I recently had a wake up call that made me realize I have been minimizing my gifts and playing small.  Shocking, I know.  I admit, I’ve been trippin’ – there’s no other excuse.

The deeper I’ve looked into this I’ve noticed that many people, from the most famous to everyday people,  struggle with this very same limiting belief.  It’s really a lot more common than it should be, and it’s time to turn it around.

Below are 3 great examples of how prevalent this struggle is in people of all walks of life…

Denying My Greatness

At a time when my gifts, talents and skills have been the most valuable in my life, for some crazy reason, I’ve been downplaying them and selling myself short.  I somehow managed to push all of my greatness to the back burner and focus only on what I thought I couldn’t do or what I hoped I could achieve.  I totally negated the previous success and accolades I’ve already experienced by simply doing what’s natural and operating in my God-given abilities.  Luckily, I was prompted to put my talents and skills on display, and the response I’ve gotten has been a divinely orchestrated miracle that has once again awakened me to the value I have to offer the world.

Forgetting Her Talent

I just read a blog post on one of the inspirational blogs I follow, Happy Black Woman, where she shared a comment from one of her readers that described how she felt lost and discouraged in her life because she recently lost her job.  After an inspiring post from Happy Black Woman, she remembered her dream of being a dancer.  She realized that she previously disregarded it as only a hobby and even shooed away a possible opportunity.  But with her new found inspiration she is now making a commitment to use her talent and honor her dream.

Doubting Her Potential

I watched another one of the incredibly inspiring shows on OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network) called Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind where Annie Leibovitz was featured.  She is one of the most admired and well-known photographers in the world.  In this episode, she talked about how when she was first approached by magazines like Vanity Fair and Vogue to shoot their fashion models, she felt uncomfortable taking fashion pictures.  She felt she wouldn’t know how to direct the models to make the pictures good enough.  Although she had a moment of doubting her gift when it had the potential to skyrocket her to the next level in her career, she was eventually able to stretch herself beyond what she previously thought possible and become incredibly successful at it.

Just as the picture states above, to believe in yourself is to just be you.  To ignore, deny or doubt what naturally comes with being who you are is to negate your very essence.

All of the examples above have the common thread of self-doubt in our gifts and abilities.  At first look, it seems kind of crazy that we would doubt ourselves this way.  Wouldn’t it just be easier to rely on what comes naturally?  You would think so, yet self-doubt is one of the most common tricks of the ego that is ignited when we contemplate doing big things.  Everything is all good when we keep our gifts to ourselves or only share them within our limited parameters.  But when the time comes to put our gifts on display for the world to see, all hell breaks loose inside.  The ego’s job is to protect us from the possible risk of failure, embarrassment or pain, and it performs its job well with healthy doses of self-doubt and sabotage.

But as we learn from life lessons (including my latest post), the blessing is in the risk and the challenge.  And in case we ever forget our own life lessons (as we often do when we are trying to come up with excuses not to do big things), we are privileged to be able to learn from the stories of the greats like Annie Leibovitz.  Her experience shows us that despite our fears and doubts, success happens when you do it anyway.

We were all born with gifts and talents to share with the world.  When we believe in them and use them to the best of our ability, we in turn honor what we’ve been so graciously given.  In your quest to live your best life, know that you cannot get there without following the path that has been laid out for you.  Have faith in your natural abilities and they will take you further than you ever imagined.

“Deny your smallness.  Surrender to the truth of your greatness.” – Fabienne Fredrickson

Share your thoughts in the comments: How has downplaying your gifts and talents stopped you from moving forward in your life?  What opportunities opened up for you when you believed in your natural abilities?  What advice do you have for people struggling with self-doubt when it comes to their gifts?

Peace, Love & Greatness,


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