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So you are up and running with your blog, your opt in box, and are applying the network and internet marketing lessons you have studied.  You are writing and video chatting.  BUT…did you take a good look at yourself lately? Are you wearing a mask?  OR is the video of yourself YOU?

Are you emulating a certain style that is a learned behavior from a person or persons you followed?  OR are you really projecting YOURSELF?

“We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others, that in the end, we become disguised to ourselves.” François de la Rochefoucauld

This quote had me thinking of the many masks we wear.  And in doing so, do we become a product of them?  Think about it for a moment and watch your own video, or read your own blog as objectively as you can.

Are you authentic? Or are you keeping the wonderful gift of ‘YOU’ from others and yourself?Take a moment and search your soul.  Go the extra mile and be your own critic.  You are blessed with a unique quality.  SHOW IT!  There is nothing more attractive than that.

I welcome your comments.


Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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40 Responses to ARE YOU WEARING A MASK?

  1. Pearly Quah May 21, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    Hey Donna,

    I am truly impressed with your advise. We must all agree with you about wearing a mask. As much as I love to, I really like to bring myself to people as a humble and caring and fun friend.

    I won’t say I don’t believe in what people always say such as “fake it till you make it” but I just can’t do it ! Being myself gives me a lot of joy, happiness, satisfaction, fun and etc but most important of all is that it gives me a sense of achievement because I am able to like and love others unconditionally 🙂

    Thanks for your reminder and this post is good for me to check myself out in other side of me too, if there is any 🙂


    • Donna Merrill May 22, 2011 at 12:54 am #

      Thank you Pearly, It is important for us to look at ourselves. We have to keep doing it because of the fast growth rate we have on our journey. We are the tool that needs to stay in shape to help others.

  2. Steve Shoemaker May 16, 2011 at 3:09 am #

    I think is very true. We do have to be ourselves but we can constantly improving who that is if we are being to true to our personal development and being honest on what we need to work on. We can be ourselves and express that but why not strive to be our ultimate selves and we won’t feel the need for mask. Great video.

    (Also I loved your comment on my blog and I sent you an email thanks again for the inspiration.)

    • Donna Merrill May 16, 2011 at 4:11 am #

      Steve, I am honored by your reply. You are a great leader in the field. I know It is difficult for people to take those “masks” off, that is why I made this video.

  3. Eldon Beard May 14, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I remember when I first started doing videos, I tried really hard to look and project like a couple of “pros” that I followed. The result was a rather stiff presentation. Later I just started relaxing and being myself, and they came out much better.

    • Donna Merrill May 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

      So true Eldon. It takes a while, but as we become ourselves in front of the camera, we radiate who we really are.

  4. Jans Mendoza May 11, 2011 at 5:42 am #

    Hi Donna. You got really good insights about projecting ourselves. I went through a situation where I lost my core essence. But I have learned so much from it like when you face your own truth, you’ll find it’s an enormous relief. If you’re maybe not as wonderful as you’d like to be, you aren’t nearly as bad as you fear either. So we always have to rejoice in what we are and be authentic. 🙂


  5. Monika Genehr May 4, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    Donna, your presence on your blog, in your writing and in your videos, is a great testimony to you and how you are giving me here the “wonderful gift of ‘YOU (Donna)’. Showing the masks on your fence is a wonderful touch as in: leave your mask (if you’re wearing one) on the fence and come and meet me face to face.

    • Donna Merrill May 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

      Monika, I should have named this post “leave your mask on the fence” I used this visionary video because I wanted to impact upon people to be themselves. It is the ONLY way to attract people.

  6. Steve Nicholas May 4, 2011 at 4:43 am #

    Great post, Donna! You are so right about the kind of person we are vs. who we want people to think we are. I think that sometimes people are so afraid of their id/dark side that they don’t want to admit that it’s there, but I think that the real secret is to harness it rather than deny it, because these things have a way of popping up in ways you least expect.

    • Donna Merrill May 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

      Great comment Steve! We can only be ourselves. And that is the secret to attraction!

  7. Christine Casey May 4, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    Hi Donna ~ Your message is right on! Being authentic and truly you is so empowering, and yes, we tend to get caught up in too much of what we think others want to see, that sometimes we fail to stop, reflect and take a close look at the message and image we’re projecting. As you stated, are we being authentic and showing the true “us” to the world? My uniqueness is one trait that I’m proud to display 🙂

    • Donna Merrill May 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

      Thank you Christine! I’ve know you for a long while and can honestly say that you my deal are ALWAYS unique!

