“False humility is a crime. Not to be proud of your own achievements is a crime. Not to celebrate your gifts is a crime. To pretend not to know, to remain needy, to become dependent on the strength, belief and esteem of others is a crime!”- Robbi Mack
I learnt at a young age not to be a ‘show-off’ if you wanted to be part of the ‘in-crowd’. The snubs I got when I showed aptitude and natural talent at gymnastics, music, art; the exclusion I received when I was voted School Captain after just one year at a new school. So I began at an early impressionable young age not to fulfil my potential - right back then in my primary school years; lower grades, non-participation in the school orchestra, no competing in the gym squad, dropping out of art. I underplayed what I could do all for my desperate search for acceptance, to fit in and ‘belong’. The cruelty of children can scar you for life and set up a pattern to down play your talents and ability into your adult life – if you let it.
For many of my early adult years I thought people would like and accept me more if I knew less, if I showed myself to be less than them, then I would be acceptable to them. I retreated as a result of people feeling it was their job to ‘pull me down a peg or two’, young friends ‘putting me in my place’ when they believed I was ‘shining too much’. This set up a pattern that lasted well into my adult years where I relinquished my potential so many times to so many people. I admit I have played small, weak and needy. I often chose strong, confident people to be near me and placed them above me as the authority of my life to tell me what I could do. Bottom line: playing small does not serve anyone.
How many of us have done this? How many of us have gone through our lives deliberately playing small, placing ourselves less than others as opposed to equal to others for fear of being either criticised or rejected. How many of us have not pursued our passion our way because it wasn’t the same as everybody else and we didn’t want to stand out in the crowd because we were different or because we had natural talent?
When you live like that for a long time eventually you begin to believe the lie that you’ve created through fear, the belief that you are ‘not enough’. I’ve believed that lie for so long, I’ve believed the lie I created that I was not good enough and robbed myself of my own potential as a result.
The best thing about getting older is the wisdom that comes from doing the inner work, from challenging old beliefs, from making different choices. The day you realise and decide to claim your own worth, your own value; your own ‘enough-ness’ is a bright, joyful day!! You stop worrying about what other people think of you, you stop worrying if you’re running your business the ‘right way’, you stop getting fixated on fitting in and you step into being brave enough to risk success – your way.
Are you playing small and denying the world your light? Own your gifts, your experiences, your history, allow yourself to be seen and heard for who you truly are!
“Many of us squander precious natural resources - time, creative energy, emotion - comparing the size of our talents to those of others. It hurts like hell when the world won’t invest in you... but it’s excruciating, almost more than you can bear, when you don’t believe and invest in yourself!” – Sarah Ban Breathnach