What is it, more than anything, that you have been wanting to do, be, create, experience, or have?
Once you have gotten crystal clear on this, remember that by your very nature, you are a powerful co-creator. It is vital you never forget that your very well-being is hinged on your ability to freely express yourself and create your life.
You instinctively bring your seeds of unique genius forward so that individuals with the same or parallel agendas can help them take root and flourish in the world!
“Playing small” is a behaviour I encounter often in my clients, but even more interestingly, in my colleagues as well. Inadvertent shrinking back from your real magnitude, capability, and Self can occur for a variety of reasons, but perhaps most often when you feel that others will be able to more easily understand, access, or approve of you as a result.
You see, as human beings, we are wired and heavily conditioned to conform to familial, social, and cultural modes and norms. From a very early age we learn to unquestioningly censor our communication and behaviour in order to survive, to fit in, and to garner love and approval – rather than cause any upset or ‘let others down.’ We learn not to rock the boat. As adults, it is a commonly held belief that this pattern of conformity comes about in response to the other person or the particular situation/s they presently find themselves in, but in reality, it is usually a very strongly embedded characteristic having been born many years previously out of a primal instinct to feel safe and survive.
And what I know from many years of working very closely and personally with clients and colleagues is this:
In as much as shrinking back or stepping out of your true power keeps you safe, at the same time it holds you back from knowing and manifesting your fullest potential and most complete and capable Self.
Playing small gives you the feeling of being able to rest at a place of comfort and overall stability that, oftentimes, you feel you have worked extremely hard to achieve. Having arrived at a place in your life where things just seem to work, it becomes easy to get too comfortable – almost to the point where complacency sets in. This place is often brimming with the precise opportunities that will enable you to step into your next level of possibility, visibility, community/outreach, and on so many levels – if you can allow yourself – much more that you can enjoy.
This is the exact place at which, if you are to achieve your goals, you cannot afford to get complacent and still expect your experiences to evolve and grow.
It is part of the universal mandate of creation and fulfilment of your sacred purpose that you must keep learning, taking intuitive action, creating, staying open, and being in communication with your people or tribe – not isolate, feel sorry for, over busy yourself, and/or retreat from life.
Shrinking back from your true potential to create what you desire most can be frustrating to say the least. It is like making a declaration to the world about what you want but then crawling into your burrow to anchor into the safety and anonymity that lie within the walls of your hard-earned comfort zone. When you take yourself out of the game in this way, not only do you harness an outlook of scarcity and lack, but what you are seeking then cannot find you. You wind up sabotaging your creative impulses and intent.
Playing small therefore, gives you the illusion of being somewhat in control of whatever it is you are doing or want to create because it prevents you from having to experience the uncertainty and magnitude of self-trust that is required when you are in the river of change.
Isn’t it funny, however, that if you are to create the life you want most, smack dab in the middle of the river of change is exactly where you need to be?
How To Stop This Habit
If you are beginning to see exactly how playing small has been affecting your ability to really step into the next level of happiness, self-expression, and peace for yourself, here are 4 key points to remember as you draw on your courage and take your important next steps;
1. Consider from an outsider’s perspective your current level of visibility to others. Really feel into how you can show up more fully and authentically in your life and what it means to allow yourself to be truly SEEN.
2. What might become possible for you if you stopped hiding out in your comfort zone or ‘burrow’ and where appropriate, unapologetically and fearlessly articulated your desires and needs so that they could be truly HEARD (even if only by you!)?
3. Become acutely aware that you are working your way towards an unwavering belief in yourself so you can OWN the value of your time, companionship, unique history, perspective, and skills. In this way, others can behold, appreciate, and truly experience the REAL you.
4. In every possible way, intend that the decisions you make moving forward will honour your most heartfelt desires and needs. Become aware that there is no ‘right’ way. It is YOUR life and there is only your way. You get to intuitively make it up as you go and autocorrect along the way!