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The Dangers of Hiding

There are many times in our lives when we try to hide. We hide from things, emotions, other people, or even ourselves. If our self-image is inadequate, we struggle with making any progress whatsoever in our lives. Hiding is a great method of avoidance of a problem or situation that we do not want to face.

In reality, it is easy to see when people are hiding from themselves. They refuse eye contact, and do not engage. They are afraid to seek happiness. What if it does not exist, they wonder? They know that things do not feel right, but they do not know how to change it.

I am not pinpointing anyone. In fact, at one time or another in your life, you will hide. You can get by with it if no one calls you out on it, but hiding behind yourself is a translucent curtain. Others will see right through it before you do. Even worse, you will fulfill a self-prophecy that precludes you from advancing in your life. More importantly, you will reduce your chances of protecting yourself in an attack or confrontation.

If you hide from yourself when a perpetrator is getting ready to attack, you put yourself  at risk. You are the first victim that he will see in a sea of victims. You are the first target that will stand out.  If you are not prepared to face yourself, you certainly will have no comfort level in facing and fighting an assailant.

I confess. I was good at hiding in my younger years. We used to play hide and seek in the neighborhood and I remember always finding great hiding spots. On another occasion, I was sent home from a meeting earlier than expected (as a child) and had to walk a mile home in the dark. All the way home I ran or hid behind trees. I was so scared. Hiding kept me safe. In my later years, I hid by sitting in the back of class, diverting my eyes, and hoping to not be called on. Hiding is often more easy than facing the challenge.

Slowly, as an adult, I began to realize that hiding from myself was not hiding at all. Everyone could clearly see what I was doing and who I was becoming. It took until I was in my mid-twenties to really make a change. I began martial art training and forever banned myself from feeling insignificant ever again. This change improved my lifestyle, and my chances for survival in an attack due to training and mindset. I have never looked back again.

I cannot help but see the life lessons that martial arts or self-defense have to offer. I learned that when you hide from being who you really want to be, you set yourself up for failures that will later be difficult to change or overcome.  Negativity will infiltrate and take over.

Trust me, you are worthy, and you are much more deserving of a happy and good life than you realize.

The next time you are in a situation where you have the opportunity to prove yourself, show that you are a dynamic, engaged and successful person! If you are disengaged, ambivalent, or distracted, you are hiding, but only from yourself. Hiding has no value. The only thing it does is make it seem like you do not care, which in  most circumstances is not true.  In some situations, your hiding will detour your potential success to almost certain failure. It is a bitter circle.

The good news is that you can change. Every day offers you that chance. It took me years to finally like and appreciate who I was. Finally, I stopped hiding.

Now, I look people in the eye, even when it is uncomfortable. I face my own unreasonable fears with diligence. I accept that I am unique and special and never need to make unnecessary comparisons with anyone else. Even better, I have trained my mind and my body to never be a human target for those looking for weak individuals to attack.

Hiding from anything is rarely the best way to go. You have to face difficulties and obstacles head on. You need to commit to being the person you want to be. I cannot make you change. That is something you must do on your own. But, for what it is worth, I believe in you. You are worth it. If it is encouragement that you need, you know where to find me. I won’t be hiding.




The Martial Arts Woman book is now available. Purchase through my e-commerce store: or on Amazon:

This book shares the stories and insights of more than twenty-five women in the martial arts, and how they apply martial arts to their lives.

Andrea F. Harkins is a writer, motivator, life coach, martial artist, and public speaker. She was inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame in July, 2017. Her book, The Martial Arts Woman, is now available at

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