Thursday, April 5, 2012

Appetite For Life

“Playing Small Does Not Serve The World”

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. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? …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. …It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. -Marianne Williamson

The terms “playing small” and “shrinking” can be interpreted in different ways. These phrases refer to denying self-confidence, empowerment, and power, and also can be understood to mean literally shrinking your body to be as small as possible.

People often believe that having power over food translates to feeling powerful in life. The opposite is usually true. When you shrink your body, and diminish your sense of self, your world narrows in scope, and your world narrows to the number on the scale. When your world is small, you feel insignificant, helpless, and powerless. You may feel as if you’re merely existing.

Conversely, when you embrace your personal sense of self, your power and dream big, when you have an appetite for life, you’re more likely to feel as if you are truly living.

What would be different if you allowed yourself more of an appetite for life?

How do you keep yourself small?

What does it mean to take up space in the world, to feel powerful?

What is your hope about embracing your sense of self?

What is your fear about being powerful?

Describe what it would mean to “live” rather than merely “exist”?

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GreenGoddess said...

Great tips. I also think that women are expected to play it small as well. They are not 'allowed' to outshine the man in their life, or in general. Might scare them off! I say go with it. A real man would appreciate an accomplished amazing woman.

Alyssa said...

To me, to live instead of just exist would be to just be able to enjoy each moment. Life is far from perfect and it's never what we expect. To live to me is just to except that.

Brenda said...

I'm not sure that I fear that I'm "powerful beyond measure." However, I do agree with feeling like I'm swimming upstream when I try to improve my life. Any time I feel better about myself is when I feel the most criticized by others, as if me wanting to feel like a better person has some reflection on them. I try not to view others any differently as I work to change myself. However, I notice people often feel threatened.

Karen said...

From what I understand, this article is trying to say that many of us are not reaching our full potential? Also, what I get out of this is that we often fear success because we don't feel we deserve it-or that we didn't earn it?

Julie U.S. Writer said...

This is a tough area to conquer-fear of success (at least that is what I think this blog post is referring to). It's hard because anytime I've ever been even remotely successful I'm met with opposition. Maybe people are waiting for me to fall again, or perhaps I can't handle the co-worker insecurities. As Karen mentioned, I might also feel that I'm "too bad" of a person and don't deserve to be successful.

Trevor said...

In the past, I became way too intimidated by co-workers. That was my major downfall as far as success. Of course, I would then reach for my traditional dairy treats and fried foods to "cheer me up."

Brad said...

I'm not sure if I fully agree that the biggest far is that we are "powerful beyond measure." The reality is, we all have limitations. My problem is, every time my life starts to improve or be turned around that seems to be when I get criticized by my mom or dad the most. Even as a grown adult this is hard to deal with. It makes it tough to succeed in life if people are always putting me down.

Stephanie said...

I agree. It can be hard to move forward when people who are close to you always remember the way you were. That's the reason why I built up a brand new support system, including the people who read this blog.

Melinda said...

I know how that feels. It has happened to me just like this many times.

Susanna said...

It's easier said than done, isn't it-to just exist? I also wish I could live without comparing myself to others-thinking of others as better or worse off than me.

Sarah said...

This post might explain why when we get older we take less risks. Everyone in their younger days seems to wanna break past the barrier of criticism but it's hard. However, we shouldn't be afraid.