Stop Playing Small…Who Are You NOT to Be Great?

I was going to write an entire post dedicated to a recipe for a yummy chicken salad from one of my favorite blogs, Nourishing Meals.

The authors of that blog have also written a few of my favorite cookbooks, including Nourishing Meals and The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.

Asian Chicken Salad

But because of all of the exciting events over the past week, I felt more inspired to reflect on and share a life lesson that has really transformed my life and what’s possible in it.

Earlier this year, I wrote about how Bill and I started the year by declaring how we wanted to FEEL (vs. a laundry list of all the things we wanted to ACCOMPLISH) in 2015. I narrowed down how I wanted to feel to five words and have intentionally taken action to do things that make me feel RADIANT, CLEAR, FLOWING, CONNECTED and WORTHY.

When I’m speaking, teaching, or presenting about a topic near and dear to me, I feel radiant, flowing and connected. Something in the deepest part of me unlocks and I radiate only goodness and positivity. I become the best version of myself.

I feel energized, inspired and ALIVE.

I lose track of time. I’m in a “flow” state, and everything seems effortless.

I’m joyful. I’m authentic.

I’m boldly and unapologetically me.

What a relief that is.

I haven’t always felt so CLEAR or so completely myself.

In March 2015, I was recognized by WELCOA as the #1 Health Promotion Professional in the Country, and won a trip to San Diego to attend their summit. I had the privilege of being able to share a few words with my peers during an acceptance speech and was stoked to do that.

As I was sitting at the conference listening to all of the awesome speakers, I thought to myself, “I want to do that one day.” 

I reflected on the time I spent in San Diego at the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) Summit and the American Journal of Health Promotion Conference, and I wrote down a list of declarations on the last page of my journal.

goals

It’s been pretty mind-blowing to see how many of those intentions have become realities over the past 6 months.

On a warm, sunny day in late August, I received a call from Sara Rauch, the Director of Strategy and Planning for WELCOA. She invited me to be one of the speakers at the 2016 WELCOA National Summit in Orlando!

I was elated/joyful/on top of the world/stoked and couldn’t stop smiling. It was literally a dream come true.

Since then, a few of the other intentions I’d written down in April have come to be.

1) I’ve spoken at multiple SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) conferences.

I presented at the Maryland State conference in Ocean City in September, at Chapter meetings for the DCSHRM and Baltimore County SHRM, and most recently, at the Carroll County SHRM’s Annual Fall Conference. I’m slated to speak at the Montgomery County SHRM and possibly two other regional SHRM groups in 2016.CCSHRM2

2) Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to speak at a CEO group in Baltimore. The event was put on by the Hunt Valley Business Forum and was focused on Health and Wellness for the 21st Century Woman. I was one of the four panelists, each with different areas of expertise in the health and wellness field.

My friend and favorite group exercise instructor Jacob, who I’ve known for nearly a decade, invited me to be on the panel, and I felt SO alive and invigorated before, during and after the event. I met some amazing women who are doing great things in Baltimore and beyond.

hvbf flyer3) I’ve had the privilege of presenting at the Institute for Integrative Health multiple times.

I co-presented a Sweet Confessions event with Dr. Chris D’Adamo in July, taught a Yummy Snacks for Healthy, Happy Kids cooking class and workshop in September, and felt totally on fire and “in the zone” teaching this week’s workshop, “Going Gluten-Free without Going Crazy.”

GF collageIMG_2458

Have you ever walked away from a project and just felt like, “THAT is what I’m meant to do!”?

That’s exactly how I felt after Wednesday’s class. It was incredible!

We’re in the process of planning programs for next year, and I’ve been asked to speak at the Annual Health and Wellness Conference put on by the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine and hosted by the Institute for Integrative Health in April 2016. I’m pumped!

I share all of this with you not to brag or be arrogant but to prove that point that we have to BELIEVE things are possible in our lives and make room for them before they’re likely to happen.

If we NEVER think we’ll get that job, have a healthy and thriving relationship, run that half marathon, cook from scratch, get a raise, or be happy, then we probably won’t. If we believe deep down that something is impossible, then subconsciously, we’ll do things to sabotage anything that comes close to looking like what we actually want to happen in our lives.

We’ll end up shutting it down before it even has a chance to come into being.

In the spirit of transparency and being totally honest and open with you, I feel compelled to share that one of my deepest fears and insecurities is that people won’t like me, that I will be TOO successful and that, ultimately I will be alone.

I know it might sound crazy to hear me say that, but ALL of us, no matter how “successful” or accomplished we become, deal with those feelings in some way or another.

Because of that, I have to be hyper aware of that tendency, so I don’t sabotage myself or sell myself short. I love what Marianne Williamson has to say about that…

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That inspiration comes from her book, A Return to Love, and the complete passage reads 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? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

So, what about you?

What would your life look like if you were honest with yourself about what makes YOU radiate and bring light and joy into the world?

Each one of us has the power within us to be great.

So stop playing small. 

And start living the life you were meant to live!

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3 Comments

  1. Bhavana

    I cannot tell you how inspired I am by this post 🙂

    And you said “Something in the deepest part of me unlocks and I radiate only goodness and positivity.” – I can personally attest to that.

    • Rachel Druckenmiller

      I’m so glad it spoke to you! You are a light!

  2. vickib

    What an inspiration you are to those whose lives you touch, myself included, Rachel! Thank you for being open, honest, vulnerable and sharing your passion with us.

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