Stop Playing Small

Playing small does not create magnificence. rasied-hands1

Deep down you know this.  Deep down you know that playing small serves no one.  Deep within you resides the spark of a big dream just waiting for your decision.

What’s your one thing that would change everything?

If you could make one thing come true that would change everything, what would that one thing be?

If you told the whole truth to yourself – you’d have to admit that you do have the capacity for greatness.

What is your big dream?

Can you at least admit that you’d be better off with one?

If you can, that’s where it all starts – imagining the possibilities.

What’s your overriding dream, objective or guiding desire?

Do you have a blog without a purpose?

Do you run a business without a clear path to how you want it to end up?

Do you have a desire to feel the freedom of owning your own business but lack the insight or courage to make it happen?

If you have no wish, how can it possibly come true? Seth Godin

Indeed, how can it?  After reading Seth’s Ruby Slippers post I am inspired to add to his thoughts.

You know that you’ll never hit a target you haven’t identified.  So what stops you?  Is it fear of failing or succeeding with something that really matters to you?

What could you be best in the world at?

I’m curious, what keeps you from deciding and declaring that thing?

What keeps you from even considering the possibilities?

What is your main thing?

What goal, objective or dream has you aglow in the possibilities?

Ponder that thing.

If you aren’t yet playing as big a game as you could be,  start here and answer these questions.

Who would I be most inspired to serve?

What realized dream would open my heart the widest?

What could I be doing that would make my life feel like one glorious joyful glide?

That’s my main thing, guiding you to discover and ride your joyful glide.  Contact me today to explore the possibilities.


  1. John @ Carpet Cleaning says:

    Really inspires one to think about what they are currently doing with their life. It’s great to have a grand goal. I think it motivates a person greatly. One of my big goals is to start my own Microbrewery one day and serve great local beer to my community.

  2. Hi Tom,

    What great questions. I particularly like the part where you wrote “You know that you’ll never hit a target you haven’t identified.”

    What we find being self employed and dealing with an economy that is unstable, is sometimes the “target” needs to shift. We’re strong believers in diversification and turning our focus to where our services are most needed, OR changing what services we offer.

    Being too narrow minded can often stunt a person’s growth and stop them from seeing the other possibilities.

    Asking questions like the ones you’ve listed is a great way to expand our minds and at the same time, identify that which we need to concentrate on.
    [rq=19601,0,blog][/rq]The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease

  3. I have always had targets and goals…my current one is detailing how I will feel and look when I am healthy

    A secondary one is that I will write a book….I have trouble detailing what the book will be about…I think of my blog as writing a book of days – daily inspiration with some side thoughts thrown in…but right now that does not seem detailed enough.

    I am looking forward to being away in July and August, I think I need an out of house experience that is not work related and I think Scotland will have some grounding or touch my being in some way…some lesson is there.

    My big focus is healthy
    [rq=25230,0,blog][/rq]What is Marriage?

  4. Oh I forgot to say – I truly liked your post and the link…good reading tonight Thank you
    [rq=25235,0,blog][/rq]What is Marriage?

  5. I would also suggest to start with little dreams if you currently don’t have a big one and over time you’ll start to define your bigger ones.
    [rq=27550,0,blog][/rq]Welcome to Freestyle Mind

  6. Right on as always!!!!

    Of course, what makes this so priceless is this is not “Do as I say, not as I do” advice but something you model beautifully!!!

    It’s scary to set goals – because once you’ve set a goal, then there’s the possibility for failure… which is something we as a society tend to try to avoid at all costs.

    I’ve worked with so many business owners who were afraid to define their target market because they feared by targeting someone – they’d alienate everyone else.

    Instead – what happens is by trying to reach everyone – they reach no one!

    There’s real “magic” in defining your goals… because, as you so eloquently stated… “you’ll never hit a target you haven’t identified. ”

    I’m standing and applauding… as always!!!
    [rq=31148,0,blog][/rq]Your Two Most Important Business Assets

  7. Playing small can be used as an excuse for not doing something to make it BIG, to not achieve all that one can be. NO more playing small 🙂
    [rq=26858,0,blog][/rq]Let the Negative Things Inspire You!

  8. I loved your quote “You know that you’ll never hit a target you haven’t identified. ”

    That makes so much sense. It made me think about the targets in my life I have identified and the ones I haven’t. In some cases I have short term targets but need to examine the long term ones to make sure they line up with the short term ones.

    Great food for thought here!

  9. Financial security for life is the dream and I was holding tight to my “win the lottery fantasy” until a few days ago but my intuitive friend told me that dream was like a crack addiction (my words, not hers) and I need to give it up. Damn it! *laughing*

    Being a Giggle Guru (my self designated title) makes my heart sing. I’m thinking big with my clown nose, my kazoo and my container of bubbles.

    I STILL want to win the lottery though….

  10. Barbara – You are absolutely correct. Sometimes things the the economy requires that we adjust something about our approach or our service. My coach Steve Chandler asks this question. Given this situation how can I position my company for greater service?

    John – Welcome and please let me know when your brewery is open. I may want to raise a glass with you in celebration of a goal well met. 🙂

    Patricia – Thank you and if you intend for a big revelation then you’ll be likely to find one.

    Jocelyn – From what I’ve read you don’t even know what small is! To being large in every way that we desire.

