How Other People’s Opinions Hold You Back
Why caring too much about what other people think prevents you from shining
Marianne Williamson says that “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
When I reflect on this quote, I feel it. It’s less of an intellectualization, the truth of this statement, and more of a inner energy around this that fills me. It’s like I’m being kicked in the gut and a lightbulb is being switched on above my head and shining through my veins at the same time.
Success is the unknown. And that’s scary. Success means doing things differently than I have ever done them before and I’m not sure I’ll like that. So what is the natural inclination when we are afraid? Well, for me, it’s definitely ‘freeze.’ I become paralyzed and overwhelmed by what could be.
We know deep down that we are infinite beings, but we get weighed down by our experiences and our setbacks. Eventually, we start to listen to and believe that voice inside that says, “You’re not enough.”
That voice has held me down for so long. It has kept me smaller and dimmer than I know I am. And I feel this indignation rise up inside of me when I see others shining so brightly and wondering why I can’t too.
The truth is, when you are successful and when you shine brighter than others, you are vulnerable. You’re open to attacks because you’ve become a bigger target. People see you more and are able to pick you apart.
As I start to succeed and get bigger and get some of those notorious haters, I get fearful. A bunch of questions flood my mind.
- What will people think?
- What will people will say?
- What if I’m wrong and I’m really not that special?
- What if it’s lonely at the top?
Did you notice a trend? Fear. That’s what runs my life when I let it. I allow it to take hold of the reigns and pull me into a disgruntled trot with a sleigh on my back and two teenagers making out, when what I really want to do is be free and run through the countryside naked.
I have to decide if what I want to do, what I want to succeed in, is my life’s purpose. If it’s my calling and what brings me joy and happiness then it doesn’t matter what people think or say. Because my purpose, the reason I’m here on this planet, is being fulfilled.
These days I’m looking to shine bright, to run naked, and to be powerful beyond measure. And I encourage you to do the same.