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04/08/2013 11:38 am ET

Be Yourself! Oprah On The Consequences Of Pretense (VIDEO)

Are you living a lie? Harboring a secret life? Pretending to be someone you're not? You’re not alone.

In this clip from "Oprah's Lifeclass," Oprah admits that, in the past, even she struggled with expressing her true self. Several years ago, however, she came to realize that living under any kind of pretense can have lifelong consequences. "If you in any way are... pretending to be something that you are not, you will never, ever become all that you were meant to be," she says in the clip. "It just cannot happen."

When you are able to live your truth, Oprah says, the rewards are monumental. "Being able to be myself in front of all of you has been one of the great gifts of my life. To be able to be truthful, to say whatever was going on in my life," she says.

But Oprah wasn't always so comfortable with being herself. When she started out in television news, she says, she was pretending to be Barbara Walters. "It was something as superficial as trying to sit like Barbara and cross my legs like Barbara and lean into the desk like Barbara," Oprah recalls. "Superficial, but still prohibiting me from being able to exercise the fullness of myself."

When Oprah stopped pretending to be like Barbara Walters, she says, she was able to really shine. "It was not until I was able to... break free of pretending to be an anchorwoman and pretending to be like Barbara Walters that my career started to take off," Oprah says.

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