Stepping into the spotlight

You’re brilliant. You are amazing at what you do. The world is a better place because you are in it. I know this. Do you? What needs to happen so that you step into your brilliance and own it with every fibre of your being? Perhaps you already are, if so, fabulous! If you’re not, and my opening statements made you think I was referring to someone else, not you, then read on!

To quote the wonderful Marianne Williamson in her poem Our Deepest Fear,

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

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When working with clients I have discovered more people have a fear of success than a fear of failure. They have a fear that if they are too ‘successful’ they will alienate people, they will lose friends, they will open themselves up to criticism and resentment, and they will be discovered at ‘frauds’ and not authentically brilliant at all. And, yes, I too experienced similar mind games with myself in the formative years of running my own business. Who was I to think I could command a global stage and speak to women? Who did I think I was to go after big contracts and compete with the ‘big boys’ in the training arena? When was someone going to spot the word ‘bluffer’ that was stamped squarely on my forehead?! But, despite these gremlins that threatened to dominate me, I took the path less travelled, faced the fear and did it anyway (to quote the titles of two great books) and continued to ‘go for it’. And, somehow, managed to negotiate the shark infested waters of doubt and abject terror and convince people I knew what I was talking about! Roughly five years into this journey (yes five years) I realised I wasn’t ‘bluffing’ at all. I really did know what I was talking about, and actually, I am brilliant at it and the world is absolutely a better place because I’m in it. I can now own those statements without feeling guilty or embarrassed.

What was your reaction when you read the above sentences and saw me own those statements? Was your reaction ‘Good for you’ or ‘Blimey, arrogant or what’. Be aware of how you reacted when you witnessed someone owning their light and being willing to shine it on the world, because your reaction to me is how you will view yourself. Our world view is based on our inner self beliefs which we then project out onto the situations and events we witness and are a part of. If you resent me for accepting my magnificence, then on some level you are blocking yourself from expanding into your full potential. To give another quote from Our Deepest Fear,

“Once we allow our own light to shine, we instinctively give others permission to do the same”

One of my ‘game changing’ moments came when I was attending a conference for women in business in India. One of the women on stage spoke of her background. She was probably around the same age as me. She said when she was 19 she suffered with a brain tumour. She was in hospital going in and out of consciousness, with her father sitting by her side. Her uncle was visiting one day and she heard him say to her father, “Why are you bothering to keep her alive, she’s only a girl.” I was shocked to the core.

That statement made me sit up and realise just how lucky I am to be a woman born in the West in the 21st Century, and to recognise I am living in one of the most privileged eras, so far, that support my success as a woman. For me not to step into the spotlight of my magnificence and shine my light on the world, for me not to own my brilliance and recognise how I change people’s lives, for me not to be ambitious for all women in the world today would be unbelievably selfish of me. What good will I do if I stay indoors, invisible, and cocoon myself in the cotton wool of perceived ‘safety’? Who will benefit from my anonymity? I owe it to the amazing women who have gone before me, and helped create this clearer path, to honour them by expanding into my full potential. I owe it to the wonderful women coming up behind me to ensure the path is even clearer for them.

So do you

So, what are you going to do about it? Stay hidden, or spread your wings and blossom into the awesome human being I already know you are?

Katie Day

Katie Day is a sought-after speaker and consultant who leads self-development programs on confidence, assertiveness, self-belief and other topics important to women around the world. Her book The High-Heeled Leader: Embrace Your Feminine Power In Life And Workis out now.

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