Dimming Your Light

When you dim your presence, people can’t find you – because you’re not truly being yourself!

All of us have a light within us that is unique and special. We each have something to contribute that no one else on the planet could do in the same way. When we don’t shine our light by doing that which is in our hearts, such as:

  • reaching out and touching someone with our words,
  • pursuing what makes us happy,
  • writing that letter, article, or book,
  • working on a campaign,
  • calling a friend,
  • or a million other examples,

we dim ourselves by becoming less than we can be.

Joseph Campbell talked about “following your bliss“. When we do that, we are happier for it. And when we’re happy, that joy spills out onto others. I’m sure we have all seen examples of people who didn’t pursue their dreams for various reasons; they often end up miserable and bitter.

There are many roadblocks to shining our lights and all of them fall somehow under the heading of fear.

  • Fear of other people and what they will do to us keeps us in survival mode. We can’t get to what would make us feel fully alive when we have to focus on just staying alive.
  • Fear can become so deeply engrained, we become identified with its whisperings about our self-worth. Even when an abuser’s power over us is gone, the fear may continue, tamping down our ability to thrive.
  • Fear is more present for some because they have an anxious temperament. This leads to focusing on “what if . . .” rather than on what we want. Paralysis results, making it difficult to achieve goals.
  • Fear of what others will think heads off many dreams before they have a chance to soar.
  • Fear that what we have to offer isn’t good enough buries our dreams before they have a chance to take off.

This last one is perhaps the biggest roadblock of all. Stop judging yourself so harshly and substitute encouragement. After all, what really is lost if we don’t accomplish exactly what we set out to do? Each step in our path leads to new learning and new possibilities. The person who discovered penicillin didn’t set out to do so; it was a mistake!

I heard recently that women generally think they have to be 100% qualified to do a job, whereas men think 60% qualified is good enough to try for. If you are one of the ones who hold yourself back if you don’t think you are 100% ready, ask yourself: “when will I think I’m ready?” Too often the answer is never, because there is always some part of us that believes we’re never “perfect” enough.

Whatever kind of fear has inhibited you, uprooting it is a worthy endeavor.

Fear keeps us from being fully present to ourselves. That interferes with our ability to know what we want and to then put it into action.




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