Fantastic Friday: Overcoming Barriers to Being Brilliant

Whew! What a radiant, bright, shiny week it's been. It really does feel good to own it. And yet...we all know that there are forces in the world that would dim our shine, programming and messages that seem to shout at us that we're not vibrant, we're not brilliant (but we could be if we buy _____, am I right?).

I highly doubt that anyone is lucky enough to come into owning their brilliance without resistance. Think about all the great truth-tellers and people who've risen to the top of whatever game they're playing.  There's always an element of overcoming some barrier to get to the spot where their light shines brightest. Large or small, a barrier between us and our brilliance is something that we can't let stand.

We are no different. We're just a couple of mystics making our way in the world, doing our best to keep the resistance from dragging us down.

Barbara: I was really fortunate, I had what could be called by any measure a happy childhood. My parents weren't perfect, of course, but they were unfailingly supportive and encouraging almost all the time.

There's one notable exception to that, though, and I'd put it squarely in the programming I've had to clear to own my brilliance column. It's the phrase, "big city big shot." 

I grew up in a small town in a gorgeous part of the US, as did my parents. I don't remember going to the nearest major metro area, 4 hours away, until I was 12 or so. I loved it, and decided that I was going to be just like Mary Richards and throw my hat in the air in the middle of Nicollet Mall one day, and maybe even purify myself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka to impress a musician on a motorcycle.

In other words, I was going to turn my back on my small-town roots (and my parents) and become a big city big shot, arrogant and preoccupied with material success, instead of settling down with a nice boy and having a family.

Yikes. That programming stuck for a long time. And then, one day, it was suddenly very amusing and it no longer had any power. I did settle down with a nice boy and we moved Manhattan. I'll never forget the visit where my dad (the one who bestowed the stifling label upon me) said he'd never seen me more at home than in that city. He was proud of me for being brave and making the move.

Well, color my energetic hurdle cleared! I didn't fully grasp it at the time, but I see now that having his permission to be where I needed to be, doing what I needed to do, living the way I needed to live was a huge healing. It gave me more space to fill with my brilliance.

Elizabeth: I, too, grew up in a supportive and encouraging household with a belief that anything is possible. Even with all those endless possibilities, barriers popped up, surfaced without me even realizing it, and often, from me. Perhaps like you, I can impose the biggest barriers without any help from anyone else. 

One of the most daring things in life is looking at our barriers - having a willingness to examine the limitations, looking at them head on - and owning what we might be imposing on ourselves. It's easy to lay blame or make excuses. It's challenging to sit with it, to look, and to see our role, our part, and what we can adjust. 

At some point, we all have to identify what we contribute to limiting our brilliance. We have to own when we stifle our creativity, when we hold back, when we turn down our radiant selves for whatever the reason (to make someone else look better, to not outshine a friend, due to fear of our success, to avoid challenge, etc).  

Is it time to overcome your barriers to brilliance? Are you ready to completely embrace your brilliant self? And share it with the world? We can't wait to see you!