A couple weeks ago one of my mentors recommended I read The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks. It couldn't have shown up at a more synchronistically perfect time.
Divine timing people, it exists.
I read the entire book in an afternoon while writing my blog post on resistance. It was a back and forth dance of inner awakening and outer expression. I felt my psyche expanding in a profound way like I was shedding an old skin, being re-born, a bigger and brighter version of myself.
The gist of the book is a simple and formulaic guide to taking your life to the next level. If you aren't living the full expression of your gifts/talents/abilities, this book is for you.
The book helps you uncover your 'upper limit problem', as Gay Hendricks refers to it – a limiting belief that sabotages your ascension to greatness over and over again.
Gay breaks it down to these four 'barriers':
1. Feeling Fundamentally Flawed – I cannot expand to my full creative genius because something is fundamentally wrong with me.
2. Disloyalty and Abandonment – I cannot expand to my full success because it would cause me to end up all alone, be disloyal to my roots, and leave behind people from my past.
3. Believing That More Success Brings a Bigger Burden – I can’t expand to my highest potential because I’d be an even bigger burden than I am now.
4. The Crime of Outshining – I must not expand to my full success, because if I did I would outshine _______________ and make him or her look or feel bad.
If any of those touch a nerve for you, I highly recommend reading the book.
Number 4 more than touched a nerve for me, it screamed my name.
I've heard story upon story of how challenging I was as a child; my untameable wildness, my fierce independence, my strong will, and my jaw dropping temper tantrums. I was a tenacious, determined, intensely willful child.
Which meant, I was too much.
Too much for my mother to handle. Hence all those times she had to lock me in my room to go for walks around the block so that she could regain her sanity, doctor's orders. Or that time she walked away from me in a grocery store, during one of my outbursts, pretending she didn't know me.
Too much for my older brother. My non-stop crying as a colicky baby leading him to place a pillow over my face, just in an effort to shut me up, not realizing that he was suffocating me (he was only 4 years old). Fortunately, my mom walked in just in time.
Too much for every school teacher I ever had, it ain't easy wrangling a wildly defiant and bored out of her mind kid into a desk for six hours a day.
And perhaps somewhere along the line, I even decided I was too much for a father to handle as well, and that's why I didn't have one.
I don't think anyone ever intentionally shamed me for being this way but it was definitely not welcomed (understandably). My mother would get overwhelmed, my brother would resent me, and my teachers would punish me (one time with a slap across the face). I learned that being boldly expressed was not a harmonious way to be and often led to rejection.
In Gay Hendrick's words, I developed the belief that if I shone too brightly I would upset others. So I tamed my fire, dimmed my light, and shrunk myself to accommodate the people around me.
I've been aware of this limiting belief for a while but I didn't realize it was preventing me from stepping into my greatness until reading, The Big Leap.
The last time my fear of rejection really grabbed hold of me was just a few months ago when I met someone who I deeply admired. She was at an event I was volunteering at and sitting with a friend of mine. I was feeling super charged from the incredible experience of the event; in my full power and beaming with authenticity when I decided to introduce myself. I walked up to her, full beam ON, and shared my praises and love for the work she does.
Turns out, my full beam was a bit too bright for her. I was too much. She could barely look at me and decided to engage with the friend I had walked up with, who has a gentler softer quality.
Normally this wouldn't faze me but because I had such deep admiration for this person, and because she is someone who advocates for High Vibration Living, it felt like a slap in the face, a full–on rejection from a kindred spirit. Or so I thought. So many lessons in that one little experience.
First off, it's true what they say, don't meet your idols. Second, never put anyone on a pedestal, we're all human, we're all flawed, we're all learning and growing all the time (even our idols). Third, being 'too much' for someone is only an indication of that person's preference or personal development – never take anything personally.
My super high vibe crashed hard after that encounter. I struggled with it for days. At the time it seemed so juvenile, almost trivial to get hung-up over such a little thing but it stuck to me like warm sap, I just couldn't shake it.
I realize now that it's because I hit a root issue - a core limiting belief that I developed as a child. I now truly appreciate the gift of that experience for illuminating a deep seeded, hindering belief.
Thanks to, The Big Leap, I finally connected all the dots. Turns out, I've got a whole constellation of experiences that were trying to illuminate that exact same issue – the fear of my own brilliance.
We are all brilliant bright lights being dimmed by bullshit beliefs. The challenge is to uncover the beliefs and transform them.
Every time you bump up against something uncomfortable you are being given the opportunity to transform something. Something deep within you is asking to be looked at and possibly released.
As Pema Chodron said, "Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know".
What is it that you've been bumping up against? What has been triggering you, making you angry or uncomfortable?
What do you need to know to access your most brilliant self?
If you're not sure I encourage you to look inward, to take stock, to evaluate where you're at and inquire into where you'd like to go. Have you reached your full potential? If not, what's holding you back?
Are you afraid of your own brilliance?
I urge you to step into that fear, to shine your brightest light, to activate your 'inner genius'. Because that is where your greatest joy resides.