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Let Your Light Shine

July 19, 2012

“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 most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?… 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.”

This excerpt is from an inspiring quote by Marianne Williamson is from her book, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3 (Pg. 190-191). [1]

I love this quote! And over my career when I have run into a tough patch as a leader, I have had to ask myself what holds me back?  I realize that I have and do, from time to time, get in my own way.  With effort and, often pain, I have found ways to move forward.  The list below highlights ways I have found to help me ‘let my light shine’.  The ideas can be considered independently, or can be applied as a more comprehensive package if you are up for it.  I offer these methods for your consideration, they are not a prescription:

  • Clarify Purpose & Vision – articulate your vision and milestones that will confirm positive progress to your vision… we all serve a purpose bigger than our self interest, what is yours?
  • Remove Self-Doubt – open yourself to your strengths, listen to the positive affirmation others provide to you; build an evidence base (use it as positive self-talk) that replaces your self-doubt with pride in what you have accomplished thus far and confidence in what you can achieve going forward; celebrate your strengths!
  • Close Competence Gaps – invest in yourself, it could be one of the best investments you can make during this time of volatility; open yourself to the risk of failure, albeit the risk runs parallel with striving to achieve a higher level of functioning / performance.  Achievement is worth the risk.
  • Recharge Your Batteries – get clear on what fuels your passion…; zone in on what feeds your complacency or apathy, change your diet – Shift to ONLY ingredients that fuel your passion.
  • Resolve Competing Priorities – focus on what’s most important to you in the context of your life’s purpose, vision and passion; set less important, yet time consuming activities aside, say NO to open your days, weeks, months, years to your most important pursuits.
  • Confront Destructive Attitudes & Behaviors – denial or blind-spots regarding things we do that dissipate our energy, erode our effectiveness can emerge; solicit feedback from those you trust to be honest in a caring way about what they observe, build resolve to change these patterns so that you are revitalized – bring your best to what you do each day!
  • Share your Change Goals – invite feed-forward (see Marshall Goldsmith) from those you trust to be open and honest with you.  Provide them permission to share observations about positive changes they see in you, and what you can do more of to shape the life you aspire for.
  • Stay open to possibilities – the next compelling opportunity or exciting life experience is not always planned, often in life it emerges when least expected, at times when the last thing you were ‘planning’ was a change in direction – will you explore the possibility, capture the opportunity?

It has been re-energizing for me to reflect on these ideas again.  I hope you find value in one or more of these considerations.  Here’s to letting our light shine!

Greg F.


[1] http://skdesigns.com/internet/articles/quotes/williamson/our_deepest_fear/

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