Lately I’ve been thinking about what makes me unique. This has relevance to my decision to become a personal trainer. There are so many trainers out there; many, if not most, are in better shape than I am, have been at this much longer than I have, and are certainly thinner. And yet I truly believe that the path I’ve taken and the fact that I’m clearly a work in progress makes me uniquely qualified to help other women. Just like a teacher who stays one chapter ahead of her class, I too can act as a guide to others if they are on a journey similar to my own. It’s not always easy though to maintain this belief in myself. At times I get intimated by those who are further down the road than I am. When this happens, I have to remind myself that being where I am right now is exactly what will make me effective in helping others.
On a deeper level, the question of my uniqueness is related to my desire to be authentic. I recently found myself in a social situation where I lost my center and found myself acting like someone I didn’t even recognize. It was a terrible feeling. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching since then. At the top of the list of questions I’ve been asking myself is why, under certain circumstances, am I so willing to abandon my truest self?
On Friday I spent a couple of hours with the owner of a health and wellness center who graciously gave of her time to talk with me about her work and beliefs. In calligraphy on one of the rainbow-hued walls of her studio is a well-known quote that begins like this:
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 most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? ― Marianne Williamson,
When I forget to be who I am, when I try to be who I am not, that is when I feel the most inadequate. I no longer want to be afraid of my own light.