I am Jennifer Holliday.
And so are you.
Last night Jennifer Holliday sang "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" on the American Idol finale. The YouTube video is below. The #1 thing I thought about as I watched this performance over and over was this: Jennifer Holliday's greatness. On a 1-10 scale, she's an 11. Out of the millions of singers in the world, she's at the top. And she knows it. If singing can be conquered, she's done so many times over. If singing were a mountain, then she has climbed it; and if it were an ocean, then she has gone to the deepest part and set up residence. Man walked on the moon, but that doesn't compare to Jennifer Holliday slaying this song -- reaching into her soul, pulling everything out, laying it all before us, and willing us to do the same.
Look. Look inside of yourself to the deepest place. I know what you'll find. Greatness. I know what you'll find. Jennifer Holliday's voice, soul, spirit. Who told you that you aren't an 11 on a 1-10 scale? Who told you that out of the millions, you aren't the very best? When did you start believing that there isn't much to believe in? Who told you the mountain cannot be climbed or the ocean depths cannot be explored?
Jennifer Holliday looks at the mountain and laughs. She talks to greatness and tells it what to do. She walks onto a stage and she knows who she is and what she does. She is the tallest, most deeply, richly-colored flower you have ever seen opening her petals to release a fire of greatness that touches everyone within range with waves of emotion, belief, power, truth, and revelation. And she knows it. She knows she is breathing greatness and, in her own way, she is calling everyone who hears her to their own greatness.
When you pull greatness out of yourself, then you invariably call greatness out of others. Here's the two-part secret to your greatness:
- You were born with greatness inside you.
- It doesn't come out unless you pull it out.
There are two reasons we don't pull our greatness out of ourselves:
- It's a hard, long road.
- It scares us.
#2 is the biggest reason, by far. We don't believe we have it within ourselves. It's not that we don't want it. Don't tell me that. It's exactly what Marianne Williamson says:
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. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
So go climb your mountain, swim to the deepest part of your ocean, stare down the enemies inside you and pull out your greatness. Sing your song, dance your dance, LIVE YOUR LIFE.
Particularly, from 1:44 to 1:58 you can see Ms. Holliday stare greatness in the eyes and own it.
When you listen to the song, think about the words as if they are being sung to YOUR DREAM, YOUR GREATNESS.
"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"