Playing small? How’s that working for you?

I’ve been thinking lots about impact and “playing a bigger game”. One of my coaching clients summed it up by saying that she wanted to be more “visible”.  This idea of visibility led me to the Natal tribes in South Africa that believe they don’t exist until someone acknowledges them by saying,”Sawa bona” which means literally”I see you”. The response indicates I do not exist until the “I see you” which brings me into existence.  I’m paraphrasing, but the gist of that exchange really hits home! To be seen is to be acknowledged.  Does “playing it small” enable us to be “seen”?  Think about it.

Marianne Williamson in a'”A Course in Miracles” says it like this,

“…Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure…”

Why do we “play small”?  Others’ feelings and opinions matter to us.  How “they”, whoever “they” are…they would be uncomfortable, (not like me!), and/or, wait for me to fail, & on & on…We can tell ourselves all those things…Don’t get me wrong, some of your justifications may have weight.  But all those reasons/rationalizations, are just stuff that keeps you “playing small”, never growing, content to “stay in your own backyard”. Hmm.

I don’t believe in Resolutions.  An arbitrary day set aside to determine a plan for the coming year?  Please!  I believe in setting concrete goals.  If you write them down, all the better!  Studies have shown that the simple act of writing down your goals, makes it more probable that  you’ll meet them.  If you write down your goals AND tell someone, the likelihood increases that you’ll meet those goals!

So, one of my goals is stepping “out there”To truly be “in the spotlight”.  This will be through my ebook, “Turning Midlife Into The RIGHT Life!  I’m creating various programs, self study courses, workbooks, and the book I’m currently working on, as well as some mp3 and CDs. I plan to speak at associations for people With disabilities  and create a LinkedIn group, “Entrepreneurs With Disabilities”.  That’s being out there in a BIG way-I can help more people-have more impact, (there’s that word again…) yes, impact more lives…

Why do we “play small”?  Others’ feelings and opinions matter to us.  How “they”, whoever “they” are…they would be uncomfortable, (not like me!), and/or, wait for me to fail & on & on…We can tell ourselves all those things…Don’t get me wrong, some of your justifications may have weight.  But all those reasons/rationalizations, are just stuff that keeps you “playing small”, never growing, content to “stay in your own backyard”. Hmm.

We return to Marianne Williamson, the quote says ” We were all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence  automatically”liberates others.”

Powerful,huh?  What purpose  does “playing small” serve?


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