Leaderly Quote: Your playing small does not serve the world

There have been a handful of times in my life and in my career when I’ve challenged myself to play big. Really, really big. Like “Move to Sydney on my own and re-launch my career” big, or “Say ‘yes’ to teaching a class that I’d  just taken as a participant” big.

I did a quick brainstorm and came up with my all-time scariest moments of playing big.  They include:

• Joining Toastmasters
• Delivering a speaking presentation without notes
Speaking to execs at a big corporate women’s leadership conference
• Sending out my speaking flyer to 100 conferences
• Hiring an operations manager
• Increasing my fees
• Turning down well-paying clients who needed services that were slightly outside my “sweet spot.”

These were huge leaps of faith.  Each one of these steps scared me almost to death, but I survived, with no regrets, lots of interesting lessons learned, and an expanded sense of what I was capable of doing next. I’ve been able to be of service to the people I care deeply about, emerging women leaders, and make a bigger difference in their careers. Playing big works!

Marianne Williamson said, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”

This week, make a point of playing big. It’s what leaders do.

Say “yes” to the big, challenging, scary goal. Say “no” to the situation that no longer works for you. Learn a new skill that’s outside your comfort zone. Speak up, and take your seat at the table. Use your voice and your influence to make a difference. And while you’re doing that, make sure you’re lifting others up, too.

Jo Miller

Jo Miller is a globally renowned authority on women’s leadership. She’s dedicated two decades to helping women advance into positions of influence by leveraging their leadership strengths. Based on her work with hundreds of thousands of women, she developed a pragmatic and powerful roadmap that guides women to become the leaders they aspire to be. Jo shares this proven process in her book Woman of Influence: 9 Steps to Build Your Brand, Establish Your Legacy, and Thrive (McGraw Hill, 2019.)

Jo is CEO of leadership development, consulting and research firm Be Leaderly. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.com and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

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