We hide our true selves for many reasons. We hide because we fear rejection. We hide because we don't want to upset others. We hide because in some relational systems we have been assigned an identity that works for that group of people. We hide because we don't believe we have anything significant to offer.
The problem is when we hide, we take something away from ourselves and others. Every person was born to make a unique contribution to the world. That contribution is one only they can bring in their way at this particular place in time. And when we bring our contribution, we encourage everyone we interact with to do the same proving together we are better.
Together we are better, but not if we are all the same.
When a room is full of leaders and few detail, get-er-done people, very little is accomplished. Everyone can't do the same job or bring the same perspective or contribute the same way. When that happens, progress stalls out and people begin to be discouraged.
When we celebrate the strengths of one another and find how those strengths fit together complimenting one another, that's when the magic happens. That sets us up to bring about positive change in areas we believed no change was possible. It isn't just working together. It is the synergistic energy that is created when we delight in how another person moves about and interprets the world. Together we are better when we each practice authenticity and bring the unique gift we were meant to bring whether that is leadership, attention to detail, communication skills, hands on skills, visionary perspective, or asking good questions. Every person has something essential to contribute to this journey we call life.
When you would rather hide, try this:
One, change your language. There is one tiny word we all use that often begins to shut down new ideas as well as our contribution. That word is BUT. Practice changing the buts to ands and you will be amazed at the energy shift overall. When but is changed to and, we are sending a message that all ideas and all contributions and all people have a place and a voice. We are saying yes to all possibilities when we intentionally switch our but to and.
Two, try out this mantra, "We don't keep score." Every single day every person has a running tally or score in their heads. We compare ourselves and each other over and over again on the dumbest of measures. What if there were no score? What if driving a Chevy was just as valid as driving a BMW? What if shopping for clothing at Target was just as valid as shopping for clothing at Nordstroms? What if all neighbors were invited to the picnic? What if all people were greeted with positivity? Imagine the possibilities if we stopped ranking and keeping score! Light would intensify and love would grow one validation at a time. Stop hiding. Shine your light, even when it is scary.