Let The Real You Shine Through
As they were growing up, Grace's friend Hallie put her down at every opportunity, undermined her successes, and accused Grace of "Feeling she was better than everyone else." To try to reduce Hallie's resentment, Grace stopped sharing the goals she achieved and her accomplishments.
In essence, she hid her authenticity to make Hallie feel less threatened. It didn't work. Hallie could still see Grace's light, and did her best to extinguish it. Nothing Grace did could have made her friend feel better about herself or eliminate her attacks.
When you're authentic and let your inner light shine, it's going to make some people uncomfortable. They're insecure within themselves and they resent that you aren't insecure, too. Creative and sensitive people pick up on that and try to deflect or reduce it by minimizing their achievements or becoming invisible.
Understand that nothing that you do, or don't do, is going to remedy their anxiety. It's an issue within them that they've focused onto you. You're not responsible for their pain, for healing it, for making them feel comfortable with themselves or with you. There's no reason for you to cater to their insecurities to try to make them treat you better.
When you close off your light, you do so out of fear. You're judging yourself by old standards that don't mean anything anymore. As a result, you condemn yourself and hide to avoid retribution. You're simply reacting to old messages that have been installed in your mind. Your fear comes from filtering your current situation through outgrown situations from the past.
By not breaking free from your fear, you're telling yourself that you don't feel confident in handling the challenges of your life. However, those ideas came from a time and place that's long gone. You no longer have to abandon yourself to stay safe. Now you can accept your power and authority.
If you shut yourself down by hiding your light, you block the flow of good to you, as well as reduce the availability of your inner resources and creativity. You're more concerned with your anxiety than you are with what's going on with the other person. When you close yourself off, you've prejudged how others are going to perceive you. Don't make their decision for them. Trust in yourself, and you might be surprised at how you're accepted.
The best thing you can do for yourself, and for everyone else, is to be at ease with yourself and don't try to hide your light. Be present with the people you're with, accepting them for who they are. They may not be able to return the acceptance, but that's their problem. When you let your light out into the world, you build your self-esteem. It shows that you value, or esteem, yourself, your opinions, talents and abilities.
When you are authentic, you encourage people who are timid to be more authentic, too. Marianne Williamson in "A Return to Love" says, "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." When you're courageous and choose to be yourself, you're giving others the message that it's okay to be free, too.
When Grace's self-esteem grew and she began to stand up to Hallie, the friendship ended. Grace realized that Hallie hadn't been a friend for a long time. Although sad, Grace was relieved that she no longer had to keep herself hidden away. Allowing yourself to be authentic means that those who can't accept you will move on to find others they can bully.
It's safe for you to be authentic now. You're in a different place in your life, and have accumulated knowledge, wisdom and resources that you didn't have when you were younger. When you let your light out, you give others the opportunity to appreciate you and you're more open to be able to appreciate them. You're also a model for others to be authentic. As you honor yourself in this way, you're better able to access your creativity. It allows you to be more successful in every area of your life.
Copyright © 2009-2017 Linda Ann Stewart
As a speaker, personal and professional development coach, and hypnotherapist, Linda-Ann Stewart helps business and professional women who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to focus, prioritize and break through so they build more business and create a consistent income. Sign up for her FREE guide, "Take Control of Your Day," at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/guide-takecontrol.html.You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.
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