There is a quote I love.

“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 … Your playing small does not serve the world. … As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” 

Marianne Williamson

This quote has been on the wall beside my desk, pasted in my bullet journal, and has followed me for a while.  

I’ve always used it to remind me to shine and not hide. 

However, recently a conversation with my husband had me focusing on this part of the quote:  “we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” 

Others inspire us. We model others. 

What are we modeling? 


What are you modeling?

As entrepreneurs, we often have trouble taking time for breaks, rest, and vacation.  

Due to high stress, I have been building in more breaks into my day. I’ve made a conscious effort to end my day with time to rest before heading out to Taekwondo or other responsibilities. I’ve been working less on the weekends so spend more time with me. I’ve also avoided making plans and said no to more than I usually do—all to recover from the constant stress of family obligations.

When I am working, I’m focused. However, the length of time I can focus for the time being. The focus I do have means I’m getting most of my goals done and not dropping too many balls. I do not have much left for extras. Hence the breaks and rest.  

I thought I could recover quickly, and the need for frequent breaks would be over after a week or so. However, I still feel drained by our family obligations and need breaks and rest. This made me wonder what my husband thought about the breaks and rest, and I started to tell myself some not-good stories.  

Instead of continuing to tell myself the stories, I asked him. 

To my surprise, his response was one of support. He is under the same stress and is feeling the same drain. 

He shared that my breaks and rest times gave him permission to do the same. He explained that he was reminded and encouraged to break when he saw me enjoying our deck, taking time to go for a swim, or reading in a comfy chair.  

You never know the impact you are having on others

I was glad we talked about it. I could let go of the guilt and feel supported. 

I also got the reminder that people are always watching us, and our actions are having an impact.  

It reminded me of the last sentence of the Marianne Williamson quote. I unconsciously was giving my husband permission to take breaks and rest. 

Maybe my story will unconsciously give you permission too.  

My husband and I have some staycation time booked. Actual time off (except for our family obligations) where we will say no to meetings, maybe go flying, and stay off the computers.   I hope our individual actions give each other permission to enjoy the time off. I know the other will unconsciously follow when one of us starts working. 

As you think about it, how do you think you have an impact or influenced others? Is there a time when you unconsciously gave others permission to do something?  

Every action we take impacts the lives of others around us. The question is: are you aware of your impact?

Arthur Carmazzi

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