I used to think it would motivate me if I noticed and reminded myself of everything I was doing wrong – how I was falling short, how I could do better, what I could have said differently. You know, replaying past scenarios over and over in my mind to punctuate how I fell short. I didn’t waste time either, anytime was a good time to remind myself.
It didn’t work. Oh, I definitely got results and was successful, but at a cost. Not allowing myself to believe in how powerful I truly am, kept me drained, flat, unhappy, and well, small.
There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
Are you living a life “less than the one you are capable of”?
These are some common ways we keep ourselves small. See if any sound familiar to you.
Deny compliments and don’t allow yourself to believe them
Discount successes so you don’t feel too good about yourself
Fear of appearing egotistical if you talk about your strengths
Shrink yourself energetically so that other people will feel more comfortable around you
Put yourself down when talking to other people
Feel you don’t deserve the things you want or dream about
Stay in relationships and jobs that aren’t making you happy
Feel like the world is against you
Procrastinate the very things that will get you closer to your dreams
Mindlessly browse the web
Compare yourself to anyone who you perceive is better in some way
Seek approval and validation from others
Tend to be a perfectionist
Compare yourself to others to see how you fall short or appear better
Feel like you never fit in
Don’t speak up if it might upset someone
When we spend our energy finding all the ways we aren’t good enough, we don’t have the energy to follow what fascinates and energizes us. We don’t have the capacity to follow our bliss.
I coach brilliant women. Women who are dedicated, smart and committed to making a difference in the world. Yet they are stuck and don’t feel ready to take on that next big thing because they are focused on how they aren’t good enough more than how they are enough. So, they are waiting until they feel ready.
Ten ways to own your magnificence and stop playing small
1. Don’t wait until you are ready. Don’t wait until what you are creating is perfect. Don’t wait until you get permission. Jump in and learn as you go. Perfect is the enemy of done. Good is good enough.
2. Remember that failure is essential to success. Instead of trying to avoid making mistakes and failing, successful people actively seek opportunities where they can face the limits of their skills and knowledge so that they can learn quickly. They understand that feeling afraid or underprepared is a sign of being in the space for optimal growth and is all the more reason to press ahead. Failures mean that you are putting yourself out there! The most significant accomplishments always arise out of failures.
3. Believe in your big dream and commit to it. Decide once and for all that you are going to do this, starting now.
4. Envision the outcome. Imagine what your dream, whether it’s a promotion, a new career or a business you want to launch or grow, will look like and feel like as specifically as you can. Feel it and experience it has if it’s already happened.
5. Notice your inner critic, the voice that is telling you all the reasons you can’t do it, aren’t ready or qualified enough. Then do it anyway. That voice is trying to keep you safe and it’s time for you to give it a pat on the shoulder and say, “It’s okay, I’ve got this.” Isn’t your happiness worth taking the risk of going after what you want despite the voice that is trying to keep you small?
6. Let go of needing to be the good girl that makes everyone else happy. It’s time for you to do what you need to do, even if it doesn’t please everyone. You cannot sacrifice your genius to make someone else happy, it never works.
7. Get comfortable with discomfort. Anything important that makes us stretch and growth has an element of discomfort and fear associated with it. Staying comfortable will not get you what you want. Fear is normal when you are stretching, so feel the fear and do it anyway.
8. Break the big goals down into small actionable steps that you can get done easily and enjoy doing. If it feels too daunting, break it down into smaller steps.
9. Celebrate every step (and I mean EVERY step!) that you complete. Reward yourself with things you love that delight your senses – listen to music or the birds singing outside, watch the clouds or the sunset, smell flowers, snuggle with your dog, wrap yourself in a soft blanket, take a bath, get a hug. This step is essential to keeping that critical voice quiet as well as rejuvenating and recharging you.
10. Avoid comparing yourself to anyone else. No one, and I mean no one has your unique array of gifts, talents and experiences. So just do YOU. There’s nobody alive who can be you better than you. So never aim to be just like someone else. It’s a waste of a perfectly good you.
Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
Whether you’re posting your artwork online, telling a friend the truth of how you feel even though she may get angry or hurt, raising your hand to speak up in meetings, expressing your needs to your partner, showing your kids that you value yourself enough to take time for you, or self-publishing that book you’ve been working on, these acts of bravery will build your self-confidence.
Playing small doesn’t serve the world. You were born for greatness. You were born with unique and beautiful gifts. Don’t wait until you’re ready. The world needs you now.
I believe in you.
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The Self Integrity of Boundaries
Creating a Culture that Changes Lives
I would love to hear from you. Please share your comments below. In what ways are you holding yourself back? What would it look like for you to play big?
You can respond below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tricia Acheatel has been supporting women in their personal, professional, and entrepreneurial growth for over 30 years. She teaches women how to access their inner wisdom, develop self-confidence, and create with conviction – to shape a life of meaning. Her unique approach blends inner work with practical mindset and business development tools that teach women how to find the courage to live their authentic and brilliant lives.
From her combined experience – as a corporate executive, business owner and coach, herbalist/healer, life coach, author, life designer, success team leader, and teacher – Tricia brings wisdom, intuition, compassion, and clarity to her work. Her clients and students access newfound clarity, resilience, freedom, inspiration, and the knowledge necessary to launch their dreams.