It recently dawned on me that I have been playing small for as long as I can remember.
In early 2020, when I first started sharing more on social media, I’d have massive anxiety. I’d text my husband and tell him I was shaking before I’d hit “post.”
And this wasn’t long ago. It was at the beginning of 2020, in the early stages of the pandemic. It wasn’t that I didn’t know what I was doing. It was that I was so accustomed to showing up differently for my business. I had a good thing going, and then when the old version of my business started to dwindle, I decided to pivot, like so many others, to create a new, more aligned version.
Social media, community, connections… all of these were now pillars of my outreach strategy. And so, I had to learn. I had to scroll. I had to research and see what others were doing in my industry so that I can learn how to show up in this new way.
The anxiety got worse when I’d have to decide on pictures, content, and how vulnerable I wanted to be. “Would so-and-so from highschool think that I was showing off or bragging?” “Would what’s-her-face from college think I was trying to be a fancy influencer?” “Would they all talk about me and laugh about what I was doing?” “Am I over-sharing and being too vulnerable?” “Did I just destroy my credibility and authority?”
Fortunately, during this time, I was also doing a lot of inner work as well. I was building up my self-esteem, reframing old narratives, and challenging my limiting beliefs.
But those questions would still come up. Even today, every so often, I hear a little voice saying, “Who are you to be showing up like this?”
On some days, it’s easy to shut it down. On other days, I shrink a bit. And in these moments, I look at myself, straight in the eyes, and say…
Who are you not to show up like this?
Who cares what anyone from the past thinks? If they’re judging, it’s more than likely that they’re triggered by their own sense of lack. And, for anyone who stays in touch in the present, if they’re not supportive, they’re not your people. Their judgement has nothing to do with you.
So, refuse to play small.
Because, playing small serves no one. There’s a spark of greatness within you that is just waiting to be ignited. There’s no passion in settling for something less than what you are capable of. Give yourself permission to go big. You were destined to make a difference. You are meant to shine.
Don’t dim yourself because you’re afraid of your brightness. Shine brighter. Shine so bright til all they can see is the light.
That is you. That is what you were meant to do.
Be the light. We all need it. More than you could ever know.
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