Shining: How to believe in your own success

by | Aug 2, 2010

Photo credit: Dad 🙂
Quite a few years back I had one of those quasi-mystical experiences that shakes you up and refocuses your life. I don’t remember where I was or what I was doing, yet the moment of realization is as clear now as it was then.
It’s a bit scary to share this, but here goes. I realized that I wanted to be a star.
Not a rock star or movie star, but a star in the sky. I wanted to shine.
A few years later I came across a photo I’ve shared here before. It’s of five-year-old me on the beach at Santa Monica. For me, it captures the essence of shining. I keep it on my desk to remind me of who I am and what I’m here to do.
This is about you
So far it probably sounds like this is about me, but it’s not. It’s about you and who you really are. And it’s about you succeeding as a human being and a person who’s self-employed.
Because the secret to success isn’t what you do. It’s living what lights you up. When you are alight with with enthusiasm, self-trust, and joy, it is easy to see and take the steps you need to take to succeed.
Of course, shining isn’t always easy
Even if you believe that, at bottom, everything is perfect, you know that shining isn’t always easy. Weeks and months can go by when you forget that you are a star. And somehow I have to think that’s okay.
It’s okay because the human journey is about teaching each other to shine. Every time you forget and remember who you are, you learn a bit more about embodying the light. And what you learn infuses your work, your relationships, and your choices with meaning. It makes your work unique, and it makes you an ever brighter star.
Earth to Molly
My work is not just to talk pretty. It’s to be a translator. To learn how to succeed at business and re-imagine it in authentic and creative ways. If I don’t translate shining in a practical way, something you can take action on, I haven’t done my job.
So here’s what I want you to do
This week I want you to put yourself out in the world in a bolder, brighter way. That doesn’t mean being noisier. It means doing one of those things you know you ought to be doing to market or sell–and doing it as if you are a being of light.
Here’s what that means.
Let’s say you’ve been putting off starting a blog. Go to or and open a free account. Go with the easiest set up you can find.
Then ask yourself what you know and how you know it. If you are a bodyworker, deeply connect with what you know about your work. Reflect on how you know this; not just what you learned in training, but what you’ve learned from experience.
If you’re a graphic designer, think about something that drives you crazy about do-it-yourself design. Something that you know could be remedied with the guidance of a professional. Then give that guidance.
Whoever you are and whatever your field, imagine sharing your knowledge generously. Then write it down.
That’s practice in shining.
It’s not about blogging
You can practice shining when you tell people what you do. (Start by doing this in your imagination, and it will get much easier to do it in person.)
You can practice shining in your emails. (When you answer an email, try starting with a thank you.)
Wherever you’ve been struggling to follow through with self-promotion, that’s where you can practice shining.
Don’t wait until you know how
All you need to practice shining is the merest inkling of what I’m talking about. You know times when you have simply shone. You know what that feels like in your body and looks like on your face (at least from the inside).
Practice that. Bring that to the steps and tools of marketing and sales. And let me know how it’s going here, in the comments.