Thinking of some resolutions? This January resolve to recapture the real you again. It’s time to stop playing small and turn on the lights, says Marina Fernandez
It can often feel like we have lost our way, that we don’t know who we are any more, and this can affect all humans. The reason? We are playing small, very small. And we are hiding who we are.
ARE MEN ALLOWED TO SHOW THEIR POWER ANY MORE?
One day I had a client – we were working though some issues he had – and I told him in one of our exercises to hit some soft clay, as hard as he could, on top of my kitchen worktop. And then I suggested he add as many swear words as he liked to the mix, and he went red…
When I asked what was wrong, he said he was nervous, because as a man, he felt he wasn’t allowed to display such a behaviour and the reasons why. He was worried about being seen as aggressive.
I am happy to say that after the initial shock and a bit encouragement, when I closed the kitchen door I felt the house shaking from the slams of this man who was allowed to empty himself in a safe environment.
Men often feel embarrassed to raise their voices or use their strength because they are scared that they look aggressive or authoritarian. They are dimming their lights, not being their assertive powerful selves, and confusing masculinity with aggression.
ARE CHILDREN BEING CHILDREN?
Children have stopped playing outside in case they bother the neighbours, or their parents have told them that the world is a scary place. They have stopped playing physical games at school at breaktimes, as any form of touching is discouraged. We are wrapping them in cotton wool.
Children have also stopped being children, diminishing their powers, dimming their lights and creative sparks. They are scared to be themselves and let their sparkle out in fear of being punished, or that something bad will happen. Instead, they go back to their rooms to bury their faces on their phones because they think this is the only place that they are safe, and of course we all know they are not.
AND WOMEN? WHERE IS YOUR POWER?!
And women. Think of how many things women do and how often they fail to appreciate themselves. A client told me how when speaking in a conference of more than 500 women she noted how they many were struggling to find themselves, to know who they actually were.
I see many women unable to say that they are going through a rough time with their menopause in case they are seen as weak or old. Unable to say NO when needed in order to keep what they have. And I see women unable to say YES to themselves and the pleasures of life, for fear of being seen as selfish mothers or wives!
I see women diminishing their intelligence and power in order not to look aggressive with lack of personal boundaries, feeling guilty, unable to celebrate themselves and their femininity.
As humans we have dimmed our spark and our zest.
WE ARE PLAYING SMALL
So, now we have a problem, with everyone ‘playing small’, together making this society a difficult place to live – and I believe it’s time for us to reflect and recognise that it is our choices that can change the world we live in.
We are confused between who we are, who we want to be, and who we ought to be, and ultimately not being able to choose or reconcile any of the above. We have lost our zest, and the saddest part is that we do it to look good or avoid criticism.
WHO ARE YOU?
The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelios said in his book, Meditations, “It can ruin your life only if it ruins your character“, and this is something we can learn from.
Next time you are about to play small ask yourself: will this behaviour ruin my character? Am I being true to who I REALLY am? Or am I being small to fit in, to be something I am not?
It’s time to celebrate your identity, and recapture the zest for life that we so desperately miss. If you are struggling to find yourself, turn your inner sparkle on.
HOW TO FIND YOUR SPARKLE
Follow these 10 actions to bring back that sparkle
- Discard your misperceptions of how things should be or are. Don’t be ashamed to wear what you want. Red shoes, tattoos, or pink hair regardless of your age or social status. Bring individuality to the table.
- Stop being jerked like a puppet. Don’t allow others define what is normal for you. Define your own normal.
- Strengthen your boundaries by not allowing what is not negotiable in your life anymore.
- Don’t waste your time proving your worth, instead, remind yourself daily that you are important.
- Don’t be scared to scream at a given time, show your emotions. Don’t diminish your light, be real, be human.
- Don’t feel guilty, it is a worthless emotion that does not take you anywhere.
- Stop assuming that things are one way, or another, instead play big.
- Feel proud of who you are, say yes to the pleasures of life and the person you are.
- See things are they are, we are different. Children are not adults; women are not men, and men are not women; I believe it is these differences that make us who we are.
- Don’t be other than who you are. Increase that power by adding zest to your life and remember that those watching will follow you. Your children will copy you and the people around you will be empowered to shine brighter.
In conclusion; shine bright, act big, and celebrate your differences. As I always say… I invite you to act now, because if you don’t do it now, then when?
I am an ambassador of life with tremendous zest and joie de vivre. My company is called Marina Zest for Life, and I support people in maximizing their lives and its possibilities. I raise them to the next level of consciousness and self-awareness for them to drive their lives on their terms. I connect people with what matters – themselves. The result? A powerful, confident and proud individual.