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These Real Secrets to Avoid Playing Small

Have youLet go of playing small thought about why you might be playing small?

Why you don’t take that chance…that opportunity that might just get you what you have said you have wanted…for a long time.

There might be many reasons…and it might look like this…

Let’s imagine a young man…he has tons of potential…graduated at the top of his class in school (college)…and yet…he has a job as a local package delivery firm, that is well known. In the area where he lives, the economy is good, so it’s not a factor.

There are very many jobs in his particular field in the area where he lives…and yet…he took the first job that caught his eye. He has the ability to do a job that pays more, that he would enjoy more. Being a driver for this delivery service is an honorable job but it isn’t his dream job.

So why would he do that?

These Reasons Why You Might Choose Playing Small 

Fear of rejection. For many people, they don’t go for the brass ring because they are afraid that at some point in time, they might be rejected. Rejection is painful. It is easier to keep our dreams out in front of us…at arm’s length…and think about what “might be”…than it is to go for it and be rejected.

Indecision. He might have not been able to make a decision to go for what he wanted. When you fail to make a decision, it is a decision…because the default result clicks in…

Lack of confidence. Even if he was successful in school, he might be telling himself that a job in his field is a different story. He might have a lack of confidence because of limiting beliefs…he isn’t good enough…he doesn’t deserve…it could be anything, couldn’t it?

Fear of commitment. This is real. Yes, you have heard of people who have a fear of commitment in relationships. This particular fear can be extended to career commitment, school commitment, writing a book commitment…and many more.

Inability to deal with stress. Many people stay stuck in careers and relationships that don’t work for them because they can’t deal with the stress of leaving…of starting over…of making a change…

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela

Simple Steps to Avoid Playing Small

Take a look at where you are and be honest with yourself about why you have been avoiding doing what you want.

This isn’t a matter of whether you should or ought to be doing it. If there is something that you truly want…a dream…and you have been avoiding doing those things that you know you need to do in order to make headway…there is a reason.

If it is fear of rejection, do this:

  • Ask yourself, “Who do I fear will reject me?” and listen for that answer.
  • Then ask this “What would happen if I was rejected?”
  • Take these steps to rebuild your confidence.
  • Underneath all of these, there is usually ONE limiting belief…discover it…and let it go…
Make a decision…a real decision…to move forward. Once you have that…commitment will help you when you hit those inevitable bumps in that road…and with commitment, comes confidence.

When all of those are in place…then…just like a baby learning to walk…those wobbly first steps get easier…and soon you can run…because…when you are avoiding, you are actively doing something…you are actually not standing still…you are moving away from your dream. Think about that…if you are telling yourself that you want that dream and you are actively moving away from that dream, what does that say?

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” Marianne Williamson

Give yourself permission to succeed…to let go of playing small…break free of that prison that you have yourself in…that bubble of protection that isn’t protecting you…burst forth from that…and fulfill your destiny as a loving, kind, generous person who is going after that dream…yes, that one…just because you can…


life is too short to wake up with regrets

“Life is too short to wake up with regrets.

So love the people who treat you right.

Forget about those who don’t.

Believe everything happens for a reason.

If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it.

Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.”  

Harvey MacKay

That’s right…

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner


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I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Pamela Gail Johnson December 31, 2012, 7:49 pm

    Hi Sherie … great post. I sometimes think our fears of being our own shining star to get in the way of us taking the lead role instead of a supporting cast role.
    Pamela Gail Johnson recently posted..The Happiest Events and Moments of 2012My Profile

  • Edmund Lee December 22, 2012, 4:07 pm

    Fantastic post Sherie! We’re created for a bigger purpose and you’re right. We need to direct our lives to a direction favorable for our growth. Settling for less than what we deserve cripples us from reaching our dreams and full potential.
    Edmund Lee recently posted..How to Use Twitter Hashtags As Part Of Your Business Social Media StrategyMy Profile

  • Suzanne Jones December 11, 2012, 9:40 pm

    When thinking small, don’t you think it is a good idea to look at others who succeeded? Whatever our setback or limiting belief, there are so many stories of people from the hood or on welfare, or school dropouts who have reached unmeasurable success. This alone should help us understand that thinking big is possible…even for us!

    Great post Sherie!
    Suzanne Jones recently posted..For Pete’s Sake Make A Decision Already!My Profile

    • Sherie December 12, 2012, 5:57 pm

      Yes, that is a good strategy, too, Suzanne!

