Playing Small Can Lead a Person to Miss Out on Opportunities

Not long ago, I was given a chance to speak at a local church for their youth day. It was quite the undertaking for me, not because I’ve not done this before, but because I’ve been juggling so much recently.

The presentation topic focused on missed blessings that happens when people fall asleep at the wheel of their lives.

What made this presentation challenging was the juggling act I was performing. Gearing up at work for a major change of pace, sleep deprivation from caring for a newborn, trying to get the presentation on a more professional level, and having a different version of the presentation go live on a blog. I didn’t want it to be the usual good. I wanted it to be great. Yet, I felt I was playing small in the run up to the presentation. More no that later.

For this Motivation Monday post, we’ll look at some opportunities we miss when we play small with our talents. I’m speaking more to myself today than anyone else, just in case the post gets a bit… “raw”…

Playing Small

In the weeks leading up to the presentation, I pushed myself hard to be more professional than customary. I’ve not had a problem with preparing for a speech before. I’ve not had an issue preparing slides for one either.

What I’ve rarely ever done is market the living daylights out of a speech I was preparing to deliver. I’ve never loaded up any of my blogs with notices and invitations for people to see me speaking. I’ve never done a launch sequence or webinar to promote my coming speech.

For me, doing all of that is being… too “self-focused”. A seriously flawed way of thinking, for the record… one I’m being coached to change.

It wasn’t until I got feedback from several people who were in attendance… who also follow my social media and blog… that I realized how small I was playing. It’s one thing to know it intellectually, quite another to feel it emotionally.

I don’t need anyone to point out to me how good I am on stage. My confidence is decent in that department. I know where I need to improve and am quite aware that I do well enough to hold my audience the entirety of my presentation. In the words of my wife, I’m great.

Seeing quotes from my speech show up on the social media of others was sobering. I had touched my audience the way I had planned to. I was, however, surprised at the way my words were being splashed on social… in a very flattering way.

Missed Opportunities

Looking back, I am embarrassed at the pattern I’ve allowed to creep into my world. I have played shy about my photography, my music, my presentations, and my writing.

How many lives could have been touched with the message I shared? How many other people could have benefited?

My virtual mentors keep harping on me about playing small. It’s not bad to share your thoughts in a meaningful helpful way. It’s actually doing your talents proper honor when you share them correctly. More importantly, you’re helping someone who is in need of your skills when you share them openly.

If I was doing this blog for the purpose of selling seats to presentations or having more clients for photos, the way I’ve been approaching things would have spelled disaster for me. If nothing changes, no new results will happen either.

Worse, my whole presentation was geared to motivate a group of like-minded folks to grow together and solidify their cause. This is not the kind of message you hide behind a hobby and let it wither away in fading memories.

The most touching statement that came from one of my followers… which went something like this:

This was exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve been struggling with this exact point and was feeling discouraged. Now, I feel hopeful and optimistic. You’ve given me the tools I’ve been searching for that others have failed to share with me

Um… humbling!!!

This is another reason why I’ve decided to write this post… and share the link to the presentation… at the end of this post

The other set of questions that rocked me… were ones I know need to be answered. I was asked about having my own show where I discuss this topic in greater details. I was asked if I had a podcast. I was asked why I was not on YouTube. I was asked if I planned to do a follow-up.

All of these questions, I’ve presented and suggested answers for in other presentations. Now, I was in the hot seat to come up with answers about my own ways.

Mercifully, folks are aware that I have a career, a large family, and write for more than one blog. So the last comment from one of my followers went something like this:

Have you made plans to build up your ministry beyond what it is now?

Of course I have. I’m working on them weekly and daily. I know that I’ve missed a ton of opportunities by playing small. I’m not trying to make up for lost time, I’m trying not to miss out on future opportunities.

Sidebar… I was also asked by someone… why I hadn’t brought my camera to take photos that day as well

Umm… it’s hard to wear multiple hats in one event… when you’ve got little ones in tow. My camera work will resume soon though, this blog needs fresh new photos for more photo inspired words.

Teamwork makes the dream work

The major point highlighted in the speech focused on having accountability partners. Not the friend who knows all your ways and is lenient on you because they want to keep their friendship.

I’m talking about the professional level accountability many lack. Myself included most times.

Having a mentor, a teacher, a business partner, a coach, or someone you respect and can’t stand to disappoint.

In the presentation, I shared how costly it can be when someone doesn’t have a partner to help level up their skills, their knowledge, and their abilities. It pays to have an accountability partner to help you stay alert and focused.

We don’t have to have a single one person be the accountability partner for everything, but we do need the right key individuals for certain goals in life.

I have my virtual mentors helping me stay on top of learning my craft as a blogger. I also have those who hold my feet to the fire whenever I am tempted to give up on a large dream I’m chasing.

Speaking of… several of the followers who were in attendance (more by coincidence than anything else) agreed to hold me accountable for this very post you’re reading. They’ve specified that they want to see this linked on my social with a link to the speech as well.

Motivational Monday


We often miss out on opportunities that live outside our comfort zone. It’s is imperative we have people who live outside our comfort zones who can hold us to the dreams and aspirations we have.

We can be very selective about who supports us and motivate us along. They don’t have to be more involved than is necessary. Some coaches do not need to know all the details of your life to be effective. In fact, the very point of them not knowing every single details gives them their edge.

Success is a community level sport. No matter who takes the glory at the end, it took a tribe to get you there. Some sports will feature the lead athlete as the one who did all the work while others feature the team. In both instances, there is a tribe of unsung heroes that made the victory possible.

The interesting thing, many times, we have several people who don’t mind providing us that accountability… but don’t know if they should say something. It’s not always about hiring someone, although that’s not a bad idea either.

This week, look into your circle of influence and see who is able to help hold you accountable to reach a goal of yours. It could be the person you go to the gym with or chat online with.

Allow them to help you in much the same way as you’d be helpful to them. This may prove to be the very push you need to propel you faster and closer to your goals.

I know that having followers has helped me stay on top of writing. I feel I am letting my readers down when I go silent. Thanks to you, I’ve gotten this far and exceeded many of my writing benchmarks.

Don’t miss out on opportunities by playing small with your goals. Make sure you go big… as big as you need to or bigger… and reach the dreams you’re after.

As it stands, the version of my presentation that lives online is written with the target audience of said blog in mind. The blog is geared more towards heads of households and the post reflects that. But the presentation content is the same. The concepts are the same and for those who opt to check it out, you’ll see that this post is similar as well. Just the tone is adjusted for the audience in which it’s intended.

The link is here  on the blog CEOs of the Home. (Sitting Out a Blessing is the title)

Sitting Out - Social

Thank you for reading this post and sharing with those who can best benefit from it. I trust that this is helpful to you as you kick off this week.

If you’re so moved, do please click the like button to signal to me and others that this post is helpful to you. Really appreciate that.

To my readers who I’ve chatted with… I can’t wait to update you on the implementation of the ideas you’ve shared with me. That will come after the audit of this blog is done. Until then, have a great and awesome week on purpose… and accountability!

small play 1


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