midlife, personal growth

Quit Playing Small – Make Yourself a Priority

illustration of woman on bicycle catching leaves for quit playing small and make yourself a priority page

It’s time to quit playing small and to start making yourself a priority.

Are you playing small and allowing your life to pass by while you tend to everyone else’s needs?

You say you don’t have time to take better care of yourself and your needs, and to make yourself a priority, but this is your life. And each day that passes is an opportunity you’ve lost.

Serving others often comes first.

I hear you. I feel that way too. But we’ve done plenty of caring for others, putting everyone but ourselves first. It’s time to stop playing small and staying stuck in this give-give-give rut.

Ready or not, here we come

This is the moment to bust through fear, anxiety and overwhelm. No more reasons or excuses why you can’t take time to care for yourself. It’s the point to push yourself forward.

You don’t need anyone’s permission to begin caring for yourself.

Whether you realize it or not, care to admit it or not, you are in control of your own narrative.

This life is your story. You’ve done a great job taking care of business, caring for your family, paying the bills, doing the dirty dishes, taking the dog to the vet, showing up for work.

Can you say you’ve done a good job taking care of yourself?

How much longer will you wait? The timing will never be any more perfect than it is right now. Putting off your goals, dreams, interests, wishes, self-care, exercise, etc… is hurting you.

“The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.” – Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer

The guilt of making yourself a priority and the fear of who you might be if you stop playing small is keeping you stuck in a cycle of wishing, maybe even planning… and then not following through and ultimately letting yourself down.

“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

Force yourself out of the cycle. Push past the discomfort that comes with being bold. Push yourself to follow the tug that pulls you to try something new. Stop the mental self-sabotage and negative mind chatter.

Decide to follow through.

Commit to carving out the time, or money, or energy (or all three) to spend on yourself. To claim what you need in order to pursue whatever you wish for yourself. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary. It’s healthy!

When you go after those wishes, you are filling your own well. The well that you continue to pour love, kindness, encouragement, friendship, assistance, caregiving and energy from.

What is keeping you from living your best life today? Sorry to tell you this, but underneath it all, it’s YOU. You are keeping yourself playing small. You alone are responsible for not making yourself a priority.

I hear you saying, but I just don’t have time.

Baloney!

If your friend called and said she had an emergency, you’d drop everything and find time to help. Consider that perhaps you ARE the emergency!

And some more tough love…

Stop B.S.ing yourself. You can and should start moving the needle toward taking better care of yourself – in whatever form that takes.

It’s mind over matter. A mental decision. A shift in thinking. An attitude.

“Self-doubt is here and here to stay. Playing big is about acting in spite of it.” – Tara Mohr, author and leadership speaker

Let your voice be heard, let your needs be seen, take up that space that you (don’t feel like you deserve).

One minute at a time. One decision at a time.

You probably can’t just disappear for a month to pursue your passionate interest in rehabilitating sloths in Costa Rica, but you can make small changes that add up.

“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow.” – James Clear, author of Atomic Habits

If you don’t start thinking about yourself, changing your habits and making small shifts in your mindset to consider your needs, your health, your passions – you will be the one who will need rehabilitation!

It’s not selfish to stop playing small and to prioritize yourself!

We can still be good people – grateful and appreciative – while simultaneously striving for bigger, or better, or healthier, or wealthier… whatever floats your dream boat. It’s ok to keep reaching for more.

When you do, you teach your loved ones by example, how to reach for more. How to take care of themselves. How to dream and set goals and go for them. How to respect for your wellness. Your physical self and your spiritual, emotional self.

By playing big and making yourself a priority, you also set an example for other women on how to feel like we are enough. On how to feel deserving. On how to fit self-care into our busy lives.

Please don’t wait until you’re drooling over your applesauce in a nursing home to consider how you wish you had spent more time pursuing your purpose, your passions, and the things that light you up!

Take a step in the right direction today.

To stop playing small requires continual personal growth – and you must begin somewhere.

One tiny step may be the first in a series that lead to your dream life (how’s that for playing big?!).

Do something wildly wonderful for yourself. Make yourself a priority, even for just one hour. Step out of what feels comfortable but is keeping you stuck. Go beyond fear to freedom. See what not playing small feels like.

Feel free to share any wins you have on your journey in the comments below!

Cheers to the journey and to our continued evolution!  – Marlene

 


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