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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Great blog – I’ve skirted on a similar revelation about using time wisely 🙂 all too often our gifts are taken for granted – until we lose them!
Hi Corri. That’s a great point you make about the possibility of losing our gifts. That is definitely possible and something to keep in mind to keep the fear away!
Hi Alexis. Thought provoking. Marianne Williamson once said:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
Our Creator has already given us the tools. It is our job to pick them up, practice, master them, and then give them back to the world.
Beautifully said Mike. That is one of my favorite quotes by Marianne Williamson and it’s so true!
This is a so familiar, I have a house on that street. smh Thank you for this reminder!
LOL @ you have a house on that street. I totally feel you Katherine!… Glad to be a reminder to you and me. 🙂
What a great reminder to cherish and use our gifts. I’ve learned that when fear and self-doubt rears its ugly head, I replace it with a healthy dose of confidence building self-talk. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom.
Hi Gladys. Yes, healthy self-talk is so important. When we can monitor the way we talk to ourselves, we can truly change our own lives from the inside out. Thanks for your insight.
I am not sure about my gifts and talents, but I know a huge motivator to me is the quote, “You can’t do everything, but please, please, do something.” I am often overwhelmed by my smallness, but this quote inspires me to keep working to create change in whatever way I can.
Wow, that’s powerful Tegan. Thanks for sharing. It’s a blessing to see your motivation beyond your overwhelm. 🙂
Love your post and I love Michelangelo’s quote: “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” I think that’s so true for many of us. Love your blog and I’ll be back!
You guys are leaving some great quotes! I love it! You are so right Sandra. Thanks for sharing!
I found this very inspirational! Although my blog was started with a focus on losing weight, it is still evolving. I have recently added a faith page so I can document what I learn in church and what actions I can take to live my faith.
Hi Cathy. Sounds like you’re on the right path. I wish much success to you in your endeavors. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
The good thing about the gifts given to us by God is that they often define our purpose in life. It’s like we’ve been given the resources to be great, all we have to do is see it and use it. As Napoleon Hill said, “There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is the definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to possess it.” Love your post.
Love that quote Lanre. Excellent insight. Thank you!
This post really speaks to me. I am just beginning to believe in myself and combine two of my passions. This article came just at the right time.
That’s awesome Karen. I’m so glad it came at the right time for you. I wish you the best in your endeavors with your passions. 🙂
There are so many gems of wisdom here that I think I need to read it a few times. Now I know where I need to come when my confidence is sinking, as it often does. I love all the quotes in everyone’s comments also. They will make great refrigerator art! Rosy
Thank you Rosy. I’m so glad you can find solace here. That is exactly why I created this site. Wishing you plenty of confidence, love and inspiration. 🙂
Alexis, you have an awesome content on your blog. From now on, I’ll subscribe to your newsletter.