Tag: playing small

You Only Need Your Own Approval


The world can be a cruel and painful place to exist. But…only if we believe what others are saying about us.

Someone is always going to have an opinion about what we are doing or saying. We can’t stop it. We also have to know that every single person on this planet is going to see life and other people through their own lenses – lenses that were created by their upbringings, experiences and egoic illusions. Some people have not questioned or undone the rules, dogma or beliefs imposed on them from others and are still living with the confines of an imposed way of thinking. Hence, their automatic response is judgment.

When we work really hard to please everyone around us, we only end up hurting ourselves and playing small in order for others to be comfortable. By doing this, we actually teach them that what they think or say matters more to us than what we think about ourselves.

The problem is we cannot ever please others to the extent we want to and we end up a shriveled up portion of what are truly meant to be. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to bob and weave through our perceptions of what another person wants from us.


We spend so much time trying to be what we think they want us to be that we forget who we are and what we want in this life.

We are afraid of losing their love so we falsify ourselves or wear masks that inappropriately fit our souls. We get comfortable being uncomfortable then question why we are not truly happy.

How can we be happy when wearing something that does not fit us correctly? It eventually chafes and rubs and wears away at our essence thus creating unhappiness and dis-ease.

When we give energy to any thought or issue that is not ours to own and work on, we burn away our precious light. We end up spending time where we have no business being.

The amazing teacher of “The Work”, Byron Katie states, “Whose business are in you? Yours? Your neighbor’s? Or God’s? If you are in any business that is not your own, you are wasting your energy.”

The less amount of time spent trying to bob and weave through others issues, the better. We are here to better ourselves not diminish ourselves in order to please the world.


Unconsciously, I used to live in a mind where I played small. I have a very large family, a lot of friends and many clients and each one is so incredibly different. In order not to create upheaval, lose love or make someone uncomfortable (myself included), I would withhold saying or doing things that would demonstrate my authentic nature or bring me joy. That included speaking light-filled new perceptions that could actually help another person.

The truth is not all people are ready and willing to hear what we have to say. Even if we say the words dripping with chocolate syrup and topped with a plump cherry, they may still grimace, change the subject or create distance. Which often leaves us feeling disapproved of, abandoned, stupid and/or unworthy. Hence, we dim our light, keep a low profile, shut the hell up and play small.

Others reactions used to hurt me a lot until I learned that what others do or say (how they process) has nothing to do with me. As long as I am being respectful, kind and speaking words rooted in love, I have nothing to fear. Additionally, I learned that by playing small I was constricting my own growth and the potential growth of others.

Your Authenticity Can Help Others

Since the playing small version of ourselves never benefits anyone, what does the playing big version do?

When we do the work to heal own our self-worth – knowing in our soul that all that we are is not only enough but brilliant in its own right – we actually bring light to the world! We actually contribute to global healing by simply demonstrating our authentic essence. Sound a little fantastical? Well, it’s not.

Our “essence” is the God Source inside us all. It is core of our being – the good, the beautiful, the compassionate, the creative and the joyful place.

By being courageous enough to be 100% genuine we are giving others permission to be 100% genuine. We are giving others permission to tap into their essence as well.

Vulnerability begets vulnerability. It may not happen in a nanosecond, but over time your openness may lead another to living an authentic life too.

Furthermore, two authentic people build solid foundations of friendships and intimacy rather than two pleasers dancing around one another’s idea of what their person wants from them.


When deep connections of love, trust and companionship take root, it begins to reach further out into each person’s intimate circle and the pattern continues on and on. We may think we are a tiny speck on a planet in our world and we cannot possibly make a difference, but our thinking is wrong.

We make a difference:

Every time we choose love

Every time we choose kindness

Every time we choose authenticity

Every time we speak love-rooted truth

Every time we respect ourselves


Every time we open our hearts.

However, we are not always going to witness what our authentic nature is creating. We don’t always get the immediate pat on the back or confirmation statements from others and our ego may try to trick us into thinking we are wrong in our authentic nature.

Sometimes we must blindly trust that which is ringing in our souls. We must learn to listen to ourselves and go where our heart and soul leads us without the “ok” from the rest of the world. We already know the Right things to do; we just need to cultivate the courage to do it.

We must learn to surrender to when and where shift happens and know that everything rooted Love serves. Period.

Each one of us comes here with a purpose – a divine purpose to shine our light in the world. To be all that we are meant to be and live a purpose driven, love-centered life. It starts with accepting and loving all that you innately are by sharing your genuine self with the world no matter what others think.


Overcoming Self-Limiting Labels


Anytime we label ourselves anything negative, we are cutting off our potential growth and our capacity to thrive. Using terms that label you unlovable, small, unable, victim, incapable or weak are mind-altering, debilitating words that if you let them, will inhibit all that you desire or secretly wish to achieve in this life.

The power a label has is in direct proportion to the disabling energy we assign to them. Their potency and meaning are only derived from our beliefs about them.

