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3 Steps To Shine Your Brightest (And Stop Playing Small)

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Up until I hit rock bottom in my early twenties, I was constantly seeking external acceptance and trying to fit in. In primary school, I so desperately wanted to be like the popular girls that I would mimic how they sat and talked, perfecting my technique at home. I also pretended to be interested in netball when all I wanted to do was sing and dance.

In high school, I still really wanted to fit in, so I tried really hard academically and got accepted into a top university to study a bachelor of business, but again all I wanted to do was be on the stage. And then after school (because I still hadn’t learned my lesson!) I tried to fit in by partying and drinking, but it really wasn’t my truth and I’d just end up feeling uncomfortable and disappointed in myself…

In all those incidents I was shrinking — dimming my light and my uniqueness in order to feel accepted by others — when in hindsight, all I really needed to do was love and accept myself.

So why do we do it?

Marianne Williamson puts it so elegantly in her famous quote…

‘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, and 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 will not 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 just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’

Our Mean Girl is what stops us from truly shining.

Your Mean Girl lives in a constant state of fear and does not want you to shine or bring forth your brilliance to the world.

Why?

Because when you do, she cannot exist. Your Mean Girl can’t survive in the presence of love, bliss, joy, happiness, or kindness, so she’ll do whatever it takes to keep you permanently stuck in Fear Town… It’s just another one of her sneaky little games.

But here’s the thing: shining your light, letting out your brilliance, stepping into your true feminine goddess power, sharing your uniqueness with the world, and being wholly and completely you is your birthright! To be anything less is dishonouring your sacred self, and means you’re keeping yourself small. And guess what, beautiful? There is nothing you need to fix, change or improve about yourself before you ‘let’ yourself shine — you are perfect exactly the way you are. You just have to believe it, baby!

So when you find yourself desperately trying to fit in or struck by a bout of ‘comparisonitis’ (two things I have suffered greatly from in my life), know that it’s just your Mean Girl’s games trying to keep you in Fear Town. Don’t play them! Do not participate in her sneaky ways and instead rise up! Enough is enough and now is the time. We aren’t getting any younger, we are only here for a short period, and now is the time to really step up. So stop waiting for the ‘perfect moment’ when you lose the weight, find the man, have the job or the cash in the bank. That ‘perfect moment’ is right now! It’s ripe and juicy and waiting for you to grab hold with both hands and run with it. Go on — reach out and grab it. I double dare you.

Of course, it’s easy to shrink and slip back into your comfort zone, but you can’t grow and evolve by hanging out where it’s safe; it’s simply not possible. To grow you need to shimmy your way through confusion and discomfort and muck. Sometimes it’s ugly and sometimes it’s tough, but that’s okay. At least you made the effort, and the Universe will reward you.

One thing I know for sure is that the Universe will not hand you gold nuggets on a silver platter if you aren’t willing to do the work. Yet I see people act that way all the time — they want glowing health, a thriving career, and their perfect soul mate to be plonked down in front of them, but they aren’t willing to actually show up wholeheartedly for themselves. The Universe simply doesn’t work like that; you must show up for you wholeheartedly and completely.

Seeking external acceptance is the number one thing that is stopping you from truly shine.

Do that, and the world is your big, juicy coconut bliss ball. The rewards may not land in your lap right away, but they will come eventually. (They always do!)

When I look back and reflect on the moments I have left on the table because I was too busy hanging out with my Mean Girl, my heart sinks because I will never get those precious opportunities back ever again.

Nothing brought this lesson home harder than when my best friend passed on. There’s nothing quite like death to really make you aware of how important it is to soak up every single moment for what it is.

That said, it’s also counterproductive to grip onto things we’re afraid of losing or letting slip through our fingers — whether it’s people, moments in time, or something else. For example, have you ever had that experience of being in the middle of something that’s really special (say a gathering of your friends or family, or a momentous occasion like a birthday or wedding) and all of a sudden you get stricken with the fact that you’ll never ever experience this particular moment again and you Must. Hold. Onto. It. at all costs?

That’s your Mean Girl too, trying to get you out of the present moment and into a state of fear. (And as I’m sure we’ve all experienced, it can ruin your mood — and your whole night — quick-smart.) Really, truly, undeniably, the only answer to any of these scenarios is presence.

