If it seems impossible, I seem to be drawn to it. If it seems like it may be just out of my range in any way, I really want it. I’ve always been that way. I’ve always wanted the things that people feel are lofty. It’s not so much the material things it’s the crazy, out there goals.

While I’ve always been a big dreamer, I was also seriously guilty of holding myself back. I would let opportunities pass because I would freak myself out based on “what if?” I would think what if the thing I want really happens. It would scare me and I wouldn’t act. I finally learned to let go of my “what if’s?”

what ifsI finally started to see things differently. Not going after things you want doesn’t serve anyone. Not your kids, not your spouse and certainly not you. When we have ideas and aspirations that we kick to the curb somebody is missing out. Those somebody’s would be you, your kids, your spouse and the countless people you would have touched had you gone after it.

playing small camesha marianne williamsonLetting the “what if’s” take over was my weakness and kept me playing small. Here are some ways we cheat ourselves by playing small.

Waiting to be asked – Waiting to be approached about an opportunity Instead of taking the leap creating an opportunity or even making interest in the opportunity evident. If someone can help you get closer to what you want, speak up so they know you want it.

Letting fear win – This is where the questions and inner critic kicks in with all the reasons it won’t work. I think the inner critic pretty much is the protector of the comfort zone. The thing is, all the good stuff is outside of that space. Ignore the inner critic. When it tells you all the reasons why it won’t work, tell your inner critic to prove it! In the meantime, you keep pushing.

Someone makes a joke of your dream – If the inner critic doesn’t get you, the outer critics might. It’s so important that we share our dreams with the right people. Everyone won’t be on board and will convince you that you can’t do it because they don’t think they could do it.

You go after it but while in pursuit you hear more no’s than yes’s – Rejection is a beast. Hearing “no” too many times will discourage anyone. Sometimes we’re asking the wrong people. Sometimes we’re simply asking the wrong questions. Find an alternate direction, shift your sails and keep moving.

Have you been guilty of playing small? In what way?

51 comments on “What If’s, Dreams + Playing Small”

  1. I rarely wait to be asked. I am the QUEEN of inviting myself places and I always speak up when I want something.

  2. Wow I love this. I always a small. Especially where mt blog is concerned. It’s where I make my. Money, and where I feel most happy yet I’m always too afraid to play big or go for risks.

  3. It’s amazing what can happen if you just work up the nerve to ask! No one has ever gotten anywhere by being silent.

  4. I was surprised by what can happen if you just ask. After all the worst that can happen is you might be told no.

  5. hehehe I don’t hold myself back…. Which is great most of the time but the few times it hasn’t been great… Omg…. Not sure which is better lol

  6. I see too many times where young people let fear win. I know that fear can be crippling to many and cause so much anxiety and stress. Fear of failure is the most crippling for many.

  7. I’ve been guilty of playing small in the past, but not anymore! If we don’t go after our dreams, we’ll never catch them! I certainly don’t like rejection, but it comes with the territory. I always remind myself of the “greats” that received rejection time after time, but never gave up.
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  8. I don’t share mine. Is that wrong? I feel like someone will down them and then I won’t move forward, so for the most part (there are exceptions) I keep my dreams to myself.

  9. I have heard that we are the ones who get in our way the most. I suppose that is true in a lot of things I’ve done (or not done) in life too.

  10. My mindset is my biggest downfall. I always feel as though I set myself up for the mundane and small fry before I’ve even got started.

  11. Great post! I definitely can relate. I have grown so much as a blogger. My motto is it never hurts to ask. If I pitch and get declined, I move on to the next company. I have to say I am pretty happy with how I am going so far. I like that you mentioned someone making fun of your blog. That can be very discouraging, but it can also push you to make your site better.

  12. I’ve been guilty of playing small. My fears and insecurities tend to win a lot of the time, but it’s something I’m working on fixing as of late. Thanks for sharing this!
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  13. I so needed this cause I keep playing it safe and small when I need to speak up and go big or go home!! Thank you for this post!

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