As a psychologist, I’m able to see patterns in the types of topics my patients talk about. They often resemble what I see within my own life, but since I’m intently focused when I’m working, I tend to see these types of patterns more clearly when I’m at work.
One pattern I consistently see is the tendency to think small. I mention this pattern here, because I think this pattern of thinking small is particularly appealing to Procrastinators. Procrastinators think small in many ways, such as believing their actions won’t make a difference or that their efforts won’t get them far.
We fall into the trap of thinking small because it seems to provide us with a sense of security. What do I mean? I mean the security of:
- making sure we don’t hurt someone else’s feelings
- thinking we have everything under control
- believing we’ve taken on just enough for us to handle
- being able to predict the benefits we’ll gain from a small win
- avoiding being emotionally overwhelmed by our teeny, tiny goal
I wouldn’t be saying “boo” about this topic, except that I also notice the people who tend to think small, also happen to be sitting on huge talent and possibilities. They work dutifully for other people, but try to make themselves invisible. They have great, creative ideas for change, but they don’t believe they have the authority to voice them or to play a part in making that change happen. They put aside their own projects and ambitions in order to distance themselves from feeling and being BIG.
Perhaps there’s a feeling that may be better than having a sense of security, when that security is based on something that is too small for us?
So here’s are some challenges for you, dear readers, to help you go BIG. See what you can play up this week. Can you put 10% more of yourself in your next presentation?Your next essay? Your next hug? See if you can ignore the thought that seems to hold you back. Can you proceed as if everyone around you will be accepting of what you have to bring? See what you can announce to the world. Will you launch a blog? Start a new club? Will you stand up for yourself the next time someone makes an unwelcome comment? Will you develop better eye contact, handshake grip, and confidence in the short space of one day? What did you have in mind even before you read this post? Do that.
What tricks do you have up your sleeve? I’d love to hear about them. Please write to me with your thoughts, reactions, and experiments relating to this idea of not thinking small anymore. I’m looking forward to reading about them.