“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 scares us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? 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 are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically LIBERATES OTHERS.
— Marianne Williamson
Fear is one of the main reasons we “play small”. We are afraid of what others will think, we are afraid we wont be good enough to accomplish our goals. When we can’t put all the pieces together from the get-go and can’t see the end in sight, we get nervous.
Peer Pressure, the desire to conform, is another big reason people often ‘play small’. I speak to a number of youth and high school groups on the topics of life skills, career choices, etc. I’ve had young ladies come up to me after my workshops/lectures and express that parents, family members and friends discourage them from their goals essentially because they perceive them to be ‘too lofty’. I encourage these ladies to be careful of taking advice from ‘any ole’ body’ because people too weak to follow their own dreams will often find a way to discourage yours. They may not understand the gift God has placed in your heart because God gave the insight to YOU, not them! Those not privy to the information will not understand it. Most of the visions that God has ever placed in my heart all started out sounding really crazy because of how GRAND they were! But, I serve an Extraordinary God! He doesn’t do anything half-way or pint-sized! What’s even more awesome is that when my dreams/visions manifested, they turned out much greater than I could have ever imagined and God gets the glory for it!
Be aware that peer pressure is not limited to school age children and youth. Adults experience it as well and sometimes to a much greater degree. I’ve talked with adults who are apprehensive about being proactive in the workplace for fear of being perceived as ‘too aggressive’. I’ve known women who “dumb-down” when dating men because they don’t want to “scare” men off. That’s crazy. What happens when the flirtation phase of meeting someone starts to fade and the individuals’ true character emerges? A man who can’t recognize or appreciate a woman who is using her gifts to Glorify God is not a man I want to be in a relationship with….Period!
What purpose does an unopened gift serve? Absolutely NOTHING! The giver of the gift is not pleased, the recipient of the gift can never experience the joy that comes from it and the gift itself goes to waste and never gets to shine. The people who feel insecure by your gift will feel insecure whether you use it or not because………. that’s just how insecure people are and you can’t change that. You were not born to make God look like an “ok” God that crates mediocre people. Not at all! God creates us to be wonderful, excellent manifestations of His love and to use the gifts He has given us!. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if working for God and not for man.” Never play small to satisfy the insecurities of others. I serve a God who is much BIGGER and BETTER than that! Those who are intent on feeling insecure while I do the work God has set out for me to do, can have a seat, sit back and watch me work!
What steps can you take, starting today, to live life in a more bold and intentional way???
— Dr. April