Trust Your Brilliance


Trust:  Confidence, belief, faith, certainty. As a noun, trust is easy to understand. Trust is also a verb: to have faith in, to believe in, to have confidence in. I want to encourage you to explore a third dimension: trust as an action verb. Listen, acknowledge, and accept, even if you don’t understand it, yes, but most importantly, do something. (We’ll deal with brilliance in a bit.)

If you have a creative idea, make or find something physical that tells you it is real. Buy a copy of Mountain Climber magazine; send away for submission guidelines to Esquire; look up the plane fare to Alaska and print out the flights; clear a space on a table and put the empty notebook and a good pen there; make the book cover in the exact dimensions you envision; make a business card with your new title; write out a deposit slip with the magic number on it. You get the idea.

Brilliance is trickier than trust. Brilliance is open to interpretation. When a Steve Jobs or Robert Reich speaks, it’s brilliant. TED Talkers are brilliant. Spelling bee champs, physicists, artists in galleries, even people on street corners improvising mad poetry can be brilliant. The one person who can’t be brilliant, because they obviously are not, is you.

I’m going to show you why it isn’t true, but first I’m going to speak to the nearly insurmountable obstacle inherent in my three word dictum: The rule prohibiting saying anything nice about yourself. You must at least practice speaking positively about yourself. Not because you are going to make a life’s work out of giving yourself pats on the back, but because it is essential to find out what lies in the unconscious in response to making those statements.

I’m sure you feel it: The cultural, personal, psychological and sociological avalanche of prohibition and denial of your own goodness and worthiness. It’s simply not okay and not done, and furthermore, it leads to terrible things like grandiosity and self-delusion, to say you, I, am brilliant. Bad, bad, bad.

Oh my! Such denigration! Such chastising, scolding, and damnation! Heaped on little old you! Before you’ve even begun to create, to live, or to dream. No wonder you are stuck and jumbled.

Here’s the other reason it is not true. Listen to this definition of brilliant: “shining brightly, sparkling, glittering, lustrous.” That’s it. Now, ask yourself: Isn’t there a part of you – your eyes, your wit, your hands, your ideas about healthcare, your plan for sewing a toy, your love of gardening, the little cards you give people, your care of your pet, your delight in Dancing With the Stars, the hope you feel at your niece’s graduation, your intense love, your very soul – that is brilliant?

Isn’t there a part of you that is lustrous and sparkling? You know there is. It’s okay –You don’t have to put it on a billboard, and it doesn’t have to be headline worthy. The truth is, each of us shines with the luster of Something that is alive, uniquely, as each one of us.

You are brilliant. Trust your brilliance.

And tell me, what brilliance have you chosen to trust? Or, what brilliance do you suspect you should start trusting? Let us in on it. There’s power there. Your power. Own it.

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by Phyllis Capanna © 2013

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0 thoughts on “Trust Your Brilliance

  1. Thank you, Phyllis, for this encouragement! At my workplace – where I am a cashier – customers often ask me why I usually say that I feel terrific. Here’s what I tell them: You know, several months ago, I took inventory and decided that it would be a crime if I DIDN’T feel terrific, because – gosh darn it! – I AM terrific! I recently learned a prayer that I really like: Dear Lord (or whatever,) please help me to accept the truth about myself, no matter how beautiful it is. My youngest daughter, when I shared this thought with her, told me that she starts every day with this same prayer! Beautiful!

    1. That’s a beautiful prayer and affirmation, Dave! Thanks for reminding me of it. It’s a nice twist on the usual. We are still so un-used to thinking this way about ourselves. This is why we need to hear it from the loving Universe. Thanks for reading.

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