- Your Gift
- No matter what the event, room or space, you are a lightning rod for attention. You get noticed when you enter the room, and when you leave it. You have the gift of innate presence. You can take up space like nobody’s business, and be sure that wherever you find yourself, people are watching. You have an innate celebrity factor.
Common Shadow Sides
- Being seen and noticed becomes like an addict getting their fix. There’s never enough and you always need more people to notice you. You take up space however is necessary, and doing so in ways that are obnoxious and overbearing. Because of your ability to crowd others out of the spotlight, every space, situation, party and conversation becomes a one-man show with you as the star. When done from fear, you tend to be masterful at hiding in plain sight. It seems like you’re sharing a lot, but you know that it’s all part of the show. Is being the star of the show always this lonely?
- Terrified of being too much or keeping other people from shining their light, you constantly dim your own light. The experience people have is of immediately noticing you when you enter a room, immediately forgetting you, and then being puzzled when they notice you again. “Why did I forget this person?” You resent those that take up their own space, while secretly envying them, wishing you had the same ability. You become a champion for other people’s light to shine brightly, while subtly training them, based on how you’re being, to not shine too bright.
- As you get present with your impact, you commit to giving other people the space (for no other reason than it feels exhausting having to always be on — another symptom of always starring in a one-woman show). You hold yourself back, sitting quietly and giving other people the space. You last for a short amount of time before you have to jump in and take the space you know everyone wants you to take, stealing a punchline, or kicking someone off the stage as they’re in the middle of getting comfortable with it. It seems like a shift, but all you’re really doing is training people around you that it’s worth bothering to step up when you’re around.
- “I will take up space!”, you declare loudly, committed to no longer hiding yourself. When you do so, years of atrophy causes your attempt to land awkwardly and cause you embarrassment. Desperate to get out of the spotlight, you shut down almost as fast as you showed up, committing to do one of two things: 1. Never show up that way again (continue to dim your light), or 2. Power through this and stop worrying about how other people perceive you (Shifting more towards the diva side of the shadow). The lesson people learn either way is to keep their light dim.
Typical Breakthrough Path
- Your shadows are generally created to avoid being too much and irrelevant (the two poles). The obvious approach is to overcompensate to the other pole. If you’re currently being too much, swing all the way to the other end and make yourself invisible for other people. Your breakthrough will likely come from learning to calibrate and adjust your presence in the room as best suits the situation. Practice noticing your impact — are you taking up a lot of space? Any space? What would best serve this moment? What about the team? In this moment, does the team need someone to show up and really model taking our space, or do they need someone to hold space while others shine? Be willing to get the feedback that you’re being too much, and then take a look and see where and how it’s true (there’s almost always a truth to this feedback, even if it’s rarely the one that the person giving the feedback is insisting upon).