“Let Your Light Shine” may seem like a cliché. Millions of people have read those words over the past 2000 years. But how many have stopped to ponder what those four simple words really mean?
When you consider the deeper meaning of the phrase “let your light shine,” it offers new inspiration to both how you build your business or career and the way you live your life.
Let me walk you through my interpretation of these four simple words. It may be just what you need to help you align with your purpose and let your light shine.
The word “let” has a number of definitions. But these are the most important:
1. To cause to: make
2. To give opportunity to or fail to prevent
3. To free from confinement
What might the word “let” mean for you?
It might mean:
• Taking bolder actions that cause your light to be seen.
• Making your light shine.
• Seeking out opportunities to let your light shine more fully.
• Stop preventing your light from shining—stop dimming it or making it seem less brilliant than it really is! Stop understating your gifts in your conversations with others.
• Stop preventing your light from shining by giving yourself permission to be seen, heard and noticed in the world.
• Freeing your brilliance from confinement by being aware of the voices in your head telling you that you aren’t good enough, capable enough or worthy to shine.
You’ll notice I use the word “brilliance” often. It comes from the French verb briller meaning “to shine.” So when someone tells you, “That was absolutely brilliant,” you’ll know you’ve been letting your light shine!
What is “your” light? Is the light you’re shining really your light? Or are your actions intended to please or impress someone else? As long as you are acting with the intent to align with someone else’s values, you are not being true to yourself. You are not shining your light.
What is your light? What are your greatest gifts? What is your unique brilliance and what is its highest expression in the world? When do you feel most authentic and the most yourself?
For example, you may be a great writer. You may have made hundreds of thousands of dollars writing for other people. Writing may be your greatest gift. But is writing for other people, rather than using your gift to express your unique values and perspectives, the highest calling for your writing?
To become a brilliant entrepreneur, business owner or human being, the light you shine must be your own.
The greatest light that impacts every living thing from day to day streams down on us all from the sun. It gives life to every plant and animal and to us human beings by helping the plants grow, by giving us oxygen to breath, by generating vitamin D when our skin absorbs its rays. And, as the dictionary defines light, it is “something that makes vision possible.”
What is it about you that makes the greatest impact for good on others? How do you help people grow or change for the better? How do you make a greater vision possible for your clients, family or friends?
One dictionary definition of “light” is “spiritual illumination” including inner light, enlightenment and truth.
How do you help others discover their true “inner light”, increase their level of enlightenment, or more clearly understand the truth about themselves and their place in the world?
What is the most authentic gift you are here to share? That is your light.
Of these four simple words “shine” may be the most exciting of all. Courtesy of Merriam-Webster, I have six definitions to share with you for the word “shine”.
#1 To emit rays of light—I love this definition. Can you envision yourself standing in one of your favorite places—maybe the beach or on a mountain top? Picture your unique and brilliant gifts flowing from the top of your head, from each of your finger tips, from your heart and being emitted as swirling rays of light taking your unique blessings and brilliance to the world.
The rays expand far, far beyond your physical reach, perhaps all the way around the world. And your rays of light fill the earth with a goodness that is your unique gift to give.
#2 To be bright by reflection of light—Perhaps one of your gifts is to help others shine their light in the world? While reflecting someone else’s light may seem a trivial act, let me share a story that illustrates what a blessing this gift can be.
Many years ago I hiked to Timpanogos Cave in Alpine, Utah. At one point in the hike, our group entered a cavernous room with high ceilings far from the cave entrance. The ranger leading the tour instructed us to turn off all our flashlights. The cave was then lit only by his meager candle. But when he held up a mirror to that candle, the room, once dimly light, was now filled with light!
The brightness was not due to any change in the candle but resulted from the magnifying power of the mirror reflecting its glow. To help others be “bright by reflection of light” is a great work.
#3 To be eminent, conspicuous or distinguished—To be “eminent” also means to be “conspicuous”. When you are conspicuous you are “obvious to the eye” and “attracting attention”.
To be distinguished is to be “marked by excellence or eminence”. As faith-centered entrepreneurs, we tend to focus more on being humble and inconspicuous than on letting our light shine. Truly the message is, “Get noticed!”
#4 To perform extremely well—Someone once said that something worth doing is worth doing well. Your goal in letting your light shine is to “perform extremely well,” whether that means that your marketing copy is well written, that your speaking skills are up to snuff or that the coaching and training you give your clients is of the highest quality.
#5 To have a bright, glowing appearance—Think back to a time when have you heard the phrase, “Oh my dear! You are absolutely glowing!” Most likely it referred to someone in a state of bliss, someone truly happy with the way things were going. When you Let Your Light Shine, you are aligned with the passions and activities that make you happy…that make you glow.
When you’re not clear about your gifts or when you are living someone else’s dream, your light grows dim. When you are clear about your gifts and how to share them with the world, you too will be glowing from the inside out!
#6 To be conspicuously evident or clear—How interesting that being conspicuous comes up again in the definition of “shine”! To be “conspicuously evident” means to be “obviously clear to the vision or understanding.”
In order to Let Your Light Shine, you must achieve two things:
1. You must be clear about your own gifts, mission, and message to the world.
2. You must express with clarity how you employ your gifts and your message to change and uplift the lives of others.
You can’t be clear about how you serve others until you’re clear about your own gifts, mission and message. And until you manage to get clear, you’ll have a tough time building your gifts into a business that serves the world and rewards you for your gifts.
Your first step toward becoming truly brilliant is to be clear about your purpose, about how your purpose relates to your work with your clients, and about exactly how to express that to prospective clients so you can attract the people you will enjoy working with most and have the greatest impact upon.
What Does It Really Mean?
Let Your Light Shine means much more than simply showing off in the world or making your presence known. The Let Your Light Shine philosophy is all about giving yourself permission to be the truest and best you in front of the world.
It’s about being true to your gifts, your passions, and your sense of calling in this life. It’s about using your gifts to give life, growth, understanding, and vision to others. It means allowing your unique brilliance to shine forth in the world clearly, boldly, and conspicuously.
Let Your Light Shine
To help you get on track to letting your light truly shine, write down your answers these four questions:
1. LET: What do you need to give yourself permission to do?
2. YOUR: If you were to stop performing for others and let YOUR light shine, what would your life look like?
3. LIGHT: What is the most authentic give you are here to share?
4. SHINE: What activities, topics or situations fill you with absolute light and energy?
Ready to Let Your Light Shine?
If you are a faith-centered and purpose-driven entrepreneur with a message or mission that requires you to Let Your Light Shine in a bigger, bolder way than you have ever dared before, you are in the right place at the right time.
If you’re here, it’s your time to shine!
As a life coach and business mentor, my main objectives are to help you get extraordinarily clear about your message, mission, and offers and to guide you through the steps of taking your message, mission, and offers out into the world.
The 7 Steps to Brilliance isn’t just a great book title, it’s a mentoring and development path designed to help you and your purpose-driven business make the leap from being unseen, unheard and unknown to truly letting your light shine.