The Tools You Need To Unveil Brilliance

It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to define yourself and we’re so quick to put ourselves in a box. Maybe you define yourself in some of these ways:

  • By role: I’m a parent, leader, friend, patient, student

  • By career: I’m a teacher, businessperson, manager

  • By personality traits: I’m focused, shy, extroverted, creative, funny

  • By physical traits: I’m athletic, skinny, blonde, healthy

  • By abilities: I’m good/bad at dancing, sports, learning, relationships

But what if by pigeon holing yourself into a single category you were concealing from yourself, and the world just how brilliant you truly are?

Every time you define who you are, whether in terms of traits, qualities, or roles, you bind yourself to those definitions. They become a box that limits you; you can’t see anything else and can’t allow yourself to be anything beyond the definition.

You may have noticed that trying to know who you are also tends to bring more doubt and judgment—doubt that you perhaps still don’t know who you are, and judgment that you’re not being that person as well as you could be. These doubts and judgments contribute to hiding your brilliance.

By brilliance, I’m not talking about status or genius; I’m talking about the uniqueness of you, and what is possible for life and living that others don’t know, both about yourself and about the world.

To understand who you truly are, beyond any of the definitions, doubts, and judgments, I offer the following steps to help you get there:

Step #1: Let Go of Definitions

Probably the hardest of all, you need to let go of definitions. Many of the definitions of you came from other people and you’ve continued to use them as guidelines to define you.

Are you willing to be different, and let go of what somebody else told you is right and what others want or need you to be? If your life has been about fulfilling everybody else’s needs and being who you’re supposed to be for them, ask, “Who and what am I beyond all of that?”

In fact, any time you notice yourself putting a box around yourself by saying “I am…” flip it and instead ask, “Who am I?”

Leave the question out there, and don’t look for an answer—that would be a new definition—just ask the question and be open to the possibility that you are beyond definition.

When you let go of the need to define yourself, you can ask in every moment, “Who would I like to be right now?” In not being fixed to your identity, you become flexible to master any situation.

Take family gatherings—a time many people feel locked into the projections and expectations of others, and when who you’re supposed to be becomes more real and relevant than who you know you are. Instead of staying in the box of who you’re supposed to be, if you ask, “Who can I be right now that would change everything?” you might be surprised what can show up.

Step #2: Stop Judging You

Judgments are simply another definition, and they are the number one killer of your brilliance. Watch very small children; most do not judge, and they are brilliant! If you tend to judge yourself now, you learned how to do that by watching others judge themselves and taking on any judgments they had of you.

One way to begin to stop judging you is to recognize that judgments aren’t real; they’re just an interesting point of view. Every time you notice a judgment of yourself, say “Interesting point of view I have that point of view.” Keep saying it until you notice the charge on the judgment diminishes.

Step #3: Receive Judgment From Others

Family and friends get used to ‘who you are’ and if you step out of that and into your brilliance, they may see you as crazy or no longer ‘yourself’. If you were willing to receive their points of view, what freedom would that give you?

After all, being “crazy” in other people’s eyes is just seeing possibilities that others won’t, can’t, or don’t see, which is brilliant!

Receiving judgment does not mean taking it on and believing it to be real and true. It simply means you receive it as that person’s point of view and let it go. You don’t resist and react to it, nor do you align and agree with it.

Most people have lived under a garbage heap of judgments—their own and others—and think the best they can do is try to avoid them. Instead, when you recognize they’re just an interesting point of view, you can receive them, and heal the separation between you and your brilliance.

When you embody your brilliance—the possibilities you see that others don’t—you become the opening for other people to know that it’s possible for them too. Maybe you follow your own

knowing about being in your body, and it inspires a friend to be in her body in a new way, or the freedom of receiving the judgments of family inspires another family member to step into his or her brilliance regardless of what others might think.

The more you can let go of definitions, stop judging you, and be willing to receive judgment from others but not buy into it, the more you will unveil your brilliance.

Give yourself permission for your life to be the adventure of creating yourself in each moment—it is immensely fun and freeing.  But don’t take my word for it; try it out for yourself!

Susanna Mittermaier worked with psychotherapy, counseling and neuropsychological testing at the psychiatric department at the University clinic in Lund, Sweden. Susanna inspires people around the world to discover the capacities that are hiding behind insanity and mental illness. She is the author of the revolutionary book, Pragmatic Psychology: Practical Tools for Being Crazy Happy. For more information visit www.susannamittermaier.com.

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