I am a HUGE fan of Gay Hendricks. As I wrote on this page where I share my favorite supplies and books, I read his book Conscious Living in college and it has fully informed my views on life, partnership, vulnerability, and more. I have read and re-read it. It’s a book that speaks my language and has changed my life. Highly recommended.
Recently, I bought his book, The Big Leap, and again, another life changer. This particular passage about the hidden barriers we have when it comes to shining brightly in our lives stopped me in my tracks:
Hidden Barrier No. 1: Feeling Fundamentally Flawed.
The belief that one is fundamentally flawed in some way is an immense barrier to optimal experience. And it brings with it a related fear: If you did make a commitment to fully using your unique gifts, you might fail. This belief tells you to play it safe and stay small. That way, if you fail, at least you fail small.
Hidden Barrier No. 2: Disloyalty and Abandonment.
This barrier is the feeling that I cannot expand to my full success because it would cause me to end up all alone, be disloyal to my roots and leave behind people from my past.
Hidden Barrier No. 3: Believing That More Success Makes You a Bigger Burden.
This barrier is the feeling that I cannot achieve my highest potential because I’d be an even bigger burden than I am now.
Hidden Barrier No. 4: The Crime of Outshining.
The unconscious mantra of the outshining barrier goes like this: I must not achieve my full success, because if I did I would outshine someone and make him or her look or feel bad. This barrier is very common among gifted and talented children. They get a lot of their parents’ attention, but they also get a strong subliminal message: Don’t shine too much, or you’ll make others feel bad or look bad. One unconscious solution that gifted children devise is to turn down the volume on their genius so others don’t feel threatened by it. The other solution is to continue to shine brightly but turn down the volume on their enjoyment of it.
Good stuff, right?
This particular sentence in No 4 hit home for me (big time):
The other solution is to continue to shine brightly but turn down the volume on their enjoyment of it.
Ah yes, this sounds familiar. This is my struggle. As I made my way into the creative life, I learned to shine. I also believe that when we allow ourselves to shine, we give others permission to do the same. What I’m really working on these days, thanks to Mr. Hendricks, is not turning down the volume on my enjoying it. Major aha. It made me think of the idea that until we really enjoy it, then we haven’t fully received the gift. And if we haven’t fully received the gift, then we’re not filling our well to then give and radiate out to our families and into our work in the world. And perhaps one of the reasons we’re not fully enjoying/receiving the gift is because there is a sense of undeserving/shame attached to it. Not deserving = can’t enjoy it. If we think we’re deserving, then full permission to enjoy. So yes, I’m working on this. Something tells me it’s critical in order to take the next big leap. Thank you, Mr. Hendricks. You have been a huge guide for me. So thankful!