When I am out in my neighborhood on my walks and bike rides, I often see a certain gentleman. He jogs along at a fast pace with his devoted, leash-less black Labrador keeping pace with his stride. Both of them smiling as largely and beautifully as they can. Every time I see him I think, Damn. Look at him go! He’s so fit! AND he’s wearing a prosthetic leg! I can only imagine how losing a partial limb could wreak much havoc on one’s psyche and additionally, the pain involved in recovery I imagine can be quite mind effing. Dang, that had to have taken so much tenacity and courage. Just LOOK at him go!!

I think often of my dear friend whose MS has left her legally blind and no longer able to drive a car or see most any writing out in the world. She has also been an avid reader her entire life. Again, the label of “blind” could be very mind blowing and limiting. However, she found ways to maneuver around her sight limitations by not attaching to her label. She had special glasses made, adjusted her electronics to have large writing, found a phone that speaks her texts out loud, gives herself permission to take breaks when her eyes fatigue and if needed, she orders audio books! She refrained from labeling herself “incapable” and instead found a way to thrive in her circumstance by doing what inspires her most!

Disclaimer moment: I am not saying that disabilities are not real or deserve the attention that they require. I’m speaking about the energy we attach to our labels and how we live our lives in union with them.

Labels are like manacles slowly squeezing the color out of our souls until we are but a mere shadow of what we were intended to be.

The same holds true in relationships. If we label ourselves unworthy of love by such statements as: I’m old, I’m fat, I’m skinny, I’m ugly, No one wants me, There are no good men/women, I’m stupid, I will always be alone, I suck at relationships etcetera, we will never find what we would so desire.

Overcoming self-limits is the key to achieving anything we desire in life!

I’ve seen remarkably loving and reciprocal relationships that span the board of what one could perceive as a limitation in oneself or their partner. In each of these beautiful relationships, neither partner saw the limitation in themselves or their partner. Because the truth is, there never was one!

I have a semi-illiterate client (born in a low economic country) who married a wheelchair bound man when she was 17 years old. They have been together for over 42 years!

Label: I’m not worthy of a relationship because I cannot read well.

Label true? NOPE.

Label: I’m not lovable or worthy of a relationship because I am in a wheelchair.

Label true? NOPE.

Our minds are incredibly powerful! What we think, we manifest. Life can undoubtedly suck at times. I have experienced many life traumas and dramas and the one’s I didn’t experience myself, I stood witness in close proximity to as someone I love experienced those.

Hands down, the people who chose not to be a victim of life are the ones who are thriving today! They saw their setbacks as opportunities for comebacks and they made it happen.

I have a hard time these days listening to someone cry a river over a thought they are repeatedly replaying over and over in their mind. Yes, I know the thing that happened to you sucked and sucked BADLY. I understand completely. I have compassion for you and I love you. I also know we have choices in life – a choice to thrive or a choice to merely get by.

I believe the reason we are so inspired by others who overcome tremendous life obstacles is because we know how incredibly tough it is to break through the limiting beliefs and push oneself to greatness even though we have no contract ensuring our victory. It is almost as if we are running a race in fog imagining a finish line even though we were not informed where it is! We just keep going. Left foot, right foot. Left foot, right foot.

This is where faith in a power greater than ourselves, comes into play.

Opening our hearts and minds to a power so great that it holds galaxies together, unlocks the door of abundance and healing! When we say Yes to life, the Universe steps in to help us. This is the place where we pick ourselves up and fight for a great life or we continue to ignore the pleading of our souls and quit. We may try to believe no one has ever had it as bad as we do, and I beg to differ. Somewhere out there, someone has experienced worse AND still chose to thrive.

I remember during “my tsunami” I felt like it was the end of my life. That it would never get better. This was it. My life is over. It’s just going to suck from here on out! And then… I would witness my friend, who had lost his wife and daughter to a drunk-driving incident, pressing forward each and every day and I would think to myself: Are you freaking kidding me, Kristen?! He lost his family and you’re blubbering over this?!

I later saw a show where a woman lost her mother and her children (I think there were 3) in a house fire.

Omg! What?!

The show was covering how a person experiences tragedy and chooses healing no matter what. I had to fight against myself to not change the channel because my chest literally hurt and my breathing became labored. I stayed in it, because I knew to run from it was to avoid a piece of healing in myself. I witnessed her pain, her strength, her faith, her hope, her inspiration, her good days, her bad days and her drive to reclaim her life. She had made a choice to thrive no matter how grim it looked or how long it took. She is a true warrior. ((sigh))


Each one of us on this planet is put here to thrive. Yes, we have obstacles to overcome and I agree it ain’t easy! I also know where there is Will, a way will be presented. The key is to remove the blocks we have built around our perceived limitation and find another way! What we are led to, we will be led through if we open our minds and hearts to a new way, a different way.

Let us always watch out for how we label ourselves and our circumstance. We were not put here to merely survive; we were put here to THRIVE. We have tools available to help us, but we must be willing to open our hearts and look for them.

In the middle of all of this, let us always remember to be gentle with ourselves on our journeys. One step at a time.

You got this.

I believe in you.