Lately, I’ve been noticing something coming up again and again in my conversations with women who want to bring forth some important message or work in the world.
It’s a theme I’m seeing more clearly than ever before, a major obstacle that blocks many of us from stepping into playing bigger.
I was speaking with one woman about what direction she should take her business next. The problem felt complicated to her – there were so many variables to consider, and she had lots of thoughts about each of the options.
But when we slowed down, when she checked in with her inner mentor voice, the answers she heard back were so simple. Go with where the most energy is for you, it said. That was it.
She instantly felt the resonance that came with that guidance. And she understood what it would direct her to do next. But her mind said back: “It can’t be that simple, can it?” There was relief, but also fear in her, because if that is the answer, there was nothing left to do but begin.
Another woman I was speaking with the next day explained to me that she was not sure how to get started pursuing her entrepreneurial idea. She’d received conflicting advice from others about what steps to take, plus she had her own additional ideas about ways to begin. It wasn’t clear to her what the right answer was, so she was stuck.
With her too, when we slowed down and moved out of the chattering mind, the answer that came back was simple: “It doesn’t matter which route you take. Just begin with a small step, see what it teaches you, and take a new one from there.” She smiled as she felt the sense of ease and lightness that came with this answer. But it couldn’t be that simple, right?
I could share with you a hundred more examples of the almost eerily simple guidance women hear when we slow down and turn inward for answers. I’ve seen up close, again and again, working with women in the trenches of discovering and pursuing their dreams, that the way forward always can be described in just a few short words.
Our problem is that it is hard for us to believe it could be that simple.
After all, we’ve learned in school that everything important and sophisticated must require hundreds of pages of reading to master, or hours of laboring in hard work to understand. We’ve learned to associate the simple with the unrealistic, and the complex with what’s smart. This may be true of solving engineering problems or making a gourmet meal, but it is not true of the questions about how to move forward in our lives.
There, the real answers are elemental, almost pre-verbal in us. The simple answers – just trust, just start, go do it, do what brings joy – these kinds of answers require our courage, because they leave us nothing to distract ourselves in – no complex dilemmas to hide behind or stall in. They make a clearing, a space for forward action, for stepping out and doing something vulnerable, for taking a step we did not take the day before.
Today, listen to the simple answer that is waiting for you, and take a step you did not take the day before. It really can be that simple.
And if you would like support finding your own voice of clarity and wisdom, and trusting what it says to realize your playing bigger dreams, join us for the Playing Big course.
Photo by Annie Spratt