If you want to truly shine your light sooooo bright in all areas of your life, you have to gently close the door on your Mean Girl and return to love. I know it’s not always easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy (if it was, everyone would be doing it) but sweetheart, it’s oh-so-worth it.

Choosing love over fear takes commitment to yourself and the regular flexing of your self-love muscle. Like anything else in life, the more you do it the better you get at it. It’s not rocket science; it just takes dedication to being your true self…

Here Are My 3 Steps To Shine Your Light Brighter Every Day:

  1. At the first hint that your Mean Girl has entered the building, gently close the door on her.
  2. Choose to return to your heart-space and dial up your worthy-o-meter.
  3. Recommit to yourself by flexing your self-love muscle and doing something from your self-love menu.

Repeat this process whenever your Mean Girl rears her head and you find yourself sipping cocktails with her in Fear Town.

Now I want to hear from you, beautiful — how does your Mean Girl stop you from truly shining? And what is one thing off your self-love menu you are going to do next time you catch her sneaking in? Share with me in the comments below.

As always, thank you so much for being so open and loving in the comments. So many people visit this neck of the interwebs daily, and your insights could be the one thing that sparks massive inspiration deep within them.

Thank you so much for showing up for you. I honour you.

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  1. Belinda says:

    Thankyou Melissa. The universe has a funny way of giving us messages at exactly the right time & I needed this one at this moment 🙂

  2. Allison says:

    Thanks for this, really uplifting. I love getting your emails/blogs -they always seem to come at the perfect time 🙂

  3. Casey says:

    Your articles are always uplifting and beautiful Melissa, but this one has really struck something within me. Finally biting the bullet and have booked in for goddess group, so happy there were still some spots left in July in Sydney. Will be worth the trip to see you, look forward to meeting you and seeing all of your magic coming to life in person, have heard such amazing things about your group! So excited, see you in a month! 🙂 x

  4. trace says:

    Boom!! that message was exactly what i needed to hear right now. Gotta keep working on my self-love muscle and remind myself to live in the moment Thanks gorgeous

  5. Tanya Doherty says:

    Love this, thanks Mel! Thats my favourite quote ever, can’t wait to see Marianne in the flesh in Sydney.

    Thank you for being the light that you are, and encouraging us all to shine in our own ways xxx

    • Melissa says:

      You’re so welcome Tanya.

      Yes, seeing Marianne live is awesome! I saw her in LA last year and was BLOWN away. She is brilliant!

      Enjoy and let me know your insights.

      xx

  6. Erin says:

    Thank you Melissa.
    My mean girl has been in over drive this week, stopping me from grabbing opportunities at work and she is effecting my relationships at home. I’ve recently got your self love mediation which is on my phone and ready for when she pops in.
    all the love xx

    • Melissa says:

      Perfect honey! That’s a great way to stop her in her tracks.

      Keep up the awesome work beautiful.

      xx

  7. Steph says:

    My mean girl is constantly worried about being judged or criticized! I try to always say to myself, “I forgive myself for this thought, I choose love instead.” Changing our inner dialogue is oh so important, but oh so hard! Melissa, how do you close the door on your mean girl? Thanks for sharing this, very uplifting and exactly what I needed to read this morning!

    • Melissa says:

      Hey beautiful,

      I know it’s not always easy but it’s oh-so worth it. How I do it is by doing exactly that, gently closing the door on her and I practice every single day.

      It takes practice angel so keep at it 😉

      xx

  8. Marianne says:

    This made me cry. My inner mean girl is extra mean.

    • Melissa says:

      Time to gently close the door on her beautiful because it’s time to SHINE!

      xx

    • Pippa says:

      Oh no Marianne don’t let your Mean Girl be extra mean to you. Slam that door in her face and shine and be bright you are so worthy of doing that.
      Sending you lots of love and a big squeezy hug xoxo

