I’m a big guy; 6’5”, 235 pounds. All my life I have been compensating for my physical presence by making myself smaller, so as not to intimidate others. When I say I make my self smaller, it goes beyond the physical; I make myself smaller in every aspect of my life. I have compromised myself, and my gifts, in order to make those around me more comfortable.
Today, as I was working out at my Aikido class, my partner said to me, “ You are not using your full height and power; try changing your posture. “ I stood taller and did the exercise, this time without trying to make it easy for him. It felt comfortable and he was thrown to the mat with force; but gracefully. As I became more comfortable with myself, we worked out together easily. The truth is that by being my real size and not compromising my power, it allowed my partner to get much more out of our work together. He was able to adjust and move to the new and energetic challenge I presented; and by pushing him, I allowed him to grow.
I see now that by being anything less than our full selves, we are not doing anyone a favor. I was not doing myself a favor by keeping myself in a physical and mental straight jacket; of my own making; and I certainly was not doing those around me any good. Yes, every person is different and we want to make adjustments to them; but I never want to be so busy with concerns about others that I do not fulfill my own potential.
When we have big dreams; but fear that even mentioning them would freak people out; would disrupt the status quo, and be too much for people; we underestimate them. My experience is that by acting in alignment with our dreams, values, and purpose; we activate the potential of those around us. We allow them to grow with us. Those that are not interested in growing will find other partners; but those that stay, will push us and support us, as we use the best parts of ourselves in service to the world.