We’re all born with unique talents and gifts that make each of us stand out from the crowd. We may be brilliant writers, singers, musicians or artists. Perhaps we can calculate mathematical equations quicker than most people sneeze, or throw a perfect curveball, blindfolded, while reciting Latin poetry and standing on our heads.
Whatever it is, we all have it: a light inside our souls that’s eager to shimmer and shine. Yet some of us dim that light – or snuff out the flame altogether – pulling ourselves down into the deep sea of mediocrity.
What’s up with that? It’s yet another top reason we end up in a cycle of self-sabotage.
Top 4 Reasons for Self-Sabotage: Reason 4
We’ve been discussing the top four reasons for self-sabotage, based on insightful info from psychologist Gay Hendricks shared in Edward Vilga’s DailyOM course. We already met the first three reasons in previous posts:
- Low self-worth
- Rules and roles we get stuck playing
- Fear of success
Now it’s time to tackle reason number four.
Fear of outshining others
This fear can be pretty sneaky, showing up in a number of ways. You may be under its influence if you:
- Feel like crawling under the bed when someone offers you a compliment
- Rebuff or argue with a compliment, insisting it’s neither deserved nor true
- Downplay your talents and abilities
- Pretend you DON’T HAVE any talents or abilities (even though we all do)
- Wish the earth would open up and swallow you whole when you win honors or awards
- Never apply to any honors or awards lest you actually – gasp! – win one
- Stuff any “accidental” trophies and awards in the back of your closet
- Feel like an impostor who is only play acting at knowing what you’re doing
- Act less knowledgeable or intelligent than you are just so people won’t actually think you know anything
And just why do we feel embarrassed or downright horrified when we excel? Why are we afraid of outshining others?
The answer is often simple: It’s a twisted form of people-pleasing. If we excel and shine, we’re afraid no one will like us. After all, how could they if we know more than, perform better than, or throw curveballs more accurately than they do (while standing on our heads, yet)?
They will surely turn green with envy, ostracize us from the group, and either rip out our eyes or make us live in out our days in miserable solitude on a deserted island in a rundown shack.
Fear of outshining reinforced by society
It doesn’t help that personal excellence has been systematically scorned by society, and even removed from sporting competitions and schools. Trophies for everyone, even if you don’t win a single game. Straight A’s across the board, even if you don’t show up for a single class.
And no one is allowed to wear their honor society sashes to the graduation ceremony, lest those who didn’t make the honor society feel bad. In fact, we may want to do away with honor societies altogether.
With that kind of message coming out of the mainstream, letting your light shine may seem more than a mere embarrassment. It may actually seem like a sin.
Let your light serve as inspiration
There’s a saying in recovery circles that warns about the dangers of hanging out with people still active and stuck in their addiction:
They will bring you down quicker than you can bring them up.
And that’s not only true for people actively abusing alcohol and drugs, but for the world as a whole.
We’re all being pulled down into the uninspired abyss of mediocrity – when we can instead be lifted up and inspired by those who dare let their light shine.
When we don’t let our light shine, we’re doing the entire world a disservice. We’re essentially saying that mediocrity is not only acceptable, but the desired state. We’re throwing away whatever gifts we were given, insulting whatever creative force gave them to us. As I once heard it so eloquently put:
Not using and sharing your innate talents is like slapping God in the face.
Ouch. While that may seem pretty harsh, it can also serve as a good wake-up call if you are indeed dimming your light for fear of angering others. Would you rather stir up the anger in a few folks here on earth – or offend the entire universe?
Just something to think about the next time you’re about to hide your shimmering light instead of letting it illuminate and inspire.
I help amazingly creative souls who want more out of life than sleep-work-sleep get their dazzle back so they rock their world.
Start rocking it now with a free coaching consultation.
VIDEO: Stop self-sabotage – Fix 4 of 4
PODCAST: Stop self-sabotage – Fix 4 of 4
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