Please Don’t Rip Me Off


You wouldn’t steal from someone, would you? Would you rip someone off by breaking into their house and stealing their stuff? If you’re reading this, probably not.  Consider, however that there is more than one way to “rip someone off”. I heard something recently that made me realize this. I was attending a weekly seminar series put on by Landmark Education. (They put on the Landmark Forum, a life changing 3 day seminar.  If you are interested in transforming your life, I highly recommend you look into it.) At the start of this 10 week seminar, we divided ourselves into groups, and at the end of each weekly session, we get into our groups for discussion.

From the start, one of the members of our group repeatedly failed to show up for the seminar, and missed our group phone calls. Finally, at a recent session, he showed up and had this to say: “I have not been participating fully in this seminar and I need to clean this up. I promised to play full out but I haven’t been. I’ve been ripping you off.”

It was an interesting way to put it, but it was true. He had been depriving us of his contribution to the group as well as to the seminar, and we had been feeling the lack of his contribution. This became even more apparent after I had the opportunity to have a couple of conversations with him. I felt that he had much to offer as far as wisdom and experience. I enjoyed talking to him; he reminded me of one of my favorite uncles. I got something out of his being there.

Anytime we hold our contribution back from our friends, family, workplace or community, we are withholding our value from those that would benefit from it most.  Not only are we ripping them off from something that might make a difference, we are also ripping ourselves off from getting the experience of contributing.

I believe that the biggest obstacle that holds people back from being great is the belief that what they have to offer doesn’t matter.I believe that as the only species capable of self reflection, most of us humans fail to acknowledge our inherent value and magnificence. Because of experiences and programming received in childhood, we are fearful to speak, fearful to try, and afraid to shout boldly, “Hey, I have something valuable to contribute here!”

I’m reminded of a quote by Les Brown:

“The wealthiest place in the world is not the Middle East, where there is black gold buried deep beneath the Earth’s surface – nor is this place in South Africa where there is a plethora of diamond mines. The wealthiest place in the world is a cemetery, for there you will find books that were never written, songs that were never sung.  There you will find ideas that were never acted upon—dreams that were long forgotten.”

I believe that we are all here for a purpose, that we each have a mission to accomplish. This may not be true, but it’s an empowering place to stand. And if you take that stand, then you have a responsibility. You must open your mouth. You must sing the song. You must write the book. You must create the masterpiece. You must start the business, or the foundation. Who are you to deprive us of the beauty, the inspiration, or the solution that lies within you?

Make the decision today that you will leave your mark on the world. Let others decide it’s value or significance, your job is to put it out there. Sure it can be scary, but so what? You can be courageous. Are there self esteem issues? You can overcome them. You don’t know how to talk, write, speak, paint, sing, whatever? You can learn.

The world awaits your unique contribution, whatever it may be.  If you haven’t already, begin the exploration for what that might be, then let it shine. Don’t rip the world off!

Whether it’s lack of confidence, low self esteem, fear of public speaking or social anxiety, I can help.I offer a free half hour phone consultation to see if what I do is right for you. I also offer personalized hypnosis CDs if you don’t feel like coming into to a session. Don’t wait any longer to live with purpose and power!

If you liked this post, please leave a comment and/or share it with your social networks.  

Your companion on the journey to Transformation,

Ted A. Moreno
Personal/Small Business Coach
Certified Hypnotherapist
Photo by Skye Moorhead
3 replies
  1. Rebecca Booth
    Rebecca Booth says:

    Each step we take is a mark Let’s not forget what a mark all of us made with our first day on this earth. After an entrance like that everything else should be ____________( fill in the blank ) this is an opportunity to contribute in your journey or help remind one another why we are the dreamers we are…. rb

  2. Linda Nelson
    Linda Nelson says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I have pushed myself to attend a conference, meeting, etc., expecting it to be a waste of time, and came away with a new knowledge and excitement about the job I get to do every day — working with entrepreneurs.


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