  9. Pippa says:

    Another gorgeous post, thank you so much Melissa. You give such beautiful insights 🙂
    I have a bit of a battle royal with my Mean Girl at times but by doing lots of small things daily I find this helps – messaging my friends to share love with them – putting positivity into the world and to those I care about makes me feel warm and good in myself, taking a moment to sit and take a few deep breaths, giving myself a hug if no-one is around, making decisions based on love over fear, getting out into fresh air and moving my body (taking it out from the situation that has caused the Mean Girl issues) and sometimes just letting it out and having a cry if that is what I need in that moment.
    It can be hard to believe that things will always work out well in the end when you are going through a tough time but the old saying ‘It will be alright in the end, and if its not alright, its not the end!’ is one I say to myself when something doesn’t happen as I had hoped or planned.
    I am learning to listen more and more to my body and my instinct and trying to believe in myself so I can step into my light and shine for all the world to see whatever is thrown my way 🙂
    Lots of love and hugs beautiful Melissa xoxo

    • Melissa says:

      Beautiful Pippa.

      I know it can feel hard when you are in it but keep letting go of your expectations and allow yourself to feel whatever it is you need to feel in that moment. You are on the right path. I am here for you angel. Just reach out.

      xx

      • Pippa says:

        I need a big squeeze tonight as things are not going well over the past few days….. Hope you had a fantastic long weekend xoxo

      • Melissa says:

        Big squeeze coming your way angel.

        xx

  10. Marcella says:

    Thank you, Melissa 🙂
    This is the article I wanted to read! I have been trying to get clear on why our Mean Girl is in existence to begin with. And now, I’ve gained some greater clarity on that thanks to your writing this post. I wonder if this is part of our ‘job’ here as human beings on the planet – I.e., learning to trust ourselves and to love ourselves.
    I identified with all the ways you described you felt in your journey, both the lighter aspects as well as the more icky feelings of discomfort.
    There’s a sensation I have been only able to identify lately as a sense of regret & betrayal when I step outside myself in an effort to ‘succeed’ in the outside world. What a bummer. I’m glad to even put it into words because up until, I just felt uncomfortable and I couldn’t figure why!
    Thanks again, Melissa, I am so pleased to be able to absorb as well as to share all these observations with you and other beauties 🙂
    Baci

    • Melissa says:

      Hey Marcella,

      You’re right we are here to learn these crazy wild lessons… it’s all part of the process. So let’s enjoy it and ride the wave.

      Keep up the awesome work honey.

      xx

  11. Cayla says:

    My mean girl occasionally pops up to remind me that I am not ready for the ‘big bad world’, That I am scared for next year leaving school and that I have not achieved enough.
    For me gently stretching, listening to music or even crying is a way to release these thoughts. I think it is all a learning process though. So much is tossed at us daily and it is only human to fall victim too it but it is also your choice to Be happy, to flourish and shine.

    It definitely takes time, but your so right, It is ‘oh-so-worth-it’ haha

    Love and Light xx

  12. carmen says:

    Hi Melissa
    This article came up at the BEST time for me… I have joined your goddess group and am getting soooo much out of it – I’m doing the work and my life is just changing the most fantastic ways! – I had a big run in with my mean girl about a week ago when I met someone who was absolutley gorgeous (who worked with my hubby) – I went straight back into shrinking into a ball of nothingness (horrible!). The difference is, this time I could see and clearly hear my mean girl and – after sitting with myself – I was happy, actually I was ESTATIC and I fully jumped around the loungeroom because I finally had my ‘ka-ching’ moment….I really heard those nasty whispers and chose to say ‘no thanks – not today’ and clearly challenged every nasty thing I was thinking – then I felt FREEDOM!! Woot woot! Love your work Melissa – oh, I had a number of things happen over the following few days too – like a domino effect of love – so great!

    • Melissa says:

      Well done honey! I am so proud of you for saying ‘no thanks’ to your Mean Girl. I know it’s not easy so nice work.

      Keep going my love, I believe in you 😉

      xx

  13. Katie says:

    This quote is excellent:

    “Of course, it’s easy to shrink and slip back into your comfort zone, but you can’t grow and evolve by hanging out where it’s safe; it’s simply not possible. To grow you need to shimmy your way through confusion and discomfort and muck. Sometimes it’s ugly and sometimes it’s tough, but that’s okay. At least you made the effort, and the Universe will reward you”.

    People are always looking for an easy path, or a cop out. I like this reminder that hard work, and presence, is the way to achieve.

    That quote! So powerful!

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