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Your playing small does not serve the world

Your playing small does not serve the world

Just as I was thinking “What shall I write this blog on?”, I became aware of the obvious. I was sitting staring at the desktop of my computer with on it a quote to remind me to be true to my own greatness. The quote I’m referring to is Marianne Williamson’s and it starts: “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” Just as I realised I’d created the context to have a subject come onto my path without me looking for it, it dawned on me that only a moment ago a friend had told me she had read the following on a parking lot wall: “There are more adults afraid of standing in the light than there are children afraid of the dark.”

Just think about the following: how much of your potential are you currently using in your life? Hardly anyone will answer that question with 100%. That means there is room for growth for all of us. How can we expect others to live their potential when we ourselves continue to play small? So often we see the greatness in others. We wonder what holds them back. After all, they’ve got so much going for them. Yet we shun our own image in the mirror, feeling ashamed as we know we could be so much more.

Is this an arrogant thought? Of course not. We are not only selling ourselves short, but also our children, our parents, siblings, friends and neighbours, colleagues and strangers alike. What would become possible if you upped your game?

Just imagine for a moment what life would be like if you acted – even if just for a day – as if you had already made it. Think of whoever you admire as a role model and try on that role. Your wife is grumpy in the morning and instead of losing your cool, you give her a back rub. You’ve got a nagging customer on the phone and he leaves the conversation with you empowered and uplifted. You bump your toe and instead of cursing, you thank the universe for bringing you right back into the here and now. You drive for two hours to an appointment that turns out to be cancelled and flexible like a straw in the wind you decide to go for a beach walk instead with as a result that you come home to your family feeling fully revitalised and inspired, and with space to truly see and hear your loved ones.

What if being the grandest version of ourselves starts with the small things in life? Whoever taught us that working hard and not succeeding is noble while going with the flow, fully trusting our own abilities and powers is arrogant? Someone who believes in their own infinite possibilities does not lose faith in others.

Go back for a moment in your memory to all those instances when someone told you or implied that you could not do something. Take you time to make a list for yourself. Now just consider the possibility they were wrong.

“Your playing small does not serve the world”, Marianne Williamson says. We are collectively being irresponsible by pretending we do not have the power to create what we envision. Just imagine what the world would be like if Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela or such contemporaries as Debbie Ford and Wayne Dyer had decided to hide and play it safe?

Reason enough to commit to your own greatness and when that subconscious programme starts running again, telling you off for being conceited and self-righteous, trust that you may be on exactly the right path.


Mieke Beurskens

Zowie Coaching & Training