The Courage to Play Bigger

When you summon the courage to play bigger, you decide to take up more space on the stage of life. You’re willing to unfurl your huge wings and take flight, to stand up and be counted.

Playing bigger is elevating your game and showing up bright-eyed & bushy-tailed. This takes courage because fear keeps us playing small, unsure of our gifts, strengths, and talents.

I’m here to tell you that you’re bigger than your fear and you DO have what it takes to nail it. And whatever you don’t have yet, you can pick up along the way.

What’s stopping you from stepping up? Why are you afraid to shine your light and be all you can be? At the risk of trotting out 1 cliché after the other, why’re you sitting around on your gifts?

You already know what you need to do. I bet you know the next 5 steps to take to elevate your game.

So why aren’t you doing any of them?

You’re waiting to have more time/money/energy.

If you’re singing yourself this lullaby, you already know it’s getting you nowhere fast.

If you’re really serious about feeling deeply fulfilled, that means leaping before you’re ready. You can spend an eternity waiting to be ready, and you’ll still find a reason to dally even when you swear you won’t.

I know you know what I’m talking about.

There IS no perfect time. There’ll always be more to do, factors to consider, quibbles to steamroll past. If you don’t decide to work what you’ve got, you’ll keep spinning your wheels in limbo, & that’s not why we’re here. Dare to shine!

Even if you REALLY don’t have the money or energy yet, do everything else you can to get the ball rolling. Look up books, blogs, and podcasts. Rope in a girlfriend as an accountability buddy. Build some momentum and commit to staying on track. Eat more nourishing, healthful food. Hydrate. Get lots of sleep. Move your body as much as you can. Get going.

You’re afraid you’ll fail.

Honey, we’re all going to fail at something, so it might as well be something that matters. Failure doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a brave person. It’s not easy to take a chance on your dreams, but it’s even worse to slog through each day with your song still inside you.

Inventors treat failures as learning tools on the way to building something that works. Babies fall all the time while they’re learning how to stand up and walk and run.

Why should you expect instant perfection at something new to you?

Get your ego out of the way, put on your big girl stilettos, and accept the learning curve on the way to mastery.

You’re afraid you’ll look like a fool or they’ll make fun of you.

Out of curiosity, who’s “they,” and why should that matter to you?

If you’re hanging out with people who get you (and you ought to be), you won’t have time to listen to the critics and naysayers because you’ll be too busy figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

If you approach everything with curiosity, you nudge your ego out of the way and stop fretting over dinging it. So what’ll you be doing instead? Exploring what’s before you and soaking up all the wisdom you can get from it.

Besides, if you’re willing to risk looking like a fool for your art, you’re willing to go where most people avoid going. You’re willing to venture into the unknown and not be held back by the fear of what people think.

Playing bigger is about boldness, after all.

You’re afraid you don’t have it in you to succeed.

Bullshit! You’re a bright, talented woman with a lot to offer the world. You may not have all you need to succeed right now, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have it at all.

To paraphrase Tara Mohr, our callings come so we can stretch to meet them. We get our callings so we can learn what we need to learn and pick up the skills required to execute said callings.

If you haven’t read her book Playing Big, stop what you’re doing right now and order it. Your courage will thank you.

Now, I can sing your praises ’til the cows come home, but if you don’t believe in yourself, it’ll all slide off your back without doing you any good.

It’s up to you to do the inner work it takes to have a healthy sense of your own capabilities. Call up your past successes and soak them in. Witness your triumphs and the strengths you never knew you had. Rally your loved ones if you need help seeing your own awesomeness. Dare to believe you are brighter than you feel, and dive in with your spirits high & pumped for success.

At the end of the day, the courage to play bigger is largely an inner process. You have to rise to the occasion of the vision in your head and expand your thinking to meet it. When you expand your thinking, you take the expansive actions to make your thinking a reality.

Your dreams can’t materialize until you have a sturdy container to receive them, so pay attention to your self-talk, attitude, and energy. Do what you need to do to keep surging forward and picking up what you need along the way.

You are here to shine, and you only do that when you’re willing to play bigger.

Chop chop, darling.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash