Playing big when we want to be small
by Jenny Zink
All of my life I have been playing small. Trying my hardest to make myself unnoticable. You really can't miss me. I'm 5'10", and well, noticeable. As a photographer I hid behind my camera for years. It's safer to be the photographer and make everyone else look good. But like everyone else, I have middle school horror stories, bad boss horror stories, and relationship horror stories. For some reason over the last 40something years I have allowed these stories define me. Did you catch that? THE STORIES defined me.
Last month we started reading "Playing Big" by Tara Mohr and it was a game changer for me. I hate that phrase, but it is totally true here. I have joked that I'm an accidental entrepreneur. I have started a yoga studio by accident. Talk about facing fears. I hate public speaking and so I decided to stand in front of 5-20 people every week? When WoA started I realized that I had to embrace playing big. I talk to people daily now. I plan events that challenge people and need to do it in the safest way possible. I'm getting requests for interviews! What?! Yes, it's time to face it for me. No more playing small.
At one point in the book Tara talks about critic. We all have them internal and external. We have the ability to change our inner critic. That's empowering! We also have the ability to change the way to listen to the external critics. She talks about learning from the critic because what they are saying says more about them than it does about us. It tells us their preferences!
My favorite part of the book was the inner mentor. I have always felt a little squeamish about mentors. I find it really hard to believe that someone has it all figured out because they are 20 years older than me. Mainly, because if I were trying to tell a 24 year old what to do with their life, I would be a fraud! I do not have that shit figured out. No one does. The idea of visualizing myself 20 years down the road and using that image of myself to work toward that future is again empowering. I create my future!
I'm sorry if I've crashed your vision of me being this amazing confident, got my shit together person. Ha! It makes me laugh just typing that out. I don't. Very few of us do, but the idea of learning from who we want to be, challenging our fears in a healthy constructive way, and letting go of critics to become more confident women is worth the effort.
Read this book! You won't regret it. And check out next month's selection over in the left sidebar. I can't wait to dig into that one!