Let Your Light Shine. . .
Last Friday, I talked about introversion as an obstacle to business success. Or so folks say. I also said that sometimes, it’s cool to go against the flow. To be experienced as cool and aloof when others are outgoing and gregarious.
How many times that supposed conventional wisdom doesn’t fit for us. . . for no other reason than we are not “conventional” women!
This past week I attended a reporting session for a community-based project of which I have been a participant in the past. I went with the usual trepidation about being with folks with whom I’m not always comfortable. I also made a silent vow to ‘self’ that self would remain quiet; listen and assess.
Well the Lord had other plans for me. No sooner than the reporting session began than I raised my hand to share a very pertinent point everyone connected with one aspect of the program needed to consider.
And that wasn’t the only time my hand went up. In fact, I gave up raising my hand; and just reported out one observation after another. Soon the leader of the session (from a prominent Midwestern university) was referencing me by name, using my comments as basis for what he wanted to make known to the assembled group.
My resolve to travel in my cozy cocoon and remain there quietly observing the process lasted less than 30 minutes into the gathering. I was chatty Linda throughout without a qualm to show.
So What Happened?
I was in my element! That’s what happened.
I was in a group setting talking COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT about which I’m passionate. And knowledgeable. But the ‘element’ was less about development and passion; and everything to do with knowledge and a particular world view that fits me like a glove!
I felt confident in what I’ve come to know about planning; development and how things work together. My ‘element’ was how I view the world – as a “Gestalt”. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts! I saw the whole; the parts and how it all fit together. Where the overlaps existed and what needed to be done to get from point “A” to “B, C & D”!
I lost a sense of self in the light of what I know that I know that I know. And what I know that I know that I know includes an ever deepening discernment that comes only from a relationship with the Lord and our Heavenly PAPA!
Ah Ha ~ That’s It!
Yes and no.”Yes” that was ‘it’ at the community event. “No” ‘it’ is not me when asked to step out of my cocoon and be or do something I experience as “foreign”. Something about which I have little to no experience history from which to draw knowledge, confidence and wisdom.
You might say that’s true for everyone. And you might be right. But I find business women everywhere who can “fake it until they make it”. I also find women who live in the shadow of other’s light because they fear letting their own light guide the way!
In fact, they don’t think they have any light to share! Let alone take the lead guiding others to truth and wisdom.
Give It Up!
A client once said to me that she didn’t let her light shine because she didn’t want others to think she’s a “know-it-all”. A brilliant knowledgeable woman with a wealth of experience and wisdom hiding her light for fear – fear that others would think her “uppity” or “a show off”; or some other faulty assumption she made to hide simple fear – plain and simple!.
And she was not alone in making such a decision about the best place for her to be in the world in which she resides. Too many women with richness to share hide their lights for the same reason. . . fear. Fear of something or about something!
Here’s my thought on the matter: GIVE IT UP! Give up whatever it is that’s keeping you from sharing your light with others.
- DIG DEEP into your self knowledge and identify “why” you choose to hide the light of who you are.
- START SMALL – share the light of who you are; what you know and the wisdom you’ve gained with a small group of friends and/or business acquaintances you trust to treat you respectfully for doing so.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE – Choose something simple to respond to. Or start a simple conversation about something which you have a comfortable knowledge or wisdom.
- ASK FOR HELP – Ask PAPA GOD for discernment. To provide Holy Spirit guidance when the audience, timing and situation is right for doing so.
- SHARE – Take courage and share with others that you are stepping out in faith to be a guiding light for others in areas that you have experience, knowledge and wisdom. Ask for their support as you do.
- CELEBRATE – Celebrate small beginnings and simple successes.
It Really Is ‘Cool’!
Yes it is. It’s cool to step out of our comfort zones; trust PAPA GOD, ourselves – and others as we let the light of who we are shine for others to see. They will think it cool when your light guides their path to do so as well!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
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