How Big Do You Choose to Be?

How big do you want to be?It’s perhaps a bit late in my life, I know, but I’m wondering whether is possible to imagine myself taking up more space in the world.

It sounds odd, I know. But I think your sense of how big you want to be — i.e., how visible and successful you want to be, and how much impact you want to have — may actually shape just how big you become!

Small can be comfortable

So far, I’ve opted for smallish.  I’ve never really thought of myself as wanting to be visible in a public sort of way. I’ve never seriously imagined building a business that makes lots of money.

When given half a chance, I under charge for my services. I tend to diminish what I have accomplished when I tell people about it.

But recently, I’ve gotten to know several people who don’t seem to be fettered in the ways I have been.

Take my friend, Amy. She just turned 40 and has a laser-like focus on professional success.  She puts herself in the way of opportunities and then works like mad to make sure she does an outstanding job. And while I’m sure that she second guesses herself now and again, she never shrinks from stepping up to the next level of achievement. She just does it.

Or consider my wonderful friend, Gail, who seems at ease putting herself front and center in most any situation. I’m sure that she too is self-critical now and again, but it doesn’t hold her back from living large.

This has been on my mind lately as I hide in the comfortable corner I’ve created for myself.

Thinking bigger may be better

Then last night, I had dinner with a wonderful new friend who, over the past 6 years, has built a multimillion dollar virtual company that is growing by leaps and bounds.

None of these people are smarter or savvier or more capable than I am.

They are just willing to imagine a bigger vision of success and be single-minded about turning their vision into reality.

They are willing to take risks. And they make decisions every day that get them one or two or three steps closer.

So here’s my question:

Can you get yourself to imagine yourself vastly more prominent and successful than you currently are?

I think that imagining might be the first and most critical step toward living larger.

TryTry ThisThis

Imagine What “Big” Looks Like for You

Write down your version of living larger.  What would that look like for you?

In what ways would your life be different than it is now? How would you measure your expanded success? Can you imagine wanting it so much that you actually go for it?

By just starting to imagine what playing a bigger game looks like, you could be taking the first step toward making it a reality.

How big have you chosen to be? Have the rewards been worth it? Share your comments — I’m very eager to hear your thoughts.

  • Kathleen

    This feels like a very timely topic for me. I’ve been at my current job for 7.5 years and it’s been a pretty non-visible job (I work in development for a wonderful local non-profit). I’m really proud of my work and I really love my job but I rarely get direct credit for what I do (I write a lot and my boss’s signature goes on it). This has worked for me and my life circumstances but I can sense a shift coming. We may be relocating in the next few years which will necessitate a job change for me. I’ve been thinking about what I want to aim for, what type of job I want to seek out, and whether it could be something more “visible” and ambitious. I don’t have any answers yet but it’s something I’m pondering daily. Thanks for the kick in the pants to start writing things down more concretely and dream “big.”

    • Andrea Kihlstedt

      Thanks Kathleen for your lovely comment. I have a sense that many of us hide or shrink a bit. And sometimes, it’s worth imagining what we’d look like…what our lives would look like…if we reached out and filled a bigger, more prominent space. I wonder if this is more often a woman’s issue but I don’t know. Perhaps most people wrestle with this now and again.

      Here’s to your courage to think bigger!