Step into your light. In the theatre world they always tell you this. It’s a term the director uses to make sure you are standing in the light so the audience can hear and see you.
As a young actress I could never figure out where my light was. I was so busy remembering my lines and worrying about “how I looked” to know where the light was.This meant I was always in half shadow, or standing in someone else’s light.
This happened on stage and off.
Standing in the shadows, not knowing exactly what I was really good at, plagued my career and personal life.
What does standing in the shadows look like?
For me, it was when I tried really hard to get jobs I didn’t want. Jobs that when I got, I was no good at. Jobs that barely paid me.
The reason this happened was I was insecure and didn’t know how to own what I did well.
I used up a lot of the rest of my energy with friends and lovers lighting them up.
I would often engage in their dramas. Dramas that were none of my business.
Then after I was used up I would feel dark and depressed. My oy way to self-soothe was to be by myself and not let people know where I was.
I hoped if I was lucky that people would just “find me.” I would be discovered.
But boy I made it hard for people to find me when I was hiding out. I am not talking geography, here.
I have lived in the heart of Toronto and and on an island in the middle of Lake Ontario and when I was shining my light, people found me.
No. I am talking about being invisible.
Invisibility is what I was groomed in. Don’t let the neighbours know. Don’t play big. You’re too much.
This may be humility for some but me it was an internal feeling that I had to stay small in order not to get hurt.
Have you ever done this? Thought if you asked for less, someone would come and give you a hero cookie?
Yes invisibility has many faces. Its about complicating simple things. Starting arguments and micromanaging every detail, of a project until you take all the joy out of it. Setting up failure? Setting up any sense of gratification. Always ending up at zero. And when you do pull off something wonderful, you think because its happening to you its not that special!!
Part of maturing as a person in your career and life is to know who you are. know what your talents are and own them.
I often ask this question in female-centric audiences and they say their kids and parents.
Of course you love your family. BUT what do YOU like doing?
What fires you up?
And secondly is people say they love so many things they can’t decide. But this is just another way of delaying.
So step one, tell me what you want. What you really, really want.
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3 THINGS TO DO THAT MIGHT INCREASE YOUR WATTAGE.
1) Start looking for places where you already find it easy to shine.
A few years ago, I started doing looking for where I felt good. I find when I am on stage I am energized. I love entertaining. Especially front line workers. Working at night with people drinking doesn’t float my boat. It decreases my energy source.
Same with parties. I especially hate Cocktail parties. They drain me. I can’t think of anything stupid enough to say. But when I talk to friends one- on -one I am energized.
By learning where I felt energized I learned to limit my time with people, places and things that drained my energy.
2) Light Up The Dark Corners:
One thing I hated was asking people to hire me. But letting anyone know I was actually available for work. That my new ideas were available for hire. My business coach lit up was my dark corner. She told me to ask for what I really wanted. Each day ask for something new. She called it stretching me. Working up to a new comfort level. I called it the one scary thing a day exercise.
I did this one scary thing first thing in the morning so I could get it out of the way. Then I told people of my services. I didn’t wait to be discovered. And it felt like crap. So, so crappy I knew I must be breaking down old fears. What happened is inch by inch my confidence grew.
I started to get more comfortable with it with being uncomfortable.
Look into the shadows.
See what is there.
Ask for what you want. What you really want? Or in the words of the Spice Girls.
3) Focus on how your radiance will light up others.
I thought talents and service were on two different sides of the spirit ledger. I knew making soup and playing cards was my strong suit. What if it was okay to use your true strengths and talents unique to you?
I grew up thinking I wasn’t enough. Then when I got into my career that thinking followed me. I felt it was not enough to be funny. Or wise. Or lets face it, me. I thought I had to be doing something else. Something I wasn’t good at or something that couldn’t be paid for.
So I started doing affirmations.
I asked: What can I do to share my true talents today? When I use these true talents its perfectly safe and wonderful to receive compensation for them.
You can start this way, too. You can start slowly by changing your thinking and your actions. in the past decade I was growing as a person, but I hadn’t updated my files on myself.
At this point I was entering a new form of storytelling. So I started showing off my writing more. I then I began owning what I already knew. So I gave my first writing workshop.
I began sharing ALL of my gifts and I have to say it scared me and it scared others at times. Some people didn’t want to hire me in this new way.
So I started a new affirmation.
Its okay to work with people who want and appreciate the work I do.
Affirmations helped me. Of course affirmations are great. But this shining your light isn’t about around wishing upon a star.
Or squeezing your ass really tight and hope it will spit out nickels.
Stepping into your light is about taking an action. Actions that will move you into your creative radiance.
By putting the focus on using my writing and acting for service, I got out of my self. Got out of my way.
And I got more that I ever gave.
For example, I wanted to publish my novel. But I was conflicted about it. Was it good enough? So, one of the things I did was I began reading some chapters at the nursing home. I felt it important to get a crowd who are in an institution. They have to wheel away from you. Boy they were lovely people. And after about a year of hearing all these different stories, one lady, said ” When are you going to publish that damn book? You’re not getting any younger”
I laughed out loud.
So I finished the ‘damn” book. I published the damn book. And I had a party. This party was a way for me to own what I had accomplished. “Hey I wrote a book.” And even though mostly friends came, I shone the light out there in the world.
Thinking of how I could serve the world changed the whole game for me. It became less about my little plans for success and more about living from the bigger purpose for my life.
So step into your light. That warm spot in the middle where the most heat is. Let your own inner solar system shine down and through you out to a world that needs your radiance.
If you have any ideas about shining your light, please, comment below. Or SHARE with a friend that needs some encouragement.
And hey if you’re feeling generous….