“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven”, Mathew 5:16
Many of you probably know this verse from the Bible. But, like some other biblical excerpts like “…have faith…”, I didn’t quite know what it really, really meant, and more importantly, how to apply it in my life. Until I came across something in one of these books; either Gay Hendricks “Big Leap” or Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People“. The general gist of the quote was that any thoughts of restriction, limitation or made from a place of fear dims your light. Consequently, any thoughts of expansion, open-mindedness, thoughts from a place of growth, illuminates you.
I had never heard it written in such practical terms before. Oh my goodness, how many times have I wanted to make a decision and not known which way to go. Now I just recognize which choices are based on fear and eliminate them. I may still be afraid, but now I can better recognize it, acknowledge it, put it aside and then make my decision. Does it make me grow, or does it keep me small? Do I form more social interactions or do I withdraw? Do I follow my instincts or do I follow my fears? Do I let my light shine, or do I dim my light? When choices are put in these terms, the answers are obvious.
Then I moved on to recognizing all the moments I have dimmed my light and how long I had been doing that for. All the times I wanted to say hi to someone, but instead said “Oh, they look busy. I’ll say hi later.” Or the times when I had opportunities to be in positions of leadership and I turned away from them. Or the times when I was given a compliment, and it was so hard to accept. I’ll say stuff like, “It really wasn’t that hard”, or “it’s not that big a deal”. When you think about it, it takes someone else some courage to come over and compliment you, it’s like someone giving you bread and you just drop it on the floor. I should at least be bold enough to say “Thank you very much for that, I really appreciate it!”.
Even in starting this blog. I remember writing the first post and wanting to blast it on Facebook. Then I stopped myself and only emailed it to 7 people. I told myself, “Oh, I’m just starting out, everything isn’t set up yet. When I have a little more content, I’ll blast it.”. That was a lie, the truth was that I was afraid to let my light shine.
Now, living with this new found perspective, I started recognizing my light dimming thoughts and letting them go. The more I did that, the better I got at identifying them. Then, I started to realize that even procrastination was dimming my light. It postponed success in many areas of my life. Sometimes, it postponed it so much that when I could get to taking action, it was no longer relevant. I heard a story about a man who had a vision, but never fulfilled it. Then he saw someone else fulfill it. He probably let fear take him over, or procrastinated, till his dream was no longer his to fulfill. I’m sure people have had experiences where they had an idea for a company or a product and then later discover that someone else had that same idea, but while they sat on their hands, the other person ran with it and made a fortune. The good news is that there are always new dreams to fulfill when we are ready.
Now when I remember something I have to do, I try to do it right away if I can. If I can’t I try to figure out why and just see if there is anything I can do to move things forward. I’m sure you guys have better ways of dealing with procrastination, but doing this has reduced the general overwhelming sense I’ve felt over the number of things I have to get done. It’s allowing me to gain back more control of my task list and some time, frankly.
In conclusion, I’m started to make better choices and thing in my life are moving forward at a much faster pace. Because I am throwing off more and more shackles and self-limiting thoughts, I really am excited about where my life is heading and what the future holds. I get the sense that I am more inline with my destiny. I’m also a lot happier.
So please, go forth and “Let your light shine!”. Let us know how it’s working for you.
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