Playing Small Serves No One

This is a topic I feel wildly passionate about. In all the courses/programs I’ve trained and through all the people I’ve met, I’ve found this to be a unifying bond among us. I’d venture to say, especially among women. We just want to be affirmed. Validated. OK. I have seen this excerpt before, but it keeps showing up…which I take as a sign. A sign for me in my life and a sign that I ought to share it with you. In fact, 3 beautiful ladies I visited with just today could stand to read it.

Our Deepest Fear

by Marianne Williamson

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, handsome, talented and 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 within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

OK, let your light shine, you’re special and unique…blah, blah, blah. Well, for me, this little diddy is about more than just me and my “specialness”. I’m a mom. Therefore, it’s my job to show my kids that they have a unique set of gifts. It’s also my job to support them in becoming the best versions of themselves. The funny thing about kids is that they don’t do what we say. They do what we do. If you believe being a solid role model for our kids is the key to molding successful individuals, you have no choice but to shine on. Playing small serves no one.

I also find this particularly challenging in my small community. It’s like I don’t want to be too big and make others feel uncomfortable around me. (And seriously, I’m over 6 feet tall with heels on, so I really don’t have a choice in the matter.) But I’ve come to realize that denying a significant part of myself to make others feel OK doesn’t feel OK to me. And it shouldn’t to you either. I love the idea of giving others permission, but it must start with me.

I have no desire to arrive a the end of my life only to say, “Yep. That was safe.”

Playing big means we’re stepping up to the challenge to be bold, to do what’s unconventional and to embrace who we are.

Do you love yourself enough to let your light shine?

What are you going to do today to play big??

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