Playing it small is pants and we all do it one way or another.The most significant factor that divides those that make it online from those that don’t, those that keep going from those that quit, those that stay focused from those that get flaky is this aspect of playing it small.
Nothing at all, frankly, to do with how big your list is, how swanky your website is or many friends on Facebook you have….yes in the scheme of things they’re all part of building the online collateral but listen up nothing will build your online brand faster than your ability to believe in YOURSELF!!!
I realise that playing it small will mean different things to different people, dependent upon how you perceive yourself and where you are with your own personal development journey. An entrepreneurial mindset is one more inclined to a path of self reliance without arrogance that you’re path is best.
Playing small is safe and comfy and if it were a colour it would have to be beige because playing it small means you fade neatly into the background and never attract too much attention. That way you stand for nothing, avoid criticism and life is kind of bland. Small is that little voice in your head that tells you one minute you’re not good enough and the other minute that you’re being too damn bold so better calm it down a bit.
Playing it small is when you look outside yourself for guidance, when you accept everything others say and feel crushed by their criticisms and observations, needy for their approval, their love and their following.
Playing it small keeps you right where you are, frustrated, out of reach, invisible even , paranoid, trapped, undervalued and screaming out for change yet unable to step up and do what you’d most like to do.
Playing it small is when you let your past hold you back because you don’t think you’re quite good enough, smart enough, talented enough, because you come from the wrong side of town or you’ve had an addiction problem. We all have a story and a past but it doesn’t need to hold us back. Read this one if you want to build some courage;
So what does it take to finally quit playing it small?
My realisation of my own true value was a key turning point of crystal clear clarity that there was something better waiting, something altogether more daring, more hopeful and altogether more fun and liberating to go for. It took a lot of silent moments on my part, a lot of getting to know that intimate but infinite self that talks a much more empowered game and inspires you to finally quit the excuses and get to the business of starting your own online business.
So I made a decision and set up and then what?
I faced a new kind of playing it small, that first moment of coming out online and facing the world in my new persona, that real , naked persona felt rather good, totally liberating yet frightening at the same time until I realised that no one was that interested in me. Why would they be , there’s a lot of noise and distraction out there, a lot of beige to wade through.
I listened to the pros in action, so together, so convincing, so formulaic, occasionally passionate, always dedicated. It’s easy to let yourself feel inadequate, never quite up to the job yourself and its easy to let others steel the limelight but at what cost to you?
You begin to realise that getting ready to start your own business, to become the expert first, to be utterly perfect on camera, in person, at writing amazing blog posts and everything else you need to master is still after all really all about playing it small. You move from one approval seeking existence to another if you’re not careful.
You realise that that trap of never having enough finances is really only the self created safety trap of your own making so you won’t have to step up to earning your own income. If you never go it alone then you can never be disappointed but then again how is this progress?
You realise that surfing the Internet and reading everyone else’s advice or following the big names in your niche who tell you how to follow a formula to succeed is yet again playing it small, not daring to be different, not daring to be you and to be heard and to follow your own path. How is this any different from taking orders in the employed sector or believing everything you watch on the evening news?
All these excuses serve as ideal delaying tactics whether that’s getting on with the business of quitting your job or in building and accelerating your online brand.
So how do you breakout from such normality/ stupidity?
1. Self Nurture
You’re your own worst enemy when you apply that self defeating negative self talk so why not flip that to a ‘more than good enough ‘ conversation?
Begin to see what sets you apart from others, your many natural talents and abilities and unique way of looking at the world. Write down a list of past achievements where you excelled in different aspects of your life and tune into those moments of self pride, courage and recognition of self worth. Make peace with your quirkiness, you don’t need to compare yourself with anyone.
2. Take Some Action
As that famous quote goes, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’ so do something, anything but procrastinating on what you’d love to do if only you had more cash, more guts, more know-how or more support. Its a fact that you couldn’t walk or talk once and yet you learnt so why is running your own online business any different?
3. Breakdown Your Goals
Whilst it’s true that having an expansive personal vision of your life and your work can be deeply inspiring it can also scare the living daylights out of you if you don’t break your goals down into bite-size chunks with which you can track and measure your success with small milestones. I’m not suggesting for a moment that you don’t dream big because that’s exactly where the process begins to take shape, because you can visualise a better future for yourself and your customers and perhaps because you can see how you can improve stuff in your industry. Goal formation and breaking them down get you from a great idea into manifesting that practically. The more we can keep moving and developing routines that become second nature the faster we train ourselves to move from the unconcious incompetence zone to the unconscious competence arena.
4. Speak Your Mind
Your mind is full of rich thoughts, ideas and feelings that you’re experiencing and the chances are if you’re experiencing them then there will be others in the same camp. Sometimes you’ll sink and sometimes you’ll swim but I firmly believe we all want to hear more authentic expression as the world of media continues to depict a world of extremes. We want to be inspired by others and we want to celebrate difference don’t we? . The best inspiration comes when those that have made it in spite of everything are able to show and tell us how they overcame all the odds not how perfectly they crafted their success from the outset.
5. Support of the Right People
I used to believe mastermind groups were all hype and over-rated but now I understand how vitally important they are to build a sense of courage, community and connections that are totally focused on assisting you to flourish instead of giving you all the reasons why you’ll fail .Society, particularly in the UK appears uncomfortable with people who dare to play big, in fact, there is this kind of disturbing undercurrent and inbuilt systemic attitude of being uncomfortable with allowing greatness to shine. Maybe that’s a result of our history but such conservatism which generally starts in our educational establishments have done little to foster an entreprenerial spirit that will feed our economy in the future.
So I ‘m done with playing small and with waiting for others to tell me how best I can grow, build success, become the expert, share my material and so on, funny how those that love to give advice have rarely ever taken any risks in their life.
What about you….how are you allowing yourself to play big these days and inspiring those around you to do the same?
Drop us a line because we’d love to hear your views on this emotive subject.