“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;
the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
What this quote means to entrepreneurs:
On my journey to Owning my Awesome (and I’m not saying I’m a 100% there yet), I discovered that I was afraid of my light. I was afraid of my strength. I was afraid to stand up and let the world see my awesome. And so I played small … even while I was thinking big.
Can you relate?
There are so many reasons we shrink from our own light … our gift to give to the world:
- We don’t want to make others feel bad by being better than they are
- We don’t want to hurt our family by excelling beyond their accomplishments
- We had experiences that made us feel bad about being ourselves
I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones I’ve either heard from others or experienced first hand.
But answer me this: Why would you be given your unique gifts if you weren’t meant to share them with the world?
For example, let’s say you are an excellent shot-putter and your friend is an excellent long distance runner. How does being the best shot-putter hurt your friend?
It doesn’t. Shining your light, owning your awesome has no deleterious affect on the light or awesome of another. And, if your friend feels bad because you are excelling at something, then he or she is no friend at all. You owning your brilliance is an inspiration for others to own theirs as well.
The same goes for family. Good parents and siblings are happy for you to excel at what you’re good at. Just because you’ve gone farther does not mean they are losers or some how diminished. It simply means their awesome is different than yours. Let them own theirs while you own yours.
When I was little, I had a friend tell me that I was too intense, that how I expressed my emotions was overpowering and pushing others away. So, I dialed myself back and didn’t let people get to know the real me. This, of course, was harder than it sounds … so eventually people got to see the real me. And guess what? Some people liked me better for it!
What I learned was this: Not everyone is meant to be one of my peeps. And that’s OK. If you can’t love me as I am, I bless you and let you go on your merry way, knowing that you will find someone better suited to your friendship needs. And I? I will find others who are just as expressive and intense as I am.
That’s what Owning Your Awesome is all about. It is about getting to know and love who you really are and confidently letting that brilliance out into the world. It is about being authentically you, so you can attract the right people and circumstances that empower you to live your purpose.
Don’t be afraid of the light. It is the key to setting you free.
Now It’s Your Turn:
Do you agree with my interpretation of today’s quote? Why or why not? Have you shrunk from your light and then learned your mistake? How did that happen for you? Please share your thoughts, experiences and sage wisdom in a comment below.