I hear a lot of references to 'playing big' and 'playing small'. I think we all have an idea of what this means in our lives and there are seasons when we're called to play big, sometimes when we don't even want to.
But, what happens when we consistently play small? What does that mean to our life satisfaction and what does it mean to the people around us?
I think one of the biggest things that gets in the way for me is resistance. It shows up as procrastination, distraction, fatigue, boredom, over-stimulation -- you name it, I've been there. I think it's important to understand why we do this sometimes. Our brains don't like change. It's hard work for our brains to process it and it goes against the natural tendency for us to file things away in the subconscious. Our brains are wired to do that and so naturally, there are innate mechanisms set up inside them to make change hard.
Here's an example. Have you ever been a part of a big change in an organization you were in? What happened? Most likely, there was a lot of resistance. People didn't want to learn new ways of doing their work and probably voiced their concerns. The change was probably necessary to improve something, so why don't people just get on board. It's because of what I wrote above about how our brains are wired. Essentially, they are a bit lazy about things and it take effort to move into a place where we're open to change.
This same system plays out when we're the one changing. We resist it and find all kinds of way to avoid the change. What we need to ask ourselves is staying the same actually better than the challenges of the change? Probably not, but we see it all the time. I bet you have at least one friend who's in a marriage that should probably end, right? Or maybe they are in a career that's no longer suitable for them. Whatever it is, we can find evidence of the resistance to change if we look for it.
Turning resistance into opportunity. I think the best way to flip this is to turn the resistance into an opportunity statement. Instead of saying "I'm too old for a new career," you can flip that to say "wow, I have so much experience and wisdom to bring to a new vocation." This is a simple example, but it works. For me, I'm fighting with poor sleep for the last couple of nights. Instead of saying "I'm too tired to write my blog", I tell myself that "this is a perfect real-life example of what people cope with and worthy of an article."
So, I'll leave you with these questions to consider -- Am I playing small because I don't want to make a change? What does resistance feel like for me? How can I turn the resistance into an opportunity?
Until next time, I wish for you expansion into the life you dream of.