The Blog

Easy Test to Discover Who Your True Friends Are

March 24, 2023

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It took me a long time to find real friends.

The funny thing is I thought I had real friends, but it turns out it was all extremely surface-level.

I didn’t even know how good friendship could get until I figured out this concept I’m going to break down for you today.

So here’s how to know if you have real friends. If you can get to the fourth level of this concept, you probably have real friends.

  1. The Professional Self 🤵

The first layer to us is our professional self. This is the kind of person that you present when you first meet someone, when you’re at work, or even when you’re first starting to use social media.

You’re not being yourself, you’re usually being who the internet or who those people want you to be.


🤵 professional self:

My friend and I met at the dog park where we only really shared our “professional” selves. We weren’t necessarily professional, but we were sharing the best parts of ourselves.

🗣️ conversations: the weather, silly things the dogs were doing, what we ate for lunch, etc.

  1. Trustworthy Mask 🎭

Beneath that layer is our trustworthy mask. It’s that part of us that knows we need to share a little bit more and show some imperfections to seem relatable and trustworthy, but we’re not sharing everything.

We’re being authentic, a little bit, and we are sharing our problems, a little bit, as we get to know someone.

Most people operate their friendships at this level. So much so that this level of friendship can feel like REAL friendship.


🎭 trustworthy mask: my friend and I started walking our dogs together every day and getting closer. we were sharing just enough problems that we could seem relatable, but never got deep enough to really feel seen or heard by the other person

🗣️ conversations: clients we were annoyed with, theories on the way the world works, dreams we had for the future, things we wanted to do in our businesses, surface-level problems in our businesses (problems with teams, scaling, clients, marketing, etc)

The trustworthy mask is tricky because it seems authentic, but something is missing.

The hardest part is sometimes you know you’re not sharing everything, but other times you might have your guard up so high you think you’re getting deep when you’re really not.

Unfortunately, even most masterminds and coaching programs only get down to the trustworthy mask and solve surface-level problems instead of the deep-rooted issues that people are facing.

Sad because it’s usually the deep-rooted issue that’s the key to unlocking success everywhere else.

  1. Shadow 🖤

To get to the root of your problems, who you truly are, and to feel truly seen, you have to move through your shadow.

Your shadow prevents you from being your true authentic self in your friendships and relationships.

Your shadow is all the shame you feel around who you are – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

It’s the part of yourself that you don’t want people to find out about.

Think: “I don’t want my friends know __ about me.”

This isn’t just with friends, this is also on social media. Most people only show their trustworthy mask to people online because they are either ashamed of how they really think and feel or it’s buried so deep down that they don’t know who they really are or what they aren’t sharing.


🖤 shadow:

my friend and i would never get close until I could own the fact that…

I wasn’t a perfect business owner.

I didn’t have it all together.

I was jealous of people who could run their business without a strategy.

I hated how much I was working.

I was struggling to find a schedule, workout routine, and life I liked.

And much more.

  1. True Self, True Friendship

If you can get below that shadow and you can share that shadow with your friend, that’s when you get true friendship.

The goal is to be your true authentic self, including all the parts of you that are messy, embarrassing, or even vulnerable.

That’s true friendship.

We move from this place of being “relatable” because we are sharing just enough of our problems for someone to trust us…

to deeply integrating ourselves, feeling fully supported, and feeling fully seen.


true self:

once i owned those parts of myself I could take off my mask and be honest and vulnerable about every piece of my life, knowing I had someone who was ready to listen and be their true self with me.

🗣️ conversations: limiting beliefs we are facing, day to day struggles like not knowing what to say or not knowing what to do, asking for help when we don’t have the answers, telling each other what we are learning every week, things we were embarrassed about, things we’ve struggled with in the past and never told anyone about…

aka we go really deep and aren’t afraid to share any struggle we are going through.

You have real friends if you can get to that layer, but most of us never get to that layer.

Especially if you’re an online business owner.

It took 7 months of having this REAL friendship for my friend and I to realize this isn’t normal and it should be.

Most women go through life with surface-level friendships that come and go quickly.

They conceal their true challenges and their authentic self out of fear of being judged.

And, they even let their fear of comparison and envy (aka their shadow) push people away.

Not anymore. We deserve better.

My friend and I built the Living Adventures Collective (LAC) so high-achieving, successful entrepreneurs could finally find REAL friends.

Not just ones who were ready to listen to surface-level problems like, what should I sell next month or how can I create better content.

But friends who are all dropping the mask and turning their shadows into gold so they can learn and support each other as they grow.

We are getting deep into who you REALLY are, what you REALLY want life and business to look like, and what’s been keeping you stuck in this loop of massive success, followed by way too much dread.

Click here to apply to join us and a community of REAL friends hand-selected to reveal their true selves and grow WITH you.



P.S. A new episode of the podcast just dropped and we are revealing 5 Signs You Don’t Actually Think You’re Important 👀 Tune in here.

Hi, I'm Ashley!

Certified Life and Business Coach helping women around the world discover their intuition, become microcelebrities, and build a business they love.







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