Fear accompanies us on our journeys as an uninvited guest. Many of us have allowed fear to keep us playing small. How does fear keep us playing small? Before we ask others we must first ask ourselves. Are we ready? Do we need more preparation or are we being stopped by our fear or our doubts?
Are We Prepared?
Right now my living room is filled with boxes. Our office is in the process of relocating and 20 years of files and books are sitting in my living room. I’m not prepared for a family gathering or an evening of fun with friends in my living room until I sort through these files and books (which I plan to do while watching Star Trek reruns.) I’m not prepared. We need to do our homework to make preparations and/or space for what we want. My friend Lilia Lee, CEO at The Holistic Biz, assists small business owners in creating the processes and systems they need to run their small businesses efficiently. She helps them prepare for future customers and clients so the business is prepared for success. Are you prepared for what you want and if not what would it take, probably much less than you think?
We Have Doubts
We may think we know what we want but we may be wrong. We are afraid to go after what we want because what if we go after it and we are wrong. The price is just too great. What if we really don’t want what we think we do? We have forgotten how to trust our inner wisdom, to discern that what we want is OK. If you doubt yourself and have a fear of being wrong, these fears can continue to keep us playing small, letting others call the shots instead of asking for what we want.
Learning to listen to that small still quiet voice within us is possible, even if we have ignored it for many years. As a life coach, I empower women to know what is right for them to listen to that small still voice. We can start small. What would you like today, this week or even just for lunch?
We are afraid of rocking the boat.
We fear upsetting others. We stuff down our wants and desires in favor of those of others. If we owned our power we could upset the balance of power with others. We could lose friends or relationships, our spouses or our families might turn against us. Yes, all these are possible. Some will be jealous of your changes, because by your changing you have challenged them to no longer accept the status quo. You quite possibly will lose some friends and gain others. Your true friends will honor your magnificence. They have been waiting for you to step into your power and ask for what you want and they will applaud you. They will be your cheerleaders and your support system. The fear of upsetting others is real, especially when so many of us have been taught to put others first and ourselves second.
We Fear Our Own Power
We have become used to playing small, whether we like it or not, it’s familiar and safe. We’ve been playing small all these years and we may believe we can’t change now. We like certainty. We are afraid of the unknown. None of us like change. The vast majority of my clients underestimate their gifts, their talents and their ability to make a difference. I told him I wish they could see themselves as talented, gifted and powerful as I see them. They are held back only by their own fear.
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.
If you are playing small, ask yourself:
- Am I prepared?
- Do I have doubts?
- Am I afraid of rocking the boat?
- Do I fear my own power?
After all who you not to own your magnificence? Stop playing small. It’s time to know what you want and to ask for it. If not now when?