I thought I was shrinking because I was afraid of how others would perceive me, but then I realised I was shrinking because living BIG meant I had to let go of blame & judgement and take full responsibility for my life. Ouch!
Blaming and judging seduces us into believing that our world would be a better place if others would just change the way they do things. Why can’t they just see that what they are doing is wrong. Surely they must realise that their actions are affecting us and them negatively.
From this place we are helpless and we are dependent on others to change in order for us to live a better life. We remain small, resentful and unhappy.
It takes courage and strength to let go of blame. Letting go of judgement is even more difficult because we are wired to judge. Whether we want to admit it or not, judgement is our way of saying “I’m not so bad” because look he/she is doing “this or that”.
When the penny dropped for me on this one, it hit me hard. Coming face to face with my self-judgement and my judgement of others was a bitter pill to swallow. What I learnt was that in order to live the brave, courageous and purposeful life I intended to, I had to learn how to live BIG.
Living BIG as described by Brene Brown is when we learn how to set Boundaries, act inside of our Integrity and we are Generous with our assumptions about others.
B –oundaries (communicating what’s ok and what’s not ok in our relationships with others)
I –ntegrity ( choosing courage over comfort, choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast and easy, practicing our values and not just professing them)
G –enerous ( assuming that people are doing the best they can and checking in with them if we need to)
From this place, we can set up positive relationships and we can take responsibility for what works and what doesn’t work for us. We can give others the opportunity to improve on the things that they struggle with in relationship with us and vise versa.
When healthy boundaries are in place in relationships, everyone knows what’s ok. When we live in integrity and aligned with our values everyone knows how we will show up on any given day. There’s no guessing, no manipulation and no game playing. When we assume the best about others and check in with them when we feel uneasy about their choices, we develop mutual respect and trust in our relationships.
Living BIG will mean we may need to have difficult conversations sometimes. It may mean that we have to re-evaluate our own actions and be honest about our intentions in relationships. It may even mean that we have to let go of toxic relationships where our boundaries are not being respected.
While playing small keeps us tucked away cosy in the victim mode looking at others to fix themselves in order for us to feel better, living BIG gives us the freedom to choose how we want our lives to look and feel and how we want to show up in our own lives.
Living BIG is awkward, it’s messy and it takes a willingness to be seen but it’s also real, raw and authentic. It shifts the happiness responsibility to YOU. Which means it’s empowering and it’s freeing.