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Posted by on Apr 28, 2013 in Educate, Elevate, Empower, Inspiration, Soul Food | 0 comments

Too BIG for your Britches?

Google greatness. Click the ‘image’ button and read through all the quotes on it. Quotes about fear, challenges, growth, scary edges, excellence, responsibility, boldness, genius, significance, power… it’s pretty intimidating. If you’re afraid of big things.

“Think you’re too small to make a difference?

Try sleeping with a mosquito.”

~ Dalai Lama

So you push past your fear, deal with the doubt, and you get out there, with all your enthusiasm, eagerness, angst and moxie. And you make things happen. Exciting, big things! You’re proud of your work. You are proud of your growth. People ask to be involved and others offer to help lift you higher. You are on FIRE! And then BAMMMMM! The negative Nellies come knocking. It’s like whiplash the first time it happens. Painful, shocking, frustrating.

I think we are raised with a lot of conflicting messages. As children and as adults we are fed messages that teach us to grow, to excel, to reach for the stars. We are encouraged to be courageous, think outside of the box, to be innovators. Those who do just that, and succeed, often suffer a rude awakening on the other side of their success. While your audience becomes larger and more enthusiastic, it is common for these people to lose friends. Even more common is family who disconnect from the success. Strangers send nasty emails, tweets, posts… negativity from people who don’t even know you. That type of ugly is easier to cast aside than the resistance you can receive from family and friends. They will tell you that you’ve changed. I’ve been told that I’m too big for my britches. You’ll be asked who you think you are.

Here’s the answer. It’s not easy for the people in the rearview to hear. The answer is that you are growing into your purpose. That’s the change. You have chosen to grow. Growth scares people because it makes them evaluate their choices. So what you are experiencing is not really about how they feel about you. You are dealing with how they feel about themselves. People who are afraid of living their lives will always find time to lash out at others who are living out loud. It happens to children in school – the athletes, the academics, the artists. These kids face bullies all the time. It isn’t much different as adults. The mavericks, the innovators, the dreamers – all bullied and shushed at one point or another. To the children and adults alike, I say live out loud, and ignore the ugliness that tries to hinder your joy.

I applaud your growth! I encourage you to continue to stretch and discover your purpose. Make the big decisions. Face the ugly truths, the self doubt, the fear of failure. Accept the greatness within you, feed your faith and move forward. You are leading others, whether you intend to or not. You are showing people that they don’t have to settle for where they are. Your effort, your growth, it’s challenging the epidemic of mediocrity. All that you have conquered is beneficial for you, and for those around you.

We are all meant for more. Each of us has a purpose greater than our fears and bigger than our comfort zone.  Alone we can grow faster, but together we can grow greater. Surround yourself with others who are growing. Connect with people who are in motion. Encourage each other! The world has too many small minded people. Honor the gifts you have been given. Shrinking serves no one. Being brave enough to RISE can inspire the masses.

Rising together – Joanna