What you love – what you long to do – is really, really important.When you live in alignment with that, life becomes joyful, alive, full color, move-you-to-tears gorgeous. But most of us get lost from our true loves along the way in life. There is a way to get back on track.
If you are here on this planet, there is a unique contribution you are meant to make.That’s what I call your real work. Sometimes we do our real work through our jobs, and sometimes we do it outside of our jobs. Which way you go doesn’t really matter. But it *does* really matter – to your happiness and to our collective wellbeing – that in some way, you do your real work.
We all have a relentless inner critic and voice of fear within.Playing big involves learning to recognize those voices for what they are, and separate them from the voice of your authentic self. Then you can choose who to listen to.
Confidence? Unnecessary.We do a disservice to women when we advise them to simply “be confident.” We will all feel profound self-doubt when we boldly create, speak up, or lead. This is even more so for women because of the bias we face and the dearth of role models we see. But here’s the good news: we don’t need confidence to play big. What we need is a new, more conscious and skillful relationship to our self-doubt. That is entirely learnable.
This is a unique historical moment of unlearning and relearning for us as women.The legacy of patriarchy persists not only in our institutions and culture, but within us. It affects our self-perceptions and what we allow ourselves to create, say, and even dream of possibilities. Inner work is part of the women’s empowerment process so we can replace the internal imprint of our history with new beliefs about ourselves and the world.
Playing big is being more loyal to your dreams than to your fears.That’s our definition of the term. We all feel both: the pull toward our aspirations, and the pull toward our comfort zones. Playing big is placing your allegiance with your dreams. This means that playing big (and all the joy that comes with it!) happens not when you achieve your vision, but when you take that first self-supportive step onto the road to realizing it.
Only you can define what playing big means for you.For some women playing big is asking for the promotion ... for others, it means turning down the promotion and instead doing the work they most long to do. For some it means starting or growing a business. For others it means speaking up more, or making more impact. Your playing big may look “big” in the world’s eyes, or it may be entirely unintelligible to the people around you. That’s all okay. As women working within patriarchal systems, some of us will make change by holding power in new ways within those systems, and some of us will work outside of them.
Playing big is not exhausting! It has nothing to do with working or striving harder. Playing big puts you in alignment with your instincts and your natural gifts, and will return energy back to you. Playing small – fighting your desires and gifts – is actually far more draining.
We are all on the transition team.The past offered a world defined and designed by men. The future, we hope, will be one of men and women leading alongside each other, sharing power. The present is the transition. You’ve been hired for the transition team.
Compassion is the natural expression of wisdom.The wise part of us has the capacity to know that every act that harms and hurts is born out of desperate pain and limitation in the perpetrator. Seeing that and acting upon it is seeing and acting upon the truth. Compassion is strength, and compassion heals giver and receiver.