Let Your True Self Shine

True Story.

I work on a committee that recognizes exceptional volunteers in my community. Every year we select outstanding candidates, host a significant celebratory event, and present awards.

Last year, a very deserving woman refused to accept the award for which she’d been nominated.

Why? Because she didn’t feel comfortable being recognized in a way that set her apart from her colleagues.

I couldn’t change her mind.

The awards ceremony went on without her.

And I felt sad for her and for all of us women, who’ve ever felt like we should play it small instead of shining our brilliant light in the world.

We all do it.

As women, we often dim our light to fit into a mould that’s been created for us. We try not to appear too loud, too self-confident, or too ambitious. We don’t want to ask for too much or rock the boat, to feel like we’re acceptable, worthy, and we belong.

It can be soul-crushing.

The thing is, when we dim our light, we foster conditions for self-doubt, self-criticism, and low self-esteem. We prevent ourselves from pursuing our dreams, cultivating our talents, and utilizing our knowledge, wisdom, and experience.

We deny how amazing we are.

Tapping into your light is a game-changer.

When you learn to tap into your light, the opposite happens. You develop self-confidence, find your voice, and free yourself from the expectations of others. You understand your value and contributions.

You radiate a dazzling brilliance that is yours alone.

It’s not easy.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop dimming my light in every situation I find myself in. Deep-rooted patterns take time to unlearn. But when I find myself playing small, I’m going to try hard to let my true self shine. Because one thing I’ve learned from a woman who refused to accept an award is that I don’t want to live my life in the shadows.

Have you ever dimmed your light? Let me know about your experience in the comments below.

You’re wonderful.

Mary Lou