Have you ever been to one of those workshops that’s largely – if not exclusively – female?
What does that tell you?
I was at one of those workshops the other weekend. It was one of those workshops about getting your gifts out there, to the largest number of people. And guess what?
It was 100% female.
It was 100% made up of women who wanted to get their message out there. Extraordinary women with extraordinary stories, and extraordinary gifts and talents.
And you know what?
They’d spent years, and years, not daring to put themselves out there.
They didn't know how to share what made them extraordinary. In fact, when they talked about their uniqueness they did it in such a dull way that it was really easy to turn off.
Do you know what I'm saying?
They were talking about the nuts and bolts of what they did. They were using lots and lots of abstract words and phrases – like 'spiritual teacher' and 'feminine energy' and 'inner resources' and 'empowerment' and 'miracles'.
All buzz words right?
But not great at conveying the What's In It For Me factor?
When it comes down to it, that's what we're all looking for, isn't it? What do I get out of putting my trust in you, rather than the next person? What is really in it for me?
Yet, being women this talented bunch were visibly uncomfortable with the concept of sharing what they – as unique and special individuals – had to offer.
They were even more uncomfortable with uncomfortable with sharing the gift of who they are.
That's women for you.
We do it in every area of our lives, don't we?
We play so much smaller than we truly are.
We do it in relationships where we say: “I don't expect you to love me for my gifts, and uniqueness, my quirks and frailties. I want you to love me – and I'm prepared to work to make you love me – by being as nice, and modest, and self-effacing as I possibly can be.”
And we do it in the areas we are most passionate about; in the areas of our dreams and aspirations. We say:
“I have this gift-thing. But because I have this gift thing, and it's an integral part of me, it can't be worth that much. Besides, it's not really about me, anyway. I'm just this conduit-thing. It passes through me, without having much to do with me. So, when I have to talk about it, I'll just talk about it in an abstract way. I feel more comfortable like that. And you're bound to understand what I'm talking about, since nothing I have is terribly special. I know it’s not special. It can’t be special – because I have it. Whereas you're special. So, you're bound to be able to fill the blanks, and make sense of what I'm not telling you... Won't you?”
It can be really hard for someone to hear what you're not saying.
How – and why – should they hear what you're not hearing?
Did you know that you OWE it to them, and yourself, to share that awareness?
Do you have any idea how your gifts will grow, when you’re prepared to step up to the plate and put them out there?
What’s your plan for 2014? Are you prepared to take that leap of faith? Or will just carry on playing much smaller than you know you are?