“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 MSG
Picture this for a few minutes: The electricity goes off in your house…pitch darkness. You turn on a lamp, whether a rechargeable one, a kerosene lantern or ‘bobo’. Then you put it under a metal bucket. Nice and easy. That is abnormal behavior. Very abnormal.
When you have a great idea, a thriving business, a cutting-edge skill, a unique ability and no one knows about it because you are deliberately not promoting it, you have effectively put your light under a bucket. Where no one can see it.
Like products and services, individuals are also brands. If you have skills and competencies yet no one knows about you, you are hiding.
Sadly, more often than not, women do very little to project their value. We tend to be more laid back (especially in Ghana, the environment I am familiar with) and do not want to be seen to be bragging. We do not tell our own stories. I am not an advocate for hype. I am an advocate for promoting the authenticity of the work you do, the value of what you offer and using promotional tools to reach the right audience. It is not bragging to share your best work on social media. It is not bragging to publicize your achievements. It is putting your light on a table instead of under a bucket.
I know that sometimes it feels like telling your own story is too much work, especially when we are in an era of excessive publicity and the lines between personal branding and social media hype are increasingly being blurred. We are afraid we will be judged, and we may be inadequate.
I borrow from Marianne Williamson who said:
“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 is not in some of us; it is 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.
My dear intelligent lady, you are blessed immensely with gifts and talents. You have worked to develop competencies and skills. The world is waiting for your manifestation and God wants glory. Go ahead, blow your own horn…and when others want to add ‘good measure’ do not short-change yourself by saying “oh, that’s nothing”. Go…shine!
About the writer
Petra Aba Asamoah is a Marketing Practitioner and author of “Sales 101, What Everyone Should Know About Sales”, her maiden book. The book provides a guide for everyone who wants to be able to sell. She is a training consultant, teaches marketing on a part-time basis, and keeps a blog – petraasamoah.com. She is married and a mother of two lovely children.