For far too long and on too many occasions, I’ve gone against my gut, my instincts and my voice to follow a man. Whether in relationship or in business, my tendency to play small and dim my light is still showing up, more often than I would like.

I’m still surprised when I notice it happening. I’m disappointed and mad at myself when I miss opportunities I would have enjoyed because I followed and quieted my voice, my curiosity, my gut feeling to go the other way or to question. I realized two things; one is that I still do not fully trust myself and the second

Let me share a story from my recent trip to Europe for the holidays. We treated ourselves to first class flights to Germany and back. It was our Christmas present to ourselves and, as business owners, we had a few tricks up our sleeves to make this happen efficiently. As we were navigating Frankfurt airport for our return trip back to the U.S., we had scouted out the lounges. We had arrived more than 3 hours early to have access to and enjoy the lounge before the series of long flights home. I noticed a lounge outside of security near our gate but I didn’t really speak up about it because I wasn’t sure that it was ours for Delta. I just followed my husband, trusting that he knew where we could find our lounge since he travels to Germany quite a bit. Maybe there were more coming up or he would ask someone for directions to the lounge.

When we arrived at our gate and went through security, we realized that the lounges were before security, not after. Well, it’s not that easy to leave the secure area of this airport once you are in it. You have to show your passport to even use the bathroom. So, here we are, 2 hours before our flight is scheduled to depart and my husband announces that he doesn’t want to go back out and hang at the lounge. I’m disappointed but still don’t speak up. Instead, I write this blogpost.

Why didn’t I insist on the full experience of the lounge and the first class flight? Why didn’t I enroll him into going back out and being comfortable in the lounge or, why didn’t I just go without him? I had been looking forward to this experience for months. Why did I just fold into disappointment so easily and not have the experience I was deserving?

I realized that I do this often and it’s time to stop. It’s time to stop settling. It’s time to stop playing small. It’s time to trust myself and get over my fear of using my voice. It’s time to stop playing victim and choose victory over my circumstances.

Like these women in my photo at the Louvre in Paris. No arms, but large and in charge even with the weight of the world on their heads.

Stop holding yourself back! Live all out! No more playing small!

Please comment below. Share your story of playing small or not full trusting yourself. We can all learn from and support each other.

Ready to take control of your life and win every day?