Mon Apr 08 2024

How do you know if you’re playing small

This newsletter contains easy to implement practical tools and insights for anyone looking to understand how to effectively manage their brains, and ADHD in the workplace.  

What are some of the signs that you are playing small!

Playing small can manifest in various ways, and it's often a subtle but pervasive pattern that keeps you from realising your full potential.  

So what if I am. Does it matter?

Great question. Yes it does. It matters because when we are playing small, we are generally spending a whole lot of time looking for external validation rather than standing in our power and self belief. When this happens for long periods of time - it erodes our self-confidence.

I know what it’s like to play small…

After 30+ years in corporate life and nearly 4 years running my own business, the only thing standing between me and success is ME. I know what it feels like to be stuck, unseen and not sure of the runway ahead. (and just quietly - all in my head) When I look back on 30 years and some of my incredible achievements, I understand now why I wasn’t talking about them and celebrating my own success. Because I was playing small.

After my ADHD diagnosis 3 years ago, this was really the start of my awakening. Everything made so much sense. I was a highly creative, high performing, multi-tasking leader who had energy that sometimes other people lacked. In 2024, I’m not interested in playing small anymore and more importantly through my coaching and consulting, I’m helping others play to their strengths, build their confidence and step into their power.

But how do you know if you are playing small?

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

So….here are some signs that you are not realising your full potential.

  • You might be avoiding challenges to stretch yourself, so you stay in your safe zone.
  • Self-doubt and perfectionism are your constant companions.
  • You struggle with comparisonitis.
  • You may not be concerned with having boundaries, so you settle for less, or ignore your own passions.
  • Rather than trust your own judgement, you might seek approval because you fear failure.

But the truth is….You are good at what you do. The problem is….You may be underestimating your potential and downplaying your achievements.

So now what?

Recognising these signs is the first step towards stepping out of the small zone and into your power zone. You’ve spent a long time laying down this thinking, so it’s not going to change over night.

It’s baby steps from here. Keep your eye out for:
  • Your negative self-talk - what does the voice say. Write it down. Don’t judge it.
  • Make note of what other people are saying to you - the feedback, the positive nods.
  • Understand your Strengths - what are they and are you leveraging them at work.
  • Ask your boss and colleagues for feedback - ask questions like - what do you notice about what I’m doing when I’m performing at my best.
  • Journal daily - how do I want to feel today? what am I proud of? what did I learn? what am I looking forward to tomorrow?

This is all about creating a new internal narrative for yourself, so being very intentional about it is going to be critical!

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