As a youngster, I was very shy. One incident that revealed such emotion, happened at an event in church, I was to play the flute alongside my brother who played the piano. I was so shy that I hid behind the Pulpit which was made of wood and big enough to cover me. People heard the sound of flute and a piano but only saw my brother.
I developed excuses of why I should be shy. I lied to myself that it was God who created me to be this way and he had a purpose for such emotion.
This kind of mindset affected me in childhood. I did not participate in a lot of activities because I felt I could not do them. However my soul would always haunt me with this question “How do you know that you are not good enough? Have you tried it out? So there was a constant battle between my shinning light and shyness. Eventually in time, my shinning light would come out victorious. It was not until I got to the University that I had a breakthrough.
I came over my shyness at the University. We had been given a topic to study as a group and present on a particular day. Each group was to nominate a candidate that would present the topic. I was nominated in my group even though I pleaded with the group that I could not do it.
I however studied with my group and they helped me prepare for the presentation. What none of us realized was that apart from the presentation, there would a question and answer section which would be handled by us, the students.
The D day came and then it was the turn of my group to present our topic which I did with much repetition and stammering but then when students started asking questions, something happened to me. I suddenly was not shy any more. I remembered I answered the questions with such ease that my lecturer commended me for a great presentation.
Now why did I behave in such manner?
Marianne Williamson gives the answer with this quote:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
-Marianne Williamson -
I realized that I was afraid of what I could accomplish. I questioned my abilities and my gifts. I believed that I was better off a nobody than to be an inspiration to my generation, but when I was in the presentation all that changed. I noticed that I was not making a fool of myself but students were listening to me. I saw that I had something to offer; that changed my thinking.
There is no excuse playing small. Each of us is unique and can be successful if only we believe in ourselves. Each of us can make an impact in our generation. Don’t let your mind tell you that you are inadequate, Go and shine.