I have heard the term playing small and playing big around the spiritual and personal development realms for a while now.

But you know there are times when you hear or read something, and then there is the moment where it ‘resonates’ with you deeply. Like you were ready to really let it sink in and it was the alignment of where you are at in your life that allows you to truly receive the message this time around! This is what it felt like for me in the last 24 hours.

I bought Tara Mohr’s new book appropriately titled “Playing Big” while at the airport yesterday and have been soaking up her story, her words, her lessons, and her messages ever since. I highly recommend this book for everyone, especially for women.

I feel ready to diver deeper into my psyche and get really honest with myself of where I am at in my life at the moment. So I wanted to share some questions with you too to help you take a look inside, get honest with yourself so you too can stop holding back, hiding and playing small and instead embrace and allow the fullness of who you really are to be your new normal.

Playing small has many masks; not speaking up, not having an opinion, not sharing your opinion/ideas, not asking for help, not thinking you matter, not thinking what you love and what lights you up matters.

Playing big is really about; letting ‘all’ that is within you out: that your voice, your beliefs, your needs, you desires and your dreams matter!

Your life will either be one founded on the basis of hiding, holding back and not expressing your heart and souls truth or it will be one where you are willing and open to learning how to step up, speak up and live your truth. Sharing your truth, your ideas, your creativity, your ‘art’ and your opinions with the world.

This world is calling us all to step up in our lives. Not just through our art, our soul’s work but also in our relationships; both personal and professional. We are being called to let go of what is blocking our brilliance and our light from shining through. We are being called to look after ourselves better, to embrace self compassion over self judgment. To take care of our health, our finances, our homes, ourselves and each other in a much more loving, deeper and more honest way.

I’m personally feeling the call to rise up and share my work and my love of teaching, writing, mentoring and speaking more with the world. I’m also feeling it in other areas of my life; to take more time out to simply be with myself, to nurture and nourish my body more. And to accept and forgive myself more often when I don’t do what I know is good or true for me.

Playing big and stepping it up in our lives is not about perfection or getting it right. It is about living from a more loving and conscious space.

So why do we hold back?

Don’t feel worthy of our dreams.
Don’t feel worthy of our ideas and opinions.
Don’t feel worthy of our experiences, knowledge or natural talent.
Don’t want to be rejected.
Don’t want to be critized.
Don’t want to make a mistake or fail.
Don’t want to rock the boat.
Don’t want others to disagree with us.
Don’t want to be ridiculed.

Basically, we hold back, hide and play the ‘good girl or boy’ so we can stay in the perception of being loved, accepted, approved of and hang on to the sense of belonging we have in our lives; whether its to our partners, our parents, friends, strangers, co-workers, clients.

We also hold back because we listen to our ego mind – our inner mean girl (or boy), our inner critic is running the show instead of our ‘all knowing’ creative, open, loving and free self.

Hence, self awareness is always the first step to transform any area of your life. It is empowers you. It allows you to create space between you and your thoughts, your actions and your patterns.

Acceptance and compassion is followed closely. The inner mean girl (or boy) is quick to judge ourselves for holding back and the circle continues of judging the judgment. This is where self compassion and radical self acceptance and love works wonders to transform your life and return you home to love.

Honesty is vital in transformation. You can’t change anything you can’t see. So this is an opportunity to grab out some paper and a pen and get to know yourself. Allow yourself to write freely, allow yourself to write anything that comes to you even if it sounds crazy. Our sub-conscious minds hold our truth. The journey back to love is all about living consciously. Bring what is within us out into the light where it is healed.

Where in my life at the moment am I holding back and playing small?
(start broad and then break them down into specifics if you wish: health, finances, relationship, friends, fun, work, home etc…)

What consequences are occurring in my life because I am playing small?

What would my life look life if I was playing big and allowing the fullness of who I truly am to emerge?

What would my life feel like if I was playing big?

What would it give to others if I was playing big?

What would it give to the world if I was playing big?

Who truly inspires me at the moment?

– Are they playing small or playing big?
– Imagine how different your life may have been if they let go of their fullness and instead played small…imagine how different the world would be without these leaders in business, arts, music, film, education, spirituality, sports, culture etc?

Life is an opportunity to remember who we truly are and even more importantly; to live in the glorious fullness of who we truly are each and every moment – love.

If it all seems too much, start your day by asking yourself, if I were to play big today what would I be doing, how would I be showing up at home, at the office, in the line at the coffee shop?

It’s not just the big things…its in every moment that we have an opportunity to speak, live and ‘be’ in our truth.

If you would love support to step up and play bigger in your life, email me at ellenaashford@gmail.com to schedule a free 45 minute mentoring discovery call to explore this topic further.

Much love,
Ellena x

playing big

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