The Heaviness of Playing Small

playing small

playing small

On a call the other day, my client Megan was telling me that she’s worked hard to get where she is with her business and her life. She’s finally gotten to a calm, stable space, and is enjoying it! It would be so easy and comfortable to stay where she is, doing okay.


And she’s also realizing how her work can really benefit people. She’s gotten clear on who might be interested, how to connect with them, and how to package her services.

Her question to me was: Am I on the right path? I have so many “what ifs”! Do I really want to grow my business bigger?

Most entrepreneurs are okay taking chances and are driven to do something we love.

Sure, we want a steady income, and we may dream of running away to a cabin in the woods or a hut by the sea when things get hard. At the same time, if we actually did that, we’d either start bashing our head against a wall or we’d create another business from the hut/cabin.

We’re wired to grow, create and share.

And still, we have doubts. Like Megan, we ask ourselves what if questions:

  • What if I get too busy and don’t have enough time – for my family, for myself, for anything?
  • What if I get into this and I don’t like it?
  • What if work takes over and I lose my work/life balance?
  • What if I present my ideas and someone shoots me down or trashes me?
  • What if I don’t do this and I regret it?

And on and on.

Feeling all of this is like sitting at an intersection and feeling strong pulls to turn both left and right. We have a deep trust that things will work out AND waves of doubt, fear and panic.

As Megan and I did some deep energy work releasing the fears and doubts, she remembered something that she hadn’t thought of in a long time – being in 2nd grade and moving to a new school.

The classes at her old school had been moving at a faster pace, so she was ahead of the kids in her new one. In order to fit in, she held herself back. She remembered ignoring what she really wanted, staying quiet so no one laughed at her, and just doing the minimum to get by.

That pattern carried on into high school.

Tweet: As entrepreneurs, we’re wired to grow, create, and share.

As we worked, she could feel the heaviness in her body. It was like the weight of everything she hadn’t said, what she’d chosen, and the sadness of having done this to herself was all still with her. And it was.

When Megan used the phrase “the heaviness of being small”, I immediately thought of how, when a gas gets compressed, it becomes denser. We do this to ourselves when we hold ourselves back and play smaller than we are.

As we cleared all of this, Megan felt clearer and lighter. More than that, she felt spacious. She wrote me later to say that she felt whole and integrated, and her heart felt open and expanded.

She’s ready for her next steps.

Where are you playing small? Will you choose heaviness or expansion?

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