[dropcap]D[/dropcap]o you ever feel embarrassed when someone pays you a compliment? Perhaps the response “Oh no I’m not *that* good (insert name of talented friend) is much better than me” trips all too readily off the tongue. Or maybe your in-built modesty forces you to reply with “Well I’ve got a long way to go but I’m trying”.
I’m not sure whether it’s because we are terribly British or due to a crippling fear of arrogance, but I am certain I’m not the only one who shrinks back when compliments come my way. A short while ago, I came across a snippet from Marianne Williamson’s bestselling self-help book ‘A Return to Love‘ and it stopped me in my tracks…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates other.”
So what is it that stops us from showing up, from trying our hardest, from using our God-given talents to suggest that we might possibly be good at something? This extract explains so brilliantly all of the things which stop me from being fully who I am created to be:
- fear of looking like a ‘show off’
- not wanting others to feel inadequate
- fear of failure – what if I ‘come out’ and then I’m not that good?
- knowing that there are others out there who are better than me.
You get the picture.
When I first started writing, I didn’t want to tell anyone about it; I didn’t even tell my husband I had started a blog until I was one week in! I have pondered for so long as to why I squirm with embarrassment when someone suddenly announces that they read my blog. Is it because I don’t like them knowing my business? Well if it is, then a blog probably isn’t a good hobby for me! I know now that it is all of the reasons above that were at the root of my hiding and it’s something that I still struggle with.
Marianne’s words remind me to stand tall, that for many reasons the world is missing out if I let comparison, inadequacy, embarrassment or fear, win. Actually by putting myself out there with confidence, I am encouraging others to stand tall too.
Quite enlightening isn’t it?
I think that I need to read this every day until it sinks in. Maybe you do too. Are you shrinking back when you should be shining? We all have a purpose, something to offer the world and in case you were wondering…it is our time to shine.