  8. William Earl Amis, Jr III
    May 4, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    Donna, this is awesome! Great Job…

    I agree,we all should be transparent. If you are serious about branding yourself. Start with the basics in this business. Place a real picture of yourself. Then use your name to set a standard. More people believe your mission statement, with a visual effect. Your real name and picture shows no hidden agendas and character. When accomplishing this little step. Everyone is aware of your commitment. you stand behind your supportive words, and any products down the line. This is priceless. No one would to business with someone who is avoiding placing a visual of themselves. Would you?

    Donna, your a true mentor and visionary. I will be following your growth, as on of our great leader within our business.

    This post demonstrates your passion to expose any falseness, that is out there to damage our industry. Now, seeing your picture, and reading usable content created by you. These are steps in building a real relationships, and unlimited levels of trust. That is why it is imperative, to utilize a real picture and write as you speak. Use your imagination and life experiences, to resonate your words. You will be surprised, how many people will request for your services. Knowing that your being yourself. We all fall short of glory. It is just some of us forgive ourselves, and continue the course. Never giving up or giving in.

    Focused on others, and how better to serve them. This will enhance all trust being established.

    Donna, loving your topic so much. I look forward in the next great creation. You did a wonderful job by far…

    • Donna Merrill May 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

      William, your words are so touching. Everything you said in your comment is what I live by. When people first start, they are reluctant to use their picture, do videos, etc. But the more they DO them the easier it becomes. I admit it was a challenge in the beginning. Especially being a woman: i.e. makeup, hair, etc. But putting my business first got me over that real quickly.
      I find that getting over one’s self, and putting out your true message works. There are times I shoot a video and it is not perfect. But I am not perfect. The important thing is to always learn and constantly give it out to others.
      Thank you for your response.

  9. Donna Merrill May 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    thank you. Being authentic is the best you can be.

  10. jans May 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    I love the message you have here Donna, in this industry of working online, we do tend to put on a mask. I’d rather be myself and be authentic. It’s not easy but once you get it started I guess things will fall into place.

    Congrats to you for being an authentic you 🙂


  11. Marquita Herald
    May 3, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    This is such a great message Donna! I think it’s natural when you’re first starting out online to do things the way the “experts” do it because you see them succeeding and frankly at that point it’s hard to even know all the things you haven’t learned yet, so in a very real way that takes some of the pressure off. The good news is, if you hang in there and keep plugging away one day that little lightbulb comes on and you realize that you no longer need to be one of the sheep – that you do have something to say, and something worth listening to. It’s an awesome moment!

    • Donna Merrill May 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

      You’ve got it Marquita, We do tend to do that and then that light bulb hits. Thanks for the wise words, Donna

  12. Linnea May 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Very interesting question and right on the money. We all wear masks as we move through our day. We have one for each of the roles that we play…which makes it a bit more challenging to truly be authentic. Insincerity or superficiality is certainly sensed by the audience if even only on a subconscious level, making it all the more difficult to connect. Thanks.

    • Donna Merrill May 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

      Very true Linnea
      That’s why I did this post, to be aware that we don’t emulate our teachers. To take what we have learned and just be ourselves. That is the best attraction marketing we can do.
      blessings, Donna

  13. Julie Weishaar May 2, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    Hi Donna, I wish I could say I WAS writing on my blog but alas I can’t as it is STILL being transferred to a new host – argh! But it doesn’t mean I don’t really like this post 🙂 I love your topic. I think that so many people do not know how to be themselves – some people don’t even know themselves who they are. I have to say that I actually don’t know how to be anyone OTHER than myself. Not sure that is always a positive LOL but it is what it is. If someone doesn’t like me – then they don’t like me – period. I hear from my mother that I have always been this way. I would much rather someone be genuine and honest and tell me that they don’t like me than pretend to be my friend and talk behind my back. I saw someone’s FB post that I had to copy – it was priceless. It said “if you are close enough to talk behind my back then you are close enough to kiss my ass”. 🙂 Now as far as getting in front of a video camera – well that is a whole different story for me. I need to accept the fact that I am not 18 years old anymore, accept the crows feet, the chicken neck, the gray hairs (if I am behind in keeping up with my dye jobs) and just “do it”. Working on that one….

