I’m not a SuperBowl fan. Football doesn’t keep my attention – it just doesn’t rock my boat. I’m way more likely to tune in for the insanely-priced commercial spots (marketing and mass media messaging fascinates me) and the halftime show (if I’m feelin’ the performer). So when I found out that Beyonce was part of the magic, I was all in this past Sunday. Glued to the TV, I watched the woman rock a football field like nobody’s business.
There’s something ethereal about her that intrigues me. If you see her in an interview, she’s a pretty humble and soft-spoken soul. But you put that woman in the spotlight – the thick of her element – and everything changes. Something clearly takes over and she becomes a powerhouse, owning the moment. There’s something remarkable about it to me. Not to mention inspiring.
In fact, she can pinpoint when she first felt like she was clearly tapping into something outside of herself and named her alter-ego Sasha Fierce. She gives herself permission to play big through Sasha. When she taps into Sasha’s energy she’s strong, bold, sexy, powerful and has a clear vision of what she wants.
What would change if we gave ourselves the same permission – the permission to play big?
Opening To New Possibilities
When we give ourselves the permission to play big, we open up to big possibilities. Think about the last time you told yourself that something you really wanted to do/experience/be was impossible. How did that feel? I bet it felt kinda shitty, huh?
While analytical, logical left-brain thinking has its place in life, there’s magic in knowing when to throw caution to the wind and be bold. To dream. To take chances and do the things that scare us the most – especially when we know that we’ll look back in regret if we don’t try something out. And more often than not, when we take a step towards something we know we have to try – however small – other opportunities present themselves. Play big. Open up, see what happens and take a chance on yourself.
Creating Presence By Being Present
When we’re present with every moment, we can see how things shift. We often live in our heads – going through our to-do lists, rehearsing past conversations and obsessing about details that really don’t matter at the end of the day – and this translates to our body language. I know that I’m stressing out about stuff and that I’m stuck in my head when I get clumsy. As soon as I drop something or cut my finger while prepping dinner, I check in with myself and ask if I’m being present with what’s in front of me. And every time, I can honestly say that I’m not.
Getting present with myself starts with getting into my body. Am I sitting up straight or slouching? Am I walking around with my chin up and shoulders relaxed, taking in the world around me or staring at the pavement worrying to myself? When I’m nervous, I tend to fidget so I check in when that starts to happen. Rather than fidgeting, I remind myself to be still, chill out and tune in to what’s happening around me.
Do you have an important meeting coming up? Wear something you feel good in. That feel-good attitude will come through. And ladies – bust out your favourite lipstick – never underestimate what a kick ass shade can do for shifting your energy. This isn’t about being materialistic or focusing more on the outside than the inside – it’s about recognizing that when we do things to feel good, that goodness oozes into our lives. Play big. Feel good, exude confidence and create a presence.
As we constrain ourselves, we stifle our creativity. When we’re confronted with a problem at work or in our personal lives and get stumped on the solution, it’s often because we’re limiting our perspective. We get stuck in the situation when we need to be boundless to see creative ways out of a muck. There’s a reason why ‘think outside of the box’ has become so cliche. Try shifting your energy. When we’re faced with a problem, sometimes it helps to find something funny about it. When we take ourselves too seriously, we place undue pressure on ourselves to be perfect. Step back and see if things are as bad as they appear to be in the moment. And take a breather. The best solutions come to mind when we let go and let the answers come to us. The more we try to force a resolution, the harder it gets.
I can distinctly remember a situation where I was stuck. I had a rather sticky situation with a friend and no idea of how to communicate what I was feeling in a way that was true to me, set boundaries for the next time and helped her understand where I was coming from. So I let it go. I literally said out loud, ‘Ok universe. I’m done trying to figure this out. Help me here. I’m leaving this to you to send back to me with a resolution,’ and I let it go. I imagined myself crumpling my problem up like a ball of paper and throwing it up in the air. When my mind started to circle around the same thoughts, I just got present to what I was doing. And then it just hit me.
I was sitting on the subway, sitting with the flow of people on the train and the noises around me and all of a sudden, clear as day, I knew what I had to say and when it had to happen. My body filled with goosebumps (my personal sign that I’m tapping into my intuition) and I felt confident in what I would say.
When we play big, we’re not afraid to tell it like it is and express ourselves.
I may not be Beyonce and I’m sure as hell not gonna sell out stadiums of people waiting to hear me sing. But, I do know that things change when I shift into a space where I’m willing to play big. And seeing someone take on the world with her passion inspires me to do the same – in the way I’m supposed to do it. So when I feel like I need a pick-me-up, you can bet Beyonce’s on full blast and I’m probably dancing. Now it’s not all unicorns, rainbows and sunshine. I’ve stumbled, made mistakes and had ‘wtf was I thinking’ moments too and sometimes playing big means that we screw up. But despite all the setbacks, blunders and doubts, I can honestly say that trying stuff that I never thought I could feels way better than wondering ‘what if’.