Last week I gave you a motivational challenge to be the catalyst that leads someone to let go of their limiting beliefs and discover their untapped potential and talents. In other words, to be the person to change their life.
This week is all about self-awareness. Do you believe in yourself? Do you, yourself, have a multitude of limiting beliefs standing in the way of your success? Do you need to take your foot off the brake and play a bigger game than the one you are playing now?
If you have dreams and aspirations, if you know you have so much talent and ability but fear to put it out there, to test it out in the marketplace of ideas and opinions, you are playing small. Why? Because you worry that maybe you will fall short of other’s expectations, that you will receive embarrassing critiques, that someone will deflate your dream or idea or opinion in one foul swoop.
So what do you do? You stay safe. You become the person who everyone says is “such a lovely person” or “a great guy”, the one everyone likes. You become the one your CEO says is “an enormous asset to our organisation”, the one “the organisation would be lost without”, yet you haven’t received a promotion or a new opportunity offered to you in the last 3 years.
So what’s happening here?
You are playing small because it’s safer, but it is the fast-track to nowhere. Have you noticed that while you thought setting yourself a big outlandish goal would be very stressful, playing small also brings you stress? As Eckhart Tolle said: Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.
Marianne William’s words on playing small so inspired Nelson Mandela that he used them in his inaugural speech as President of South Africa in 1994.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
Your playing small does not service the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
And as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
My Motivational Challenge for this Week.
Make a decision to stop playing small and safe and play a bigger game. Reflect on what you would really like to do if you knew you wouldn’t fail. Turn it into a goal and explore how you could make it happen. If it is too frightening to do alone, get a coach, a mentor or a trusted colleague, someone who can support you to work thought your fear. Believe in yourself. Take your foot off the brake.