Hands up if you ever find yourself playing small.
I am the queen of playing small. In fact, playing small has been the one thing that I’ve historically been completely confident doing. My entire life was built around my intention to play small. I thought it was my inherent shyness that held me back and kept me from branching out. But it was my self-imposed limiting beliefs that kept me stuck. I chose behaviors, people, situations, foods…even clothes that kept me small.
Playing small is all about the F word — FEAR. As uninspired and lonely as playing small can be, it can also be oddly comfortable. There is little risk in playing small. It is the known experience. And it is easy, especially if you’ve been at it for a while. It feels safe. And after a while it is difficult to even tell that you are doing it. You have convinced yourself that it’s just who you are: shy, quiet, reserved, content with the way things are. You own it and embrace it. And you wear smallness like a second skin.
Until it doesn’t fit any longer. At first it’s not too noticeable – like a pair of jeans right out of the dryer before they stretch out. Slightly uncomfortable but you know it will soon go away. But eventually it doesn’t go away. Eventually it feels like you no longer fit in your own skin. It’s restrictive and suffocating. You don’t feel at home in your own body.
Your true nature has outgrown the layer of littleness that you’ve been wearing. And it’s time to break free.
Be the nonjudgmental witness
It’s important not to judge your ego with your ego. In other words, don’t give voice to the crazy. Observe how you have been playing small – witness the choices that you’ve made to stay stuck. But don’t judge them! It’s hard, I totally get it. A useful technique is to write them all down and after each example write and recite “I witness how I was in my ego mind when I made this choice and I am willing to choose again.”
Now it’s time to truly surrender your littleness. Not only is it holding you back but it is impacting the world. Now that you have witnessed all the ways that you have been playing small, are you ready to let them go? Do you want to step out of the shadows and embrace the light? Now is the time. Choose. Choose to shed the littleness and step into your power. Surrender looks differently on everyone: hitting your knees and praying, writing it out and burning it (or ripping it up), talking it out, meditating, or affirmations.
Compare no more
Comparison does your ego’s dirty work. It slowly but surely keeps you small. It keeps the broken record of attack thoughts playing. It creates separation. And it never ends because there is always someone or something new to compare yourself to. It’s time to break up with comparison. Check out my previous post on letting go of comparison and commit. Do whatever it takes – unfollow triggering people on social media, take a full social media break, and step away from fashion magazines.
My mentor and friend, Gabby Bernstein, is offering a free training series to help you own your power, confidently find your voice, and step out of the shadows of littleness once and for all. Sign up for this awesome free training and share your thoughts in the comments below!