  • Vicky December 9, 2012, 12:27 am

    Great advice Sherie. Thanks for sharing your insight.

    • Sherie December 9, 2012, 12:30 am

      Appreciate your input, Vicky, thanks!

  • Pamela Gail Johnson December 6, 2012, 8:02 am

    Hi Sherie … great post about the many reasons we often hold ourselves back from reaching our potential.
    Pamela Gail Johnson recently posted..Living a Wonderful LifeMy Profile

    • Sherie December 6, 2012, 6:32 pm

      Appreciate your comment, Pamela Gail!

  • Elizabeth L Maness December 5, 2012, 8:49 pm

    These are great tips Sherie. There are times I am so afraid I will make a mistake that I don’t get anything done.
    Elizabeth L Maness recently posted..SEO: It’s about Strategy, Not Just TacticsMy Profile

    • Sherie December 5, 2012, 8:54 pm

      I hear you on that, Elizabeth! : D

  • Kelly Green December 5, 2012, 7:04 pm

    First, great post Sherie! I have been struggling with this a lot lately & you’ve provided some great inspiration.

    Secondly, I love your love your bio blurb, it’s fantastic! I wish you much success, I think you offer a fantastic and much needed service. Thank you!
    Kelly Green recently posted..No I Won’t Endorse You (And 5 Other Reasons Your Brand Will Lose Credibility On LinkedIn)My Profile

    • Sherie December 5, 2012, 7:58 pm

      Awww…Kelly, I so appreciate you, dear, thank you! <3 <3

  • Rebecca Wardlow December 5, 2012, 6:00 pm

    What a great post Sherie! I found myself thinking small before I found Kim Garst and the You Can Do It Group. I am so blessed to have found your blog through her group. Thanks for the great information!
    Rebecca Wardlow recently posted..Social Media Time Management TipsMy Profile

    • Sherie December 5, 2012, 6:06 pm

      Rebecca, I am so glad that we are connected now, too! I enjoy your blog very much…you always have lots of great social media advice!

  • Stacy December 5, 2012, 5:45 pm

    Thank you Sherri for your always wonderful advice. It’s easy to be content fitting in the “box” society build for you! Thank you for encouraging others to achieve success for themselves!
    Stacy recently posted..How to Get Bookings in Direct Sales: Ask For The ReferralMy Profile

    • Sherie December 5, 2012, 5:56 pm

      Stacy, thank you! <3

  • Kim Garst December 5, 2012, 3:41 pm

    What an AWESOME article, Sherie! One of my favorite quotes…“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” Marianne Williamson!
    Kim Garst recently posted..Context, Not Content, Is King In Digital MarketingMy Profile

    • Sherie December 5, 2012, 5:56 pm

      Kim, thank you SO much! That is one of my favorite quotes, too! : D

  • denny hagel December 5, 2012, 7:39 am

    Wonderful guidance to help us move through what is standing in our way to real success! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insights!
    denny hagel recently posted..3 Tips for Balancing Family and WorkMy Profile

    • Sherie December 5, 2012, 5:55 pm

      Denny, I so appreciate you commenting, thank you!

  • Eva Blaskovic December 2, 2012, 1:29 pm

    Fantastic post, Sherie. I think this is something that will resonate with many people and provide them with useful definitions and strategies. The first three reasons have certainly applied to me at earlier points in my life. But there is another that I do not find on this list. It is the “The Trap.” For whatever reason, a person takes on a job because of some situation or sudden life event when he/she needs money *now* for the sake of survival. Then the person becomes trapped within that job and cannot transition out for a number of reasons.

    However, when one embraces the mindset that playing small is not an option, avenues begin to present themselves. It’s important to recognize them. It may take super-human effort and working double time, trying new things, taking risks, etc., but eventually the person will succeed, as long as he doesn’t stop. Throughout this process, which may be difficult, lengthy, and sometimes plagued with obstacles and delays, what helps is the belief that things happen for a reason, and each experience and obstacle serves to teach us something.
    Eva Blaskovic recently posted..Investment: It Applies to PeopleMy Profile

    • Sherie December 2, 2012, 5:05 pm

      When we have a bigger dream and we keep that dream alive, then we don’t allow ourselves to be in a trap…then the job or work just becomes a means to an end…and then it’s good, right? And you’re right…when we fully embrace the mindset that playing small is not an option, then…even though it can be tough going, we can do it…and when we look back at all we had to do to get there…it doesn’t seem too bad…know what I mean?

      Thanks so much for your comment, Eva, I just love your insights and your writing!