When I was growing up, people would ask me what I wanted to be. I had numerous answers; an archaeologist, a marine biologist but never did I mention what I really aspired to be, a professional footballer.
I’m not sure if the lack of truth was me being afraid of sharing my dreams for fear of them being laughed at or the dread of being reminded if I failed that I had done exactly that, failed.
This got me thinking why would a 12year old boy be so secretive about his dreams and ambitions. The answer rests in our society! Australians are great advocates of ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome.’ For those who don’t know, Tall Poppy Syndrome is a tendency to discredit those who have achieved some form of success in their life. A direct result of this condition is people holding back in their pursuit of excellence. Tall Poppy Syndrome can also divulge itself in the reluctance to share success and achievement. Put simply Australians are too modest. The idea of standing out is foreign and something to be avoided at all costs.
Some of you are probably thinking how is this a bad thing? Isn’t modesty an admirable quality? The answer is yes, IF it doesn’t attach an anchor to our aspirations. Think about all the missed opportunities that aspiring to be normal, adequate and sufficient cultivates.
Be proud of your own goals. Share them with those that will support you. Our dreams and aspirations are there to be striven for and attained, not laughed at and ignored. So next time you see someone achieve something spectacular, recognise him or her. We rise by lifting others!
“Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? 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… 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.”
– Marianne Williamson