Have you ever been the new girl? The one hiding at the back, keeping quiet? Trying to blend in as you join a new group or class. Hideous feeling isn't it? I have a particular new girl fear of standing out: I think this came from a childhood of being the new girl in numerous schools, trying very hard not to get picked on.
As a consequence I tried very hard not to offend anyone with anything; to fly under the radar at all times, to dress so I fitted in, to talk about what others wanted to talk about, to like the bands they liked. Constantly trying not to cause a ripple or offence by, (oh! the audacity!) having an opinion of my own.
Not a bad strategy for a bullied 8-year-old. But a bad one to take through to adulthood.
This strategy is outdated and dangerous. It minimises potential and makes us play small. For me I didn't even really know any more what it was I liked or hated! I could no longer hear my own voice and it look a lot of work to tune back into that and to know that I was okay, just as I was.
How beautiful is this quote?
"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." - Marianne Williamson
Living up to our own potential is our responsibility. It is our real work in the world. It is not, contrary to popular belief, about playing small so we don't offend anyone else.
A small, safe life does not serve you or mean you are using all the unique gifts you have. Yes you. I am talking to you! You are fabulous and inspirational and talented, unique and special.
Yes you are.
Hiding your light under a bushel does not serve you or the world. Putting everyone else before yourself does not serve you or the world.
Not speaking up about what matters to you does not serve you or the world. Pleasing everyone does not serve you or the world.
You have something special to share. Yes you. You matter. Your perspective is uniquely yours.
Not realising your potential does not serve you or the world. Playing small does not serve you or the world. Allow yourself to shine!
Celebrate your uniqueness. Celebrate that not everyone approves. Celebrate that you have a point of view. Celebrate your delectable you-ness. You rock. Go out and live your delicious unique life today.
Louise is a life coach, author and corporate escapee. Visit louisethompson.com for more.