Saturday, July 2, 2016

Playing Small

I've spent most of my life living under the radar. I typically don't like to put myself out there in any real way, mainly because I'm afraid of getting hurt. Consequently, my life has been ordinary, run-of-the-mill for the most part. The thing is, I don't feel particularly fulfilled. While I am extremely happy with the job I did as mother to my three beautiful children, the raising kids part of my life is pretty much over. Playing small served me well as a single parent because it also protected my children, but it's time to move on. What strikes me now (and is even coming out in my dreams) is that playing small was a choice. If I want to change my life, it is going to involve risk. I need to make a conscious choice to step out and play big if I want to make any real impact on the world.

I know I am not alone in my struggle. So many of us run our daily lives on a hamster wheel, running really hard and getting absolutely nowhere. We understand there is a lot more world to explore outside the cage. We are just so comfortable inside the cage--where we know to expect food, shelter and warmth--that we are afraid to risk escape. We never make the decision to explore the world outside the cage.

The thing is, playing small never helped anyone. It hasn't helped others because I have not been using my gifts and talents as fully as I could to change myself and the world. My attempts have been mere shadows of what I have inside because of my fear of pain. Playing small certainly hasn't helped me feel fulfilled either. I know I have so much more inside me, screaming to break free.

Your playing small hasn't helped you either. What gifts and talents have you neglected? What changes could you have made that could have impacted the world in a bigger and more meaningful way? What holds you back from the life of your dreams?

Understand that it is never too late to change. Change is a choice. Even though it is different--even though you know change could bring pain--you have to consciously be willing to risk pain in order to attain something more.

Playing small never helped anyone, especially yourself. Make the choice to allow yourself to move past fear and use the gifts and talents you were given. You'll never know what role you can play in the world if you don't pluck up the courage to try. You may just find yourself living the life of your dreams!


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