Category » Personal Development

There is No Excuse For Playing Small


As a youngster, I was very shy. One incident that revealed such emotion happened at an event in the 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 a flute and a piano but only saw my brother.

I developed excuses of why I should be shy, and I lied to myself that it was God who created me to be this way and that he had a purpose for such emotion.

This kind of mindset affected me in childhood. I did not participate in many 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?”

So, there was a constant battle between my shining light and shyness. Eventually, in time, my shining light would come out victorious. It was not until I got to the University that I had a breakthrough.

The Breakthrough

I came to overcome 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 for 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. None of us realized that apart from the presentation, there would be a question and answer section, which we would handle, the students.

D-day came, and then it was my group’s turn to present our topic, which I did with many repetitions and stammering, but then when students started asking questions, something happened to me.

I suddenly was not shy anymore. I remember I easily answered the questions that my lecturer commended me for a great presentation.

Now Why Did I Behave in Such Manner?

Marianne Williamson answers 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.”

I realized I was afraid of what I could accomplish and questioned my abilities and gifts.

I believed I was better off as a nobody than to be an inspiration to my generation, but when I was in the presentation, all that changed. Suddenly, 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, which changed my thinking.

There is no excuse for 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.

About the Author
Ikechi Awazie is a freelance writer, blogger, and the creator of “Be a Light to the World,” where he says out loud that every man can make a difference in this world. You can follow him on twitter.