Dimming your light so others may shine?

Contrary to most, my sisters and I tend to dim our lights to allow others shine. We try not to talk so much about our achievements, the things we’ve accomplished or the projects we are working on. We found talking about ourselves uncomfortable and even worse, we struggled to market and promote our business or ourselves at work.

We were so conscious of rubbing ourselves in others’ faces that we ended up putting a cloud over our sunshine. At work, we struggled with saying what we had done. We believed our work would speak for us. We had a false belief that speaking about yourself and what you are doing equaled arrogance. In our minds, humility meant not blowing your own trumpet. This is true to an extent and I doubt we would ever be able to fully blow our own trumpet. But we have come to realise that it is okay to speak about yourself, what you do and what you have accomplished without being arrogant. Of course context matters greatly as well as the way and tone in which it is said but overall where the need to speak arises, SPEAK! You do no one any good by putting your light locked up in a box. We are still learning but we are much better than we used to be.

We’ve realised that we can confidently speak about ourselves, our beliefs, our accomplishments and our purpose — and it is okay! Quite frankly we’ve learnt that you need to, especially at work, in business or other performance related environments. Be it in the work place, at home, with family and loved ones, there is usually a place for letting people know what you do, who you are and what you are about for various reasons:

1) You rob others of the benefits of knowing your story when you don’t

2) Your story, journey or accomplishments can bring encouragement to others

3) Your skills may be just what the next person needs — your gift(s) will make room for you, how else can it if people do not know what you are able to offer

4) You learn from others. If people know what you are and what you do, they can help you by sending useful information, articles, or opportunities

5) It builds you up, impacts your growth and development

6) You lose out on gaining a sponsor, mentor champion, supporter, potential business partner or client

Many times we hear talks about not needing to dim other people’s light to cause yours to shine brighter. We never realise the reverse could be the case.

Never feel the need to dim your light to make others shine. Your shine does not stop others from shinning, it only adds to how brightly our collective lights shine. Be confident in who you are and what you have become and still becoming. It is part of your beautiful story and the best stories are the ones shared with others.

Remember, it is okay to shine! There is so much room for everyone. It is no fun shinning alone and even worse not shinning at all.

“You are the light of the world — like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Vese Aghoghovbia 'Wolu

Vese is a Chartered Engineer and Strategy Lead at a Utility company. She graduated from Imperial College London with an MEng in Electrical & Electronic Engineering with Management and was awarded the IET Engineering Degree Scholarship for Academic Excellence in Alevels. She is a co-founder at DVees and an avid baker. She is passionate about empowerment, justice and equality. She has a desire to see everyone find and flourish in their "sweet spot"

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