It’s February already, and something I find myself doing every February is taking a good hard look at my heart and examining whether or not I’m acting in accordance to my true beliefs and feelings.

Morgana Bailey, a human resources activist who works to see diversity realised in the workplace, has been hiding her true self for 16 years. In this brave TED talk, she utters four words that might not seem like a big deal to some, but to her have been paralyzing.

Why speak up? Because she’s realized that her silence has personal, professional and societal consequences. In front of an audience of her co-workers, she reflects on what it means to fear the judgment of others, and how it makes us judge ourselves.

Hiding is a progressive habit,” Morgana explains, “and once you start hiding, it becomes harder and harder to step forward and speak out.”

I think we are all guilty of hiding parts of ourselves based on with whom we are socialising to one degree or another. There are very few people among us who are not afraid of social stigmas, and who are not afraid of being judged by society.

Even if your secret isn’t as big as Morgana’s, I encourage you to spend some time after watching this TED Talk reflecting on what you’re hiding about yourself, why you’re hiding it, and whether or not hiding is actually supportive of your long term well-being.