I got called out and called up – big time! It was the most emotionally exposed I’ve felt in a long time. It was real, raw and righteous. I can’t believe I’m sharing it with you, but I am because it was just that powerful.
This past weekend I attended a spiritual wealth retreat for women entrepreneurs in Pacific Grove, California, hosted by the lovely, powerful Sage Lavine. I almost didn’t make it because, quite frankly, I wasn’t convinced I’d fit in with the women or that I’d get the support I was looking for from the group. Also, I encountered several crazy mysterious flight delays and cancelations that made me think maybe this is a sign I’m not supposed to go (magically the delays and cancelations disappeared after I proved I was willing to do what it took to get myself to the conference – imagine that?!).
Anyway, after Day 1 of the conference, I called my husband on the phone and told him how I was feeling okay, but not really supported. I was feeling isolated, like no one really got me or what I was up to with my speaking and coaching business. Out of seemingly nowhere, he asked, “well, what are you doing to show them who you are?” My answer, absolutely nothing. I was hiding myself, playing small, holding back, not sharing my successes, my strength, my vulnerabilities, my vision because I didn’t want to come off arrogant or make anyone feel bad.
Then, on the morning of Day 2 as if perfectly planned, in steps by Sage. What’s on her agenda? Yep, an exercise where we have to share all of the stuff I was hiding and holding back. And, what’s more, she came right up to me before the large group share and privately asked whether I was ready to bring my voice into the room. I said, yes. When I shared with the group – all 70+ women in the room – I held nothing back. I stood, trembling, on the verge of tears at times, and shared exactly what had and was going on for me. Sage held the space, lovingly pushed me further outside my own limiting beliefs and brought light to what I unknowingly was telling myself by continuing to hang on to those limiting beliefs – I was refusing to recognize when other people saw me as the living breathing embodiment of my vision. Do you get me? The story I was telling myself prevented me from playing full out. I was creating my own struggle, my own imaginary battle where I was small, everyone pitied me and I had to prove them wrong. In actuality, I had never been more supported! Right then, right there, Sage and my sister entrepreneurs embraced me – figuratively and literally! Each one of my sister entrepreneurs was moved to tears, inspired and grateful for having witnessed me be authentic, vulnerable and step into the middle of my power.
My question to you — when have you been convinced that you were on your own? That no one understood what you were going through? That other people think of you as being small or unimportant? That other people are preventing you from making the major difference and big impact that you know in your heart you were meant to make? That no one appreciates you for the gorgeous lovely lady leader that you are? I totally understand your isolation and frustration. I’ve been there, too. If you want to play big and live into your true brilliance, you’ve got to claim it. You’ve got to say yes and then step right into the middle of your power and magnificence. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but if you don’t, you are cheating not only yourself, but the world. SO, please, reach out for support, share your voice, step into your power and let your light shine!
2 thoughts on “It’s Time To Stop Playing Small”
Oh Angela, my heart and prayers embrace you as I so much needed to hear you struggle too. I have you as this put together person and you are, and I respect you so much. But others need to hear if our struggles with our insecurities so they too can stand up and keep moving forward. Thank you for sharing with us. Terri
For the past 18 months, my mantra has been “Think big. Imagine big. BE BIG!” I have played small much of my life. Not any more! Thank you, Angela, for the extra confirmation.
I loved meeting you at the Spiritual Wealth Retreat. Your authenticity was extraordinarily powerful. Your willingness to be vulnerable was big-ness. Your presence contributed to the overall quality of the retreat and helped me– and I imagine all of us– step further into our own big-ness. Thank goodness you are not playing small. The world needs you to BE BIG!
I’m inspired by this quote from Rev. Deborah L. Johnson:
“There is a Yes burning deep within my soul. It burns within the soul of everyone. I say yes to this Yes. Forever aflame, it warms my heart and illumines my path. The Yes within me knows, and it knows that it knows. It will not collude with a sense of confusion or self-proclaimed helplessness. It transcends hesitation, reservation, and limitation. It never forgets that I have a purpose for being. The Yes within me reveals a vision of my greater yet to be. Too precious to squander or waste, my strength is used in the service of my vision.”
Keep shining, Taira
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