25 Nov 2013
On Wednesday last week, I had a bit of a turning point in...
I remember a time towards the end of primary school when we were all drifting off to different high schools and suddenly I didn’t fit in. My friends were going to one school, I was going to another, and they teased me about being a goodie-two-shoes because of it.
To prove that this wholeheartedly wasn’t the case, and that I had every intention of being expelled from my high school once I got there (move over Elizabeth Allen, there’s a new Naughtiest Girl now), I remember colouring outside the lines on the title page for the Geography unit on India.
Yes, I know. I was that naughty.
Mrs Clark-Walker was appalled, and I ended up with a B for Geography which - as rebellious gestures go - didn’t have quite as much impact as I’d hoped...
I have a friend who is a super high achiever in her career. She hides this from a group of her friends and from her extended family, because she’s unsure of how they’ll react if they know the extent of her success.
I was telling my Dad about this, and he remembered going on holiday with his grandparents as a seven-year-old. He wrote a postcard home, saying, 'We saw a house that convicts built.' Then he crossed out the word 'built' and changed it to 'made' because it sounded less pretentious.
One of our top fears in life is ‘not belonging’. This reaches its peak in the teen years, which is why my daughter will reliably emerge from her bedroom in a uniform of denim shorts with the pockets hanging out (gah!), tucked-in t-shirts, straightened hair and black converse.
Staying true to yourself, and to your full potential takes courage. There’s an element of risk in separating from the pack.
Spiritual activist and author, Marianne Williamson said, ‘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... Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.’
If your colouring in isn’t as good as it could be, if you’re not sharing the ‘real’ you with the people who matter, if you’re compromising in order to ‘fit in’, if you’re holding back, hiding your talent or ‘playing small’ in any way - step out of the shadows.
Throw everything you've got at the opportunities in your life.