Stop Playing Small and Start Living Courageously

Photo Credit: vlad-tchompalov / unsplash

Photo Credit: vlad-tchompalov / unsplash

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
— Marianne Williamson

This last few weeks, I’ve been catching myself playing small, hiding.

I give the excuse that I’m busy, which is my fallback, my armour, my coping mechanism - when I don’t want to be seen. When I’m afraid.

It’s silly to be afraid. Even to share that I’m afraid. But being out there - scares me! 


I’m ashamed.

I’ve been exploring the word - Shame every since it came up for me in Level 1 last year and I’m realising that it is holding me back from living my life authentically. 

Physically, shame in my body feels like I’m burrowing my head in quick sand and my body shrinking into a small ball of twine, and at any time, I feel it’s going to unravel, but no, I’m fine - no one can see me.

Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging. 
— Brene Brown 

Brene talks at length about Shame in  "Daring to Lead” book and how important it is to be clear about the language so we can understand what drives us to say:

“Not good enough”

“Who do you think you are."


Equals =  I am bad. I broke “their” rules. I’m a failure. I deserve all this. It’s my fault. Zero empathy for self. 


Equals = I did something bad. I broke ‘my” rule. 


Is another word, confused with Shame. The distinction is that “people believe they their shame but they don’t think they deserve their humiliation. Humiliation is not about me, but on others (not my fault).


Also, but when we do something Embarrassing, we don’t feel alone, and it’s fleeting and eventually can sometimes be funny.

Shame needs three things to grow exponentially in our lives: secrecy, silence and judgement.
— Brene Brown


- Is something we hide. No one knows about it.

Shame was my response to seeing my dad’s and mum’s response to when I told them I’m having a civil non-muslim marriage.

Shame is my hiding when I'm faced with people I’m not familiar with and with people who are more accomplished than me.

Shame was failing at conducting my own classes under my own name and having to end them within 6 months because I was losing money.

Shame is  being mistaken as a Filipino maid

Shame is not looking like a true yogi - I’m not flexible, not strong, I’m not vegan. I don’t have the typical supple yogi body.

Shame is watching things change so fast and no longer knowing how and where I can contribute.

Shame is not being a good enough wife.

Shame is not working and earning my keep.


Why is it important to me to explore the word the “shame” and have you be in inquiry of the word?

Consider this-

What are you a Yes for in your Life (be it relationships, work, practice, health)?

Are you living 100% in and for your Yes in every aspect of your life?

What is holding you back?

My life is for empowering others to live courageously from their heart.

And right now I’m out of integrity.

If I don’t share my writings to the whole world, I’m out of integrity.

If I don’t share my 40 days program to everyone, I’m out of integrity.

If I don’t share my passion for Baptiste Yoga, I’m out of integrity.

If I don’t invite my family into my life, I’m out of integrity.

If I don’t stand for myself, my family and my community, I’m out of integrity.

When I’m out of integrity, I don’t feel connected or that I belonged or that I’m worthy.

When I’m out of integrity - it’s consequence of fear and shame.

It’s important to acknowledge the fear and the shame so we can show up BIG and Powerful in our community, with the people that we care about.

Shame is as real as physical pain. Emotions hurt!

And shame is universal. If you don’t feel shame, then you won’t feel empathy and you wonder why you can be with some people and not others?

And if your life is for being for others, for your family, then you would experience shame in some way or another. You just have to look and seek the truth within yourself. Stop hiding and stop playing small.

So what does it take to be in integrity?


We come back to exactly what I live my life for, and how I want to live my life, and how I want you to live your life - with courage.

The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant ‘To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.’ 

Living courageously is about being vulnerable; facing our fears wholeheartedly and sharing from the heart.


- Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability. 

Wholeheartedness. There are many tenets of Wholeheartedness, but at its very core is vulnerability and worthiness; facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks, and knowing that I am enough.
— Brene Brown

When shame shows up, we could beat ourselves up and allow our lies and my negative beliefs of" I’m not good enough” to stop us.


We could re-commit to live courageously from our heart and know that you are enough.

Know that everytime you falter, it’s a chance for you to begin again and again until it becomes easier to stand on your feet, ready to face and serve the world. 

Are you willing to live courageously from your heart?

Where has you playing small?
What will it take for you to be a yes, when faced with a lot of Nos?


Daring to Lead by Brene Brown

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
— Marianne Williamson