Never limit your ambition for anyone — ever. No one benefits from this: not you, not your family, not your friends, not your co-workers. No. Don’t put a limiter on it. Don’t play small just to make others feel better about themselves. You set the standard. You decide what you want to showcase. You decide where this goes.
Some of us have deep empathy for others. While this is usually a good thing, such empathy can make us feel bad for being great because maybe other people around us secretly hate on us for “showing off” when what we’re really doing is showcasing what’s possible. You’re only showing off if you’re bragging and grandstanding and putting it in others’ faces. You’re not showing off if you’re aiming high and work your goal to achievement. When you do this, you’re showing others what is possible for them.
What happens when we play small is we’re playing a role that isn’t us — it’s the false self. It’s the shell of self. Here’s where we’re frauds. Why would you try to fake out others with you acting and playing small just to placate them for a bit?
The trouble with acting like this for even a little while is the more you act as if (small), the more of that way you become. The more you act as if you’re already winning, the more you feel like you’re already winning. The more you act as if you have empathy for others, the more empathy for others you develop. The more you act as if you’re strong and bold, the stronger and bolder you shall become. The more you act as if you already are a leader, the more people look to you for your leadership. People react to the words and actions which we give them. And they largely mirror them. So, what do you want to give them? Mousey, small, sheepish words and behavior? Or, do you want to give them strength, leadership, resolve, and examples of what might be possible for them?
How do you think about yourself?
Retired U.S. Navy SEAL and New York Times bestseller Jocko Willink says people come up to him all the time and ask him how they can be tougher. His reply? “Start acting tougher — today. Start being tougher — today. Start thinking as if you are tougher — today. Start in your mind each day. Then, begin working on your work-outs. But it all starts with your thoughts and how you think about yourself.” It is very important to note that how we think about our selves is a choice.
It’s straightforward — the less, the less; the more, the more. The more you work-out, the more discipline you develop to work-out. The more talks you give, the better you get at giving talks. The more you train and lead trainings, the better you get at training and leading others.
Note the opposite is true, if you only give two talks a year, they’re likely to be so-so and forgettable unless you work your ass off on the content and rehearse it over and over and over again. If you only do one work-out a month, you’re nowhere. IF you want to be great on video, but only create one video every six months, you won’t be great on video.
Who you want to be is up to you. Who you want to be for others is also up to you.
If you desire a quality or characteristic that you don’t feel you currently possess, start acting like you already have it. This simple magic is a hack, only most people don’t believe it. You’ve got to believe it first or else you will not exude it. And you must exude it. You must sell it. Be. Know. Do. Only that’s in the wrong order. Know what needs to be done / how you need to act. Do. Go for it. Start acting like it right flipping now. Be. Arrive by being it, by living your choice every single day.
If you do this, you’ll Inspire others through your own transformation. Stories of self-transformation make exemplary examples in the human narrative. And they’re easily passed along because they make us feel good. And they showcase what is possible for others.
What one person can do, another can also do.