    Laurie – Thanks! I find it best to set short term process goals that we can win each week and have them tied to longer term objectives. More fun and less pressure that way. 🙂

    Oscar – Well said. Small is better than nothing and getting into action will often let you see something worth committing to.

    Kathy – When I hit it big I’m going to have you write my press releases. I’m standing with you and applauding for the great advice you give your clients.

    Christa – Now you just need to find the best way to be paid very well for being the Giggle Guru. Discover it and laugh all the way to the bank. 🙂

  11. Tom, since we chatted last your suggestions to me have made me think bigger and bigger. Snowballed really! I have so many ideas – I had to put a real, physical stop to it – otherwise I would be overwhelmed! Thanks once again for your inspiration!
    I’m putting them all together now, finding ways to implement the ideas.

    On another note, I’m wondering if you could write about niches. “Everyone” says niche, niche, niche! So as to be a big fish in a small pond. Your niche is quite general and you seem to be doing well. Can you please comment on how specific one needs to get when starting out in a new business? My ideas seem to end me up in the ocean rather than the small pond! As a biologist, I tend to be wary of niches in times of resource scarcity – specialists go extinct, generalists thrive. Thoughts?
    [rq=34971,0,blog][/rq]Permanent Vacation (thinking about summer holidays)

  12. Hi Tom. All these questions gave me the image of someone trapped in bag — each question is an opportunity to punch out of that bag. My favourite question… “Who would I be most inspired to serve?”
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..Captivated By a Metaphor =-.

  13. Tom,

    I have to stop reading your blog… it challenges me too much! One day I may actually get off my butt after all this nudging (sometimes shoving!) and go change the world after all.

    Great post.
    .-= Daphne @ Joyful Days´s last blog ..Feng Shui Bonus: Enhance Your Love Life =-.

  14. Hello Tom

    This post is very positive and inspirational. As I was reading it came to my mind the saying “Play big, Win big” and I find it to be very true. If we don’t ask for more no one is going to give us more and if we don’t ask more from ourselves we will never realize that we can have more!
    So I may add Want big, Play big and Win big!

    All the best

  15. Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching says:

    Thanks for this Tom. I’ve been groping around for the specifics of the transformation I want to create in the world and I’ve found it — I’m going to help people bring spiritual practice into their work to help them get productive and enjoy what they do. So it will be a slightly different niche than the career coaching I started out with but offer the same kinds of tools and perspectives. The book is now actually being formatted!
    .-= Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching´s last blog ..How To Escape The “Chicken Or Egg” Mentality =-.

  16. Keena – Thanks, one of my core values is to inspire and I’m very please that you are thinking bigger. OK I’ll write something about choosing a niche if I can think of something original to say. I don’t think mine is general at all. You should have seen it before. 🙂

    Daphne – Funny, you already are changing the world with that big generous smile that you shine all over.

    Davina – Well then get punching anyone of these questions could set you free if you answer it and then take the biggest, boldest action you can imagine.

    Curly Sue – Welcome. Yep we can only win the game we choose to play and life is a game just like business is. No worries just paly full tilt and see what happens.

    Chris – Congrats man, that feel right up your alley. Never apologize for your deep thinking attributes. That’s your edge. We have too many shallow thinkers out stumbling around shouting as their artificial selves. You’re the real deal!

  17. Suzanne @ vAssistant Services says:

    I celebrated my 45th birthday this past Wednesday, and one of the gifts I gave to myself was a Spirit Guide Name Reading from Slade Roberson. Holy cow, was that a great gift!

    One of the realizations that came to me as a result of the reading, which I shared with Slade, was this: “But interestingly, one of the things I’ve learned about wanting so much to know things is that it comes with an equally strong desire to be known.”

    I didn’t mean that in the “be famous” sense, but in the sense of wanting to be known for who I really am, the real me.

    Reading this post has given me a further realization: all this self-discovery I’m doing is making it more and more difficult to continue to play small. The more I learn about this fabulous, amazing creature that is me, the more courage I have to be her in the world, and that (at least for me) means leaving “playing small” behind.
    .-= Suzanne @ vAssistant Services´s last blog ..What Pages Should Your Site Have? =-.

  18. Great post and definitely right about not being able to attain a goal you don’t actually set.

    The question is: if everyone stopped playing small, who would do the service job no one really wants to do?

  19. I have the dream, and it becomes more clear every day. I’m now working on a new business/marketing plan in order to truly achieve the goals I’ve set. they are definitely big enough, which makes them scary enough, which lets me know I’m (finally) on the right path. Only time will tell how it all turns out!

    Great questions as always, Tom.

  20. Suzanne – Yes, coming out and having the willingness to express your amazing self is something what I most admire about you. Really, we have little choice. It’s either be who we are or be miserable. Your example inspires.

    Humorist – Who cares? Let’s cross that bridge when we get there. We don’t know for sure but I’m guessing if no one wants to lovingly do a job then we can learn to do it for ourselves. I doubt that it will ever come to that though.

    Stacey – Go big to create big and enjoy a larger life. You really get that it’s you that sets your limits. Be strong – you have what it takes.

  21. Your words inspired my post for July 1,2009 Thank you
    .-= Patricia´s last blog ..Stop Packing Your Suitcase =-.


  1. […] Tom Volkar, one of the coaches on line, wrote that one needs to think about the “BIG” Thing you want to do in your life and get this out of your head and your heart and put it out for the world to see and for you to work towards. No use in thinking small. […]

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