Are you driven by what you do not want rather than by what excites you?

Most of our actions are driven either by the desire to avoid pain or experience pleasure. If we are not careful, we may start focusing more on avoiding pain. This limits us, and we start playing small. We stop learning new things, we settle rather than explore, and we live in fear rather than play to our strengths.

If you are living without passion, going through the motions of the day without any excitement, here are 5 signs that you may be playing small – 

1. You wait to be asked

You do not offer your point of view, do not volunteer for opportunities, do not raise your hand, to accept challenges. You fear putting your foot into your mouth. You save yourself from criticism. You are assailed by what-ifs – 

– What if you suck?

– What if people laugh at you?

– What if …..

Sometimes, it is the opposite! You wait to be asked because you think it is your due. You believe you have earned it, and the boss needs to confer it on you. You feel neglected and ignored for missing the opportunity!!

2. You prioritize others over yourself

You are nice. You go out of the way to help everyone. You want everyone to like you, so you never say ‘no’ to anyone. You accommodate others at the cost of your physical, mental, and emotional health. You do not set clear boundaries and have no time to invest in your growth or joy.

The way you spend time does not align with how you want to live, but you do nothing to change it. 

3. You never lose sight of what is missing

You let your view of your weaknesses determine your actions instead of playing to your strengths. While considering opportunities, you focus on the experiences, competencies, and qualifications that you do not have rather than your potential and transferrable skills.

You think you are not good enough, and you do not trust yourself to go after what you want. 

You are not aware of your strengths. You are vague about what you do. When asked what do you do, you lead with your organization and designation.  

4. You define yourself by your job 

Your job is your prime identity. You do not know who you are outside of your work. You let your work dominate your life and work yourself to exhaustion. 

5. You lack energy, enthusiasm, and excitement for your job 

You hit snooze multiple times before getting out of bed. You drag yourself to work. 

You do not feel your job matters or makes a difference to anyone. You know your job and do it well, but it does not give you any satisfaction. 

You fill your day with insignificant activity and spend your spare time watching mind-numbing TV or web series. You want Fridays to come sooner and Sundays to be longer. 

If you resonate with any of the above, you know you are playing small. Here is what you can do about it – 

– Recognize that you can choose differently. 

– Be aware that you want more. 

– Set the intention to live up to your full potential. 

– Acknowledge your fears and that they are not real. 

– Take responsibility for your actions. 

– Instead of playing small, start small and build your confidence and impact

PS – If this is a struggle for you and you need help, book a call to explore executive coaching as a solution for you.