Often, we make our lives busy as a way of hiding from ourselves. When our plate is empty, we have time to think. That can be liberating, or it can be terrifying.
The Face in the Mirror
When nothing stands between you and YOU, every shortcoming, every insecurity, comes rushing to center stage. You’re able to see the gaps between where you are and where you wish you were.
You realize you’re sitting in engineering class even though your heart dreams of being a musician.
You realize as a single parent that you never got the chance to backpack through Europe.
“Good leaders never embrace a victim mentality. They recognize that who and where they are remain their responsibility – not that of their parents, their spouses, their children, the government, their bosses, or their coworkers.” John Maxwell
It Is Your Fault
Even more terrifying is the realization that we have no one to blame but ourselves. Much easier to fill our day with good (but not the best) things to do. Rush from one task to another, dreaming of a day when we are less stressed while simultaneously taking on additional responsibilities so that we never actually have to face ourselves.
With the acceptance of that responsibility comes immense power. If we are to blame, then the only true barrier to reaching that dream stands within ourselves. We see the gap, hate the feeling it brings, and plug it with the first ‘good opportunity’ we can get our hands on.
This is the worst kind of hiding. We experience the emotional ‘win’ of progress, but not towards our actual goal. The cumulative effect is that we feel our dreams can never be reached: we’re working so hard and gaining no ground! In reality, we are working diligently – on the wrong things!
“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 frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in all of us. And when 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
Be brave. Don’t use busyness as a way to hide from your greatness.
How to gain clarity
- Make a list of everything that you “had” to do this week.
- Next to each item, write down the consequences of not completing that item.
- Now ask yourself if those are the true consequences – we often over-inflate consequences to scare ourselves into completing tasks.
- Cross off any item whose consequences are something you could live with.
- The remaining items represent the actual “have to’s.”
The tasks you crossed out are hiding places you used this week.
What does greatness look like to you? Leave a comment below. Maybe speaking that dream out loud in a public space will help you to realize the truth: you CAN reach it.