Are You BIG Enough To Take Up Space?

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt

One of the ways I serve my community is as a teacher.  I teach adults how to start their own business.  Most of them are new entrepreneurs, and writing a business plan is enough to railroad their business before it ever gets on the right “track”. 

There are all kinds of roadblocks: how to research, how to market, and how to read a financial statement. 

The most glaring monster of all is the competitive analysis.  Some students believe knowing that someone else is doing what they are doing, perhaps better than they can do it, is enough for them to throw in the towel.

Others may be doing what you do, dreaming what you dream, or daring to go beyond their limits, but there is always room for you. 



There is a story from Jewish Biblical history where the Israelites were at war with another country.  They sent scouts on a reconnaissance mission.  They returned exhausted, hungry and scared.  “We are like grasshoppers in their sight!” they cried.

They were grasshoppers, or small insects without a hope this side of Eden to win the battle.  So small in fact, I doubt whether the enemy ever saw them!  The soldiers had come to their own limited conclusion about themselves.  They compared themselves to others; a trademark of those who suffer.  They eventually won the battle, but not until the King gave them the pep talk of all pep talks and reminded them who they were.  The enemy knew it already, but the Israelites had forgotten.

Are you using your power to see less of yourself, to feel inferior, to cringe away from a new challenge because you feel insignificant or unimportant?  How is that possible, unless you have your eyes on someone else?

Eleanor Roosevelt said it well: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”

No one can make you feel anything about yourself that you don’t feel about yourself already.

This applies to love relationships, starting new businesses, and offering your gifts or talents to the world.

Have you ever heard yourself say, “You make me feel so stupid,” or “He made me so angry?”
Not possible.  You do feel the way you feel, but the feeling was your choice.



All my life I have lived at bookstores.  I love the authors, the ideas, the pages, the print, the smell of the pages, the font, the shelves…shall I continue? 

For most of my life, I left the bookstore confused.  On one hand, I enjoyed meeting the ideas who were hiding behind the covers.  But, I was confused.  I believed that everything worth writing was written by someone better, with more knowledge and skill than I could ever hope to acquire.  How would I ever get published? 

That feeling, that confusion, that trip downstairs to my lower self, was my choice.  No one in the store made me feel it, no author penned their words thinking, “This should put Harmony in her place.”  I had feelings that my worth was meager, so my words were worth pennies at best.

What is your dream?  What battles lie in wait for you?  How have you overcome them?  As always, feel free to share your ideas with us. 

Don’t ask if there enough room for you, but are you BIG enough to take up the space?

In the Grace Of the Moment,



13 Comments Add yours

  1. Kelly says:


    That was really beautiful. The Eleanor Roosevelt quote is one of my favorites, and the whole post just proves what she said so nicely. I really like this bit: “They compared themselves to others; a trademark of those who suffer.” Well-put.

    I love bookstores too, for the big dreams housed in a million books, but you are so right that it’s an easy place to get a complex. After all, the walls are lined with the words and images of geniuses!

    A definite print-and-keeper. My mantra for the week: be BIG enough to take up the space.




  2. goldenzen says:


    I so appreciate your comments. Please continue, you add depth to the conversation. I will look for your future comments in future conversations.

  3. Liara Covert says:

    I really gravitate toward the quote by Elenor Roosevelt in this post. It reminds me of instances in my life where I chose to give my power away and feel intimidated by certain people. Looking back, I didn’t realize I gave those people permission to influence how I felt. I can seem humorous to reflect back on things you’ve done. At the same time, you needed to have all your experiences to arrive exactly where you’re at. To be grateful for all this is, was, and will be, makes me who I am and brings me closer to the truth.

  4. tobeme says:

    Thank-you for a very well thought out and powerful post! You did a great job at teaching us to realize our power and that we are in control of our power by our perception and that by comparing ourselves to others we stand at risk of losing sight or our true self. Thanks.

  5. goldenzen says:

    @ Liara: You just reminded me of a permission slip my parents had to fill out for me to miss school, and consequently I did for my children. Permission given. And just as you have mentioned, when we see the pattern in our lives of giving permission to others to influence how we feel or respond, our NOW response is not judgement, but recognition and gentle movement elsewise. THANK YOU.

    @tobeme- the comparisons certainly do imprision us. I am reminded of the racer, who, constantly looks over his shoulder to see if his competitor is closing in, and therby uses vital energy he needed to make it to the finish line first. I value your visits, thanks for your attention and commenting.

  6. What a great post! I got lucky when I started my business. It built my confidence considerably rather than having the reverse effect.

    I believed that everything worth writing was written by someone better, with more knowledge and skill than I could ever hope to acquire.

    However, this is how I still feel when it comes to fiction writing. I feel like everything has been done already and after getting about a month into any project I sort of give up. I have to change my fiction attitude!

  7. liveforever says:

    I have some things I am aiming for (I don’t want to write them in a public forum at the moment). Recently I caught myself thinking I will just get into a position where I am supporting someone else in doing those things, so I can learn the ropes.

    Then I realized I have been supporting people in “those” positions for YEARS! I know a lot about the field! My self-perception just hadn’t got there, in that area. So I am intending to start small so it won’t be too scary – but it’ll be starting soon.

  8. goldenzen says:

    @ Melissa,
    I sure do hear you. But there is new readers with fresh minds and a new you everyday. I just finished watching Disney’s “Waterhorse” – I laughed, learned about human suffering, cried at unconditional love and admired the act of letting go. PLEASE, bring more life changing fiction to life.

    @liveforever – and I am holding space for you to do just that. When it’s your time you know it, and only you can fill it.

    Thank you both for adding to this journey.

  9. wendikelly says:


    I just wrote a post about this last week called “Having Faith.” Something that I was listening to at Joanna Young’s site just got me to thinking and I ended up writing about it.

    We sometimes forget that what we have to say, might just be the thing that someone else needs to hear. We need to have faith in ourselves and our writing. Our words ARE important and what we have too say is valuable.

    This post was very valuable. I thought for years that I just wasn’t a good enough writer or more importantly that I just didn’t have enough life experience, I was too young, I didn’t know enough, or that no one would listen to me.

    Thanks. I want to be big enough.

  10. Hi Harmony,

    This reminds me of a saying I heard years ago along similar lines. “you can’t be a doormat, unless you throw yourself in front of the door”. So true!

  11. goldenzen says:

    @wendikelly – YOU ARE BIG ENOUGH! What is so valuable to me is more than the words really, it is the essence behind the words. It glimmers.

    @Barbara- oh yes, well said. I didn’t need my whole article, that quote would suffice nicely. 🙂

  12. Simon says:

    Thanks, Harmony. This quote from Eleanor Roosevelt is very true. It is how we feel about ourselves – not what others think about us – which is really important. If we feel bad about ourselves, then we are always looking for the approval of others to try to convince ourselves that we’re wrong. But if others are not impressed with us – or even if we *think* they’re not impressed – then we take this as confirmation that we were right all along!

    As a longstanding people-pleaser, I’ve come to realize that this is what is going on with me – as I think it is with a great many people. I have deep-seated very negative feelings about myself! But I know that knowing they’re there is the first step towards freedom…

  13. goldenzen says:

    In fact Simon, I think we actually do things and say things to get others to act a certain way, so that inwardly we can confirm to ourselves that we indeed are who we always feared we would be.
    Thank you for your thoughtful entry. I know this disease well, and appreciate your perspective…it helps.

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