    • Donna Merrill May 3, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

      Julie…you are hysterical. Camera shy? Never be girl. I’m in my mid 50’s with more than crows feet. Layer up the make up and you’ll be fine. I’ve gotten to the point where sometimes I don’t even wear any. We don’t need to look like superstars, we just need to look like ourselves. Genuine is the key. As you said, you have always been yourself. YOU will project in movies and photos – not your hair makeup etc. Besides, looking at your picture, you are a very attractive woman…I really mean that! Try the 30 day video challenge.
      Every day take a video of yourself. You don’t have to post it.
      Just take it and save it on your computer. By the end of the 30 days, the camera will be your friend.
      Thanks for your awesome reply,

      • Julie Weishaar May 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

        Thanks Donna – can I be in my PJs? Uh Donna – do you really think that picture is from me sitting around working? It is from my 30th HS reunion – you know, make-up/hair/clothes etc. LOL But alas, I will try – I promise 🙂

  14. Donna Merrill May 1, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Thanks Janette,
    When I first started videos, I was so camera shy. But after a while….I said to myself “What the heck, It is ME…If no one likes it, that’s ok.” I still struggle with the self confidence thing, but I work on that all the time.
    Thanks for your comment,

  15. Janette Stoll May 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Awesome point you brought up about true authenticity. We see what the pros do and think we’ve got to do what they’re doing but in doing so we end up with the same looking blog, articles, videos etc. Great reminder for us to stop and really assess how authentic we are.

    Good stuff!


    • Donna Merrill May 3, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

      Silly isn’t it when we take a deep look at ourselves! I wanted people to take a good long look at their “inside”…their unique fingerprint to give to the world. Thanks Janette!

  16. Cheryl James May 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Hi Donna. Great topic and cool idea for a video!
    Honestly, it is easier to just be ourselves than to try and be somebody we aren’t. Sometimes I think the biggest lie that we carry around is how well or how awful things are going for us in business. I pride myself on being truly authentic, but even that little issue has come up as a problem for me at times. It seems like we are pushed into that corner whenever we are being an affiliate using someone else’s marketing materials. It helps to bolster the idea that deception is rampant in this industry. I guess that is why I have become so adamant about authenticity.

    • Donna Merrill May 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

      I know exactly how you feel Cheryl! When I use someone’s marketing as an affiliate, I usually turn it around and give myself the better edge. If I affiliate something, it has to first believe something I use myself and believe in, then, I try to recommend it.

  17. Donna Merrill April 30, 2011 at 4:54 am #

    True Bill… It applies in all aspects of life

  18. Dana Haenner April 30, 2011 at 2:34 am #


    I agree – be yourself! personality in marketing is essential. if you aren’t authentic then it’ll bleed thru!

    Have you ever listened to Dan Kennedy’s personality in copy seminar? you’d love it!!

    many blessings to you Donna

    • Donna Merrill May 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

      thank you Dana. I like the sentence you wrote: “If you aren’t authentic, then I will bleed through” Good food for thought.

  19. Bill Hartman April 30, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    WOW Donna,

    I do see a number of people that do wear a mask online. A few people don’t even use their real name. I believe being true on and off line at all times. This is the only way you can really build long lasting friendships.

  20. Donna Merrill April 30, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    Thank you Mandy,
    You are absolutely right. Sometimes we do get caught up in our role models. But we have to be aware of that and find our way.

  21. Mandy Swift April 29, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    Hi Donna, that is always the challenge for all of us – to let go of the mask and begin to reveal all of who we are, not just the contrived bits.
    Also particularly liked your comment about ’emulating a certain style that is a learned behavior from a person or persons you followed’. That is always a tough one to uncover. I guess in the beginning it is natural for us to seek out others to use as role models until we find our own unique and authentic voice. The challenge is in knowing when to let go of the safety net of the learned behaviour and fly using our own wings.
    Thought provoking post, thanks 🙂

  22. David Merrill
    April 29, 2011 at 3:53 am #

    Good reminder to strive for authenticity, Donna.

    It certainly is true that if you wear your mask too long, you run the risk of forgetting it is a mask, and mistake it for behind the real you.

    People are decidedly more attracted to authentic personalities than masked ones. And most people can sense the difference.

    Interesting post and great advice!

    • Donna Merrill April 30, 2011 at 1:17 am #

      That’s exactly on point David. How many people are stuck behind their masks?

  23. Donna Turner April 28, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    Thanks for the video and the thoughts on being yourself. That’s good advice.F or myself, I didn’t get started even using a computer till I was 50, and now that I am 60 I think I know who I am. I don’t really feel the need to hide anything.

    For younger people, sometimes the best way to learn is to emulate a role model. But your advice would suggest that a person take great care in choosing a role model – one you would be proud to be like, and who represents who you are.

    Thanks for sharing, Donna

    Donna Turner

    • Donna Merrill April 30, 2011 at 1:16 am #

      Thanks Donna!
      I agree that younger people have more of a problem with this than us gals over 50. With age comes so much wisdom. But I do know many baby-boomers that are still hung up on it. When I counsel, sometimes this is the most difficult stumbling block.

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