How playing small never helped me

Lately I say sorry a lot less.

That may sound like I’m saying ‘lately, I’ve turned into a bitch’, but no, actually I used to say sorry for no reason. Most of my sorrys actually meant ‘I’m sorry to be such an inconvenience to you’. Even when asking a complicated question to someone who gave out information as their job, I’d be like ‘oh, sorry for causing you any kind of discomfort by my mere existence and by giving you something to do.’ My ‘sorry’ mentality came from a self sabotaging internal voice, that said ‘don’t be too out-there Hannah, don’t make people look, don’t inconvenience anyone.’ It spilled out into group situations, for my entire school and university life, and beyond in fact, I struggled to contribute anything to the group because this little voice said ‘don’t say anything that might piss anyone else off, best just to stay quiet, stay safe.’

But this voice didn’t help me ever, and it didn’t help the world either. It tormented me and made me angry and made me stay stuck in the world of an insecure 14 year old girl.

But now, at age 30, I’ve recognised the self sabotaging voice, keeping me small, ‘safe’ and unseen, and I’m side stepping it, knowing that I can trust myself to pull something out of the bag when it’s needed. I chose to be seen, and I chose to be messy, and I chose to accept that my contribution to the world, even if I’m talking a load of rubbish, is better than nothing. I even find myself talking these days without a fully constructed conclusion in my head. It’s a world away from the shrinking violet I used to hang out with. I’m allowing myself to go big, and it feels beautiful.

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