As I was coming home from work on the subway, I read a section about how we have limiting beliefs about all sorts of things: beliefs that hold us back from our true potential, that keep us from taking The Big Leap into our “zone of genius,” which is where we’re meant to live.
One of the beliefs the author mentions has to do with not allowing one’s light to shine too brightly. This is a message I received constantly from my parents.
For example, when I was in high school, my English teacher encouraged me to enter a poem in a regional poetry contest. It was sort of a big deal, so I thought, Why not?
When the awards were going to be announced, the poetry judges called me and said that I had placed in the contest, and I needed to be there to accept an award. They didn’t tell me what I’d earned, but they said it was important that I be there.
Well, I had a part-time job, and no one would trade shifts with me. So the judges asked if my parents could come to the ceremony in my place.
So I went to work, trying not to be upset that I couldn’t be there to accept whatever award they were going to give me.
When I got home, my parents were there, and they told me what happened. They said, “The judges kept announcing honorable mentions, and then third place, and your name hadn’t been called. We thought they had made a mistake. Surely Lucy couldn’t have placed higher than third, right? This was a BIG contest.
“And then they called second place, and still, your name hadn’t been called.
“Finally, they announced the first place winner, and it was you! We couldn’t believe it! Look at this huge trophy, with your name on it!”
See what I mean? My parents didn’t believe that I was capable of writing a poem that could win a big regional prize. They made it seem like some sort of miracle, and that it really was a shock that my light could shine so brightly: brighter than anyone else’s that day.
I am changing that belief. Dumping it. For good. Right now.
How about you?