago, this is really good!

  • Constantin says:

    fantastic post. exactly what I need right now.

  • Bobby Rio says:

    Excellent and so true.

    The fact is the only way to grow as a person is to be honest with yourself and face the cold reality.

    In order to change you must get uncomfortable… you get motivated… and most importantly you must get honest about what in your life is holding you back.

    The problem with lying to yourself is that it allows you to get comfortable. Comfort leads to content…and content leads to a life filled with mediocrity or worse.

    great post guys!

  • Dude – just found your site. It rocks. Keep up the great work. We should meet sometime, since you’re in NYC. Email me if you’re interested.

    Stephen Nash.

  • Joe says:

    Accept the yellow belt but show that you have an ambition to earn black belt.

    The people will appreciate your ambition and your true intention in your core values.

  • CrazySphinx says:

    This post struck a chord in me. It’s true, I should be more real (I’m not sure if that’s the expression)
    Really love this post though, keep it up Jae 🙂

  • shaaz says:

    Wonderful….. shows why values are important even in this modern world. Did you by any chance listen Brian Tracy’s Luck Factor?

  • Anon says:

    Nobody likes a fake person. However, when somebody is trying to acquire a skill or a personality trait, being “fake” is a proven way to achieve it.In the case of approaching girls. If the act of striking a conversation frightens a person, a great way to overcome it is to act “fake”.

    Sure the person may see through it. But the experience gained from acting fake helps a person learn how to tune their personality and their actions. The next time he finds himself in a similar situation, he now knows what worked and what did not work.

    Also, acting “fake” is a way to become that type of person. People’s taste of music changes with the people they associate themselves with. People become more tolerant of smoking if they are around smokers. The same applies to confidence and style.

    This idea is implied with negative stereotypes. However, it can be widely applied to bettering one’s personality. If a shy and un-outgoing person puts on a mask, and “pretends” to act confident around girls. Pretty soon he will act confident.

    Your go-to-lines eventually becomes a part of you as you advance in your communication skill and you become closer to what you want to be. So in this case, I would argue, being “fake” is a step to changing yourself.

    My 2 cents.

  • Eric says:

    Wow.. thank you.

  • Lance says:

    Jae, outstanding post, this really hits home. We’ve all lied and maintained the false mask, as true men need to stop that shit. That’s for the eye opener and keep up the good work.

  • Meng says:

    Very impressive.
    I am agreed with u and I have one question about it.

    When I try to improve myself to become someone attractive, I start to learn all the body language, tonality stuff. When I try to apply this stuff like body language, is it mean I wanna become someone else?
    If I just wanna honest to myself and be myself, I am just a dumbass, do u know wat i mean.

    So in this situation, how we improve ourself and people dont think that we are faking? how do become attractive naturally?

    Thank you

  • Stephan says:

    Best article in the site.

    As another poster commented, a refreshing change from the “fake it until you make it.”

    Keep it up.

  • me says:

    bravo excellent post keep educating men on how to be real men

  • Fed says:

    “In other words: you can either live pretending to be someone, or actually work towards becoming that someone.”

    And how are you supposed to become that someone by just keep beeing a wussy?

    The only thing that works towards becoming that someone is by faking it with a strong inner game, self confidence and self-steem. Like it or not. Think of it as a cut: inner game, self confidence an self-steem are your defenses. If they are strong you’ll have a strong scar (that someone you want to become) in no time.

    For those who are good guys… beign a “good guy” doesn’t work! It has been proved so many times and you all have seen it.

  • Daniel.S says:

    Great article. I think its like admit the place you’re in now, so that you can work to your destination full-time. Deviations from this will just delay, and waste energy.

  • Philip says:

    I consider myself lucky to have stumbled upon this article. It is not only well written and insightful, you can feel the writer genuinely wants to help people.

  • J.L. says:

    Great work Jae. I’ll definitely bookmark this article and read it occasionally to remind myself to always “cut the bullshit”. It’s a trap many of us, especially young guys, fall into. A hole that we keep on digging deeper and deeper until in the end we have no choice but bury ourselves in it. I especially like this sentence you wrote, Jae:

    Do you TELL more than you SHOW?

    I’d like to add something more to that:

    Do you TELL more than you DO?

    At the end of the day, the only way to improve one’s image (physically, socially, psychologically) is to get out there and start DOING instead of telling lies and pretending to be someone that you are not. Terrific post.

  • Mark says:

    I love this blog with such great posts as the one above. People can always tell when you are not being yourself. The true self always shines through especially to women who are extra sensitive with this ort of thing

  • Smile says:

    Great article. I love it.
    But who are the real you ?
    Its hard to find yourself when others often makes a label of you.
    If others expect a nerdy guy behaviour from you, after a while you may start thinking like a nerd. And if you do something else they will say “that’s not you, take of a mask.”
    The best thing to do is that you are honest to yourself, if you are honest then you can figure out what you have to improve in yourself to be the man you want to be..
    And always do what you want to do and newer care what other will think of you.

  • Julio Callizo says:

    Great article, jae, this one goes strait to the core, it hits in the bullseye, just so you can know I’m from Paraguay and this article really helped me, it changed my life and I still read it to remind my self of being honest and to live and show honesty to others and the best of it is that this article along with others in the site did help me to get better and deep relationships with woman and people in general thank you very Mucho! cheers from Souht america

  • TJ Nelson says:

    This was an AMAZING post.

    I am personally full of bullshit. I think it is because once upon a time I was a good self. I lost a lot of self esteem and I have been bullshitting myself so much.

    It hurts admitting it, but it must be done.


  • Alexander says:

    great post.

    I recently realized the ‘being honest with yourself’ stuff is the way to go. But when i read the “You may pretend to be an asshole but your courteous side will come through when you open the door for someone.” part, it really hit the nail on the head, and I realized i might not quite be there yet.

    So, thank you! This just might be a life changing post

  • Jorge says:

    Quite a time since this post and my comment Jae!, I came to it googling about false self image when it comes to designers (in graphic industry specifically). People in this jobs always tries to look cool or trendy as if this say something about their real creative value, that sometimes is huge but many other times not. This has been always an attractive subject to me because I’m a design department manager and I’m not in the trendy clothes side of things (I do this as a life statement, like a NO-LOGO message), but I’m always pushed by friens and collegues to improve my look with the argument that if I am a leader of a group I must look like that. I’m a kind person (socially, I’m far than perfect), the people that know me find me interesting and educated, and there’s no doubt about my creative skills, so why I’m tempted to do the mask thing?… Maybe our society don’t want us real, they want the flag, not the core

  • Asher says:

    And that’s the first step. Admitting. Well done mate!

  • Thanks, Asher! 🙂

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