One major reason why people don’t reach their full potential, is a subconscious fear of outshining others.
Also known in Australia as ‘tall poppy syndrome’ – as if someone would come to lob off your head, the moment you stick it above the crowd.
There can be all kinds of reasons for it, usually going back to childhood experiences. And a shrink could have a field day uncovering all that – but that’s not what a coach would do.
No, I would want a client struggling with this, to shift their perception.
So let’s say this outshining thing is an issue for you, on some level.
What does outshining mean – that you would glow brighter than others? Have more success or fame or money?
Ok, now if I would ask you what would be wrong with that, you’d probably state categorically: “Nothing!”
Which would then be followed by some form of “But…”
Which would lead us into a rational exchange of reasons why&why not. Boring stuff and hardly fruitful.
So instead, let’s try that shift of perception:
Who do you know, who shines (or shone) brightly?
Someone who did create something astounding, or big, or impactful, in whatever way?
What does that person represent for you?
What do you feel when you think of them?
Very likely, you’ll find this person inspiring. Right?
Ah, so now we’re getting warm.
People who reach great heights, they… inspire others. They inspire you too.
So with that in mind, what if you were to sally forth and build that big thing of yours… not afraid to outshine anyone…
But on a mission to (or at the very least: allowing for) others to be inspired?
You could be an example, you know.
Your light could be a guide for others – the moment you stop worrying that it might overpower them.
With that new view, does that change anything for you, in the way you might be holding yourself back?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you were to have all that you want, knowing that for others this is helpful and inspiring to see?
Also published on Medium.