People Who Shine From Within Don’t Need the Spotlight

I recently heard a successful performer on a popular TV show preface the advice she planned to give by saying: “I’m just a girl, but…” I almost came out of my chair. Did I hear her correctly? Was this beautiful, accomplished woman trying to diminish herself in front of her peers OR was it a backhanded way of seeking the spotlight?

People who shine from within don't seek the spotlight

Most people want to be recognized.

And it can be hard to avoid the temptation to become a shameless self-promoter. People say, “if you don’t toot your own horn, nobody else will” and there’s truth in that. It’s especially difficult to strike a balance if you’re marketing yourself, your small business or a brilliant new idea.

But people who shine from within don’t need the spotlight.

It IS possible to build value in what you offer so others are drawn to you. Your work doesn’t need to be eclipsed by the latest bright and shiny object. Bling can blind people. We’ve all watched the attention-getter crash and burn and the quiet, qualified person step in to save the day.

So how do you stand out without changing your personality to become something you’re not? Here are three ways:

  1. Create your own story. There is something unique about you – an adventure, a struggle, a discovery you’ve made. Bring it into your bio, your resume, your next conversation. Give people something interesting to remember you by. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Being adventurous isn’t bragging. Consider it an opportunity to add spark and sizzle to the lives of others. People hunger for inspiring stories.
  2. Build your own bright spot. What’s stopping YOU from creating the thing(s) you want to be part of? Take the initiative. Be a leader. You don’t have to wait for permission or for someone else to make it happen for you. Just because you didn’t get the job, the promotion or that new piece of business doesn’t mean you can’t put it into your life anyway. Act as though it’s true.
  3. Focus on the wallflowers. It’s easy to be drawn towards people who are popular, successful and larger than life. But it’s the person alone at the edge of the crowd who offers the best opportunity to have an impact. Come alongside those who others ignore. Introduce them. Refer them. Show an interest in who they are and what they do. These folks will never forget you and they may become your greatest advocates.

The world is full of opportunity. You are not limited by a job description, geography or competitors. There is always something different and better you can bring to the table!

Next Steps:

  1. Ask ten people what they think you are good at. Eliminate what you dislike and try each day to build more of what you love into your daily routine.
  2. List your greatest struggles and what lessons you’ve learned from them. Can you help someone facing a similar challenge?
  3. Look for the problems. Even if they’re minor, you may have a solution that leads to something significant. The further you drive in the dark, the further your headlights will shine.
  4. Ask yourself, what am I feeling compelled to do? Then ask, what is my motivation? If it’s to create something that will change a life for the better, you’re on the right track!

Benefits and Sacrifices of Being a Veteran

Military service is a mission and lifestyle embraced by less than one percent of U.S. citizens. On this Veterans Day, I’d like share a few of the benefits and sacrifices:

Thank You Veterans

  • The honor of folding the Flag for family members of deceased service members
  • Teaming up with strangers from all over the U.S. and from all walks of life
  • Camaraderie that forms when you know you’re all in it together
  • The quiet, humble demeanor of those who have sacrificed most
  • The sense of responsibility one feels when putting on the uniform
  • The courage of family members who say goodbye all too often
  • Learning that even a file clerk’s job contributes to the mission
  • Standing side-by-side with those who truly have your back
  • The importance of attention to detail
  • Creating home in a dorm room, a tent, an airplane hangar or a ship
  • Appreciating the faces and personal impact of national defense
  • Knowing that training seminars are held to keep you alive
  • That maturity grows through responsibility
  • That “earning your clothes” ties character to outward appearance
  • Watching the way military families look out for each other
  • Gaining the respect of fellow Veterans
  • Knowing that everyone is willing to clean a toilet
  • If one person needs to wear a sweater, we all wear a sweater
  • That sandbags don’t fill themselves
  • That the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful never fail to raise a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye

Many thanks to our Veterans. We respect you and honor you!


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