Just as it’s sometimes challenging for me to receive things from other people it can also be pretty difficult to say out loud that I am good at something. Or let’s make that: great at something. Quite some parameters of course play a role in this, let’s take culture for example. If I generalize (a lot), american people for example seem to be better at openly voicing their strengths compared to swedish people. Gender is also something to be mentioned. For example I recently heard the actress Reese Witherspoon saying that she is tired of holding herself back as a woman. She mentioned how basketball player LeBron James talks about himself and joked that she from now on will wear her Emmy as a necklace. Love that!
At a previous job, the part of me that holds myself back became particularly obvious. For the first time in my career I chose not to engage in this part of the business game that is about tactically putting yourself and your accomplishments forward on a regular basis. I’m sure many of you who work in business know what I mean. I am grateful for the years I spent at this job because it has taught me a lot about myself in this particular environment.
I realize however that I am not doing anyone a favor by standing in the shadow. The words of the poem Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson come to mind:
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?
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine.
As children do.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
I find it beautiful and inspiring to see other people shine and live according to their true nature. Take Oprah Winfrey for example when she spoke at the 2018 Golden Globes. What beautiful words and such a powerful delivery! Or how about that teacher at school who just seemed to be born for teaching and always managed to inspire and make learning fun? Or someone painting, playing sports or a musical instrument?
A great experience in my life was to stand in front of a group of people and talk about my truth. To stand in my own light, voice my truth and truly own my power in front of other people felt liberating. Almost a bit like I was on fire! Instead of keeping silent, there really is something incredibly powerful about letting words about one’s truth come out of one’s mouth. Or writing about it, as I am doing with this blog. Which, by the way, I believe is one of my talents…and therefore something I think I’m pretty great at! *smileyface*
If you are interested, you can watch Oprah’s speech at the 2018 Golden Globes
Photo: Guido Jansen – unsplash.com