Where are you playing small?
One year ago, my life was very different. My rather stressful job contract has come to an end, leaving me with no desire to work for anyone else, enough savings for a few months of non-luxurious life and no clear idea of where any money will be coming from once it's gone. My landlord suddenly decided to kick me out of the apartment, where I've spent the last two years. My mum was undergoing the third major surgery in two months and preparing herself for the chemo, as I was stuck between two countries looking for alternative surgeons and treatments all around the world. And on top of that, a few weeks before I split up with a guy I fancied. I was eating uncertainty for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Looking back at that period, I'm not surprised I was procrastinating about doing something for my own business, although I had a clear idea that I didn't want to work for anyone else anymore. I was playing with coaching here and there, but it has never been a serious source of income. Recognizing myself being stuck, I felt I needed a coach myself and got in touch with someone I've previously known from my training program. Her lectures have always been a huge inspiration for me. We had a really nice conversation about how we could work together, I felt a great synergy and willingness to work with her, and asked her to give me a few days to think about her fees (quite high). I ended up sending her this exact email one year ago:
"I did think about your offer and although I would love to work with you, I am a bit cautious about my budget. I would be grateful if you could think of other coaches similar to you who might charge less".
She said she'll be happy to recommend some coaches from her network, and then I haven't heard back from her for a couple of weeks. As I sat down to write a follow up email, something happened - I realized I didn't want to work with anyone else, and writing something else will be a lie. I wasn't sure in which country I'll be living in the next few months and what I'll be doing, but I knew I wanted to work with her. So instead of reminding her to recommend me a cheaper coach, I wrote to her saying that my situation changed and I would love to work with her.
Did the situation really change? Only in my head (how cool is that?). I made calculations and figured out what I could cut on if I were to work with her. I mentally got rid of everything inessential and discovered that I won't suffer much if I had to give it up. Maybe my security wouldn't last for 6, but rather for 4 months. I can handle that. I've handled much worse stuff.
Needless to say, it was one of the best decisions in my life. Over the last 10 months, I've launched two coaching businesses (Consciously Digital and Anastasia.tips), performed at multiple conferences, hired my first employees, started writing for Huffington Post and got in talks with TV channel about a film, sold my first online course to someone I never met and who never met me, got 80+ people signing up for my webinars, got emails from all over the world supporting my work, and did hundreds of other things I would have never got into had I not followed my gut feeling and had I not been honest with myself for what I wish for.
It has by no means been easy, but what a luck to have lived this year in such a fulfilling way! And here comes my coaching tip:
Be honest with yourself. You know deep inside what you truly wish for, so don't settle down for less and don't let your concerns stop you. There's a difference between being reasonable and playing small - and you will know it by the little tingling of joy in your chest and fingers when you are aspiring and reaching for the stars.
Playing small doesn't protect you or make you safe. It makes you stop respecting and believing in yourself. It also makes other people around you feel smaller. When you buy a bag you don't really like because it's 3o pounds cheaper (or piece of cheese you don't particularly like because it's 1 pounds cheaper), you are playing small. When you are spending money or time on non-essential instead of on what's really important because you don't want to upset someone or out of habit, you are playing small. When you are going out with somebody who doesn't make you truly happy and secure, you are playing small.
Stop doing that. Birthday is only once a year - make sure you've got something to write in your blog about next year.
PS This blog originally appeared on www.anastasia.tips website.