Ep #119: Stop Playing Small
You know that person. The one who is jealous and full of envy and has to go out of her way to minimize anyone she believes is better than her or has more than her. She’s usually insulting, rude, dismissive, and mocking. She wants you to tone down your leadership and your role. She wants you to play small and dim your light.
That is the very thing we’re trying to get away from as women. We have to be willing to honor the light of every woman we meet. And we have to be willing to honor it in ourselves. Don’t back down or apologize. Don’t minimize yourself and slow down, get quiet, be soft, dim your light. Don’t!
What you’ll find in this episode:
- How the ladies interact with one another in the How to CEO program.
- Kris’s daughter’s experience.
- Why leadership is feminine.
- Step back and look at how you treat the women who work for you.
Featured on the Show and Other Notes:
- How to CEO – meet with our director of client engagement, Amy, and get your questions answered. Go to KrisPlachy.com/appointment and book some time with her.
- Come connect with me on Instagram here or on Facebook here.
- Let me know what questions you have or what you think at email@example.com
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Hey, I’m Kris Plachy, host of the Lead Your Team Podcast. Running a million dollar business is not easy, and whether you’re just getting started with building your team, or you’ve been at this for a while, I’m going to bring you honest, specific, and clear practices you can use right now, today, to improve how well you lead your team. Let’s go ahead and get started.
Hey everybody. How are you? Welcome to the podcast. I’m thrilled to share this moment in time with you and I appreciate you tuning in. I had a few topics that I wanted to talk about this week, and I landed on this one. It’s relevant to me and some life experience that I’ve had and have had recently. So I thought this might be important for all of us to talk about. So one of the things that I really pride myself on in my program How To CEO, and honestly, I feel like this in my life in general. I think a lot of women I work with relate to this. I wasn’t a big girlfriend, friend person, even in my young years. I always had several really close friends, but I wasn’t the one who would do the trips with 12 women to go do wine tasting. I don’t have any judgment on any of that. It’s never been my jam. I’ve always felt a little off on that.
So I have just sort of been very strategically creating my whole life partnerships and relationships with women that I really align with. I’m very proud and love so deeply the women that I build those and curate those relationships with. I’ve been very fortunate because that’s extended itself into my teams, into the women that I hire, or the women that come into my coaching practice, my business as clients. That is very true right now in the How To CEO program. I was just getting my coaching yesterday with my coach Natalie Olsen. We were talking about how she really appreciates the heart space of the women that I work with. That’s true of my team and also with my clients. I think we share – I wish I had good words – maybe my clients could give them to me better than I, but I just know we share a really powerful, meaningful, authentic, supportive, genuine connection with no competition, no vying.
If that exists, they don’t last long in my group. Not because we kick them out, but because they don’t get that surge of energy that I know that they want from that competitive space. It’s not what I do. Also, honesty. We tell the truth and there are a lot of women who don’t want to hear the truth. They don’t want to hear; they don’t want to rally or wrangle. They just choose defensiveness. So anyway, all this is to say that I like to feel safe with the women that I’m with and that’s why I’m quite discerning. I like the women that come into my world to feel the same, to feel safe, to feel vulnerable. They can be themselves; they can show up and there’s no ridicule. There’s no judgment. Sure, we’ll laugh. I love to laugh. But it’s pure and loving and graceful.
I’ve become aware though that, again, as I grow and I meet new people, not all women are the same. There are some old women tactics that I’d forgotten about because I have been so methodical lately in who I spend time with. Some of those old women tactics, not old women as in old age, but old as in antiquated processes, approaches, habits. One of them is to keep each other small. Meaning, you’re getting too big, and I don’t know what to do with you so I’m going to make you feel small. So what happens to me, and this has happened to me in my whole life, this is not new, and so, again, I’m sharing this with you because I have a hunch if you’re listening to my podcast, this might also be true for you. You can always tell me. DM me on Instagram, or email hello. My team shares with me everything you guys send us.
But when you possess some leadership energy, some or all a lot, I tend to possess a lot, I always kind of have, some people interpret that as threatening. I’ve actually had to work very hard to manage that because I know that I can do that and not mean to, not mean to sort of overtake a conversation or a room or what have you. That is never my intention. It just happens and it’s been my learning to know when to sort of be a leader and when to be led, right? Be a follower. But some women don’t know that. So when they recognize this leadership energy in other women, they have to minimize it. That comes through being insulting, rude, dismissive, mocking, and it’s ugly. I don’t like it. I think it’s unnecessary. I think it’s the very thing we’re trying to get away from. Women, we are not in competition. You do not have to tell me I’m too big or too loud or too much or too wired or too joyful or too amped up or too on fire.
You don’t have to tell me that. When you tell me that you, just said to me, “You’re too much. Slow your role.” Why do you need to say that to me? Why can’t I be too much? Why can’t I be big? Does me being big make you feel small? Right? I was talking to my friend about it this morning. She’s like, “Can we just turn them onto the model? Do you think thoughts about me that are making you need to insult me?” Right? So I don’t want us to do this anymore as women. How about we just do all of it, right? When women come to my call and are lit up and excited, I’m like, “Look at you. You’re amazing. Let’s talk about all your amazingness.” When women make a lot of money, I want to celebrate. So many of my clients make so much more money than I do. I love that. There is nothing about that that is intimidating to me. That is proof of what is possible.
So many women do do amazing things. They take amazing trips. They have beautiful families. They buy really cool clothes. They create exceptional ideas. They honor themselves. Let’s do that for each other. Let’s talk about how amazing people are. Women are not your competition. I shared a post on Instagram a couple, I guess it was last week. My daughter, for those of you have been listening for a while, you probably know. My daughter’s a goalkeeper, soccer and she’s very good. I’m not just saying that because I’m her mom, this is substantiated by external resources and minds. She’s very good at what she does. Goalkeeping is no joke. I’m sure all of you know, right? What a job that is and she doesn’t, and she loves it. She wouldn’t be anywhere else on the field. That’s been the case since she was like seven.
Being a goalkeeper really is a unique character trait that those of us who have goalie kids, we know this. But what I admire so much about her is so many things, but when she’s standing in that box, there’s nobody else, right? If the ball makes it all the way down the field to her, it’s her. She’s not going to block every shot. It’s not possible to block every shot. But she’s not competing with anyone either, right? There’s no one else back there. It’s her. The only competition she has is who she was before the last shot. So every time we take on a new challenge, really, the only thing in the world I think that matters is did I get up a little bit better than they did last time? I don’t care what Rhonda or Susie or Josie or Barbara are doing. I’m not them. I don’t have their life experience. I don’t have their resources. I don’t have their brain. I don’t live in their house. I don’t have anything that’s the same other than I’m a woman and I’m going to compete with her. That’s dumb. That’s just dumb.
It’s exhausting. It’s exhausting to look around and compete. The things that’s so interesting is I’ve in my life, I’ve known a few of these women. You can just feel them. They’re filled with envy and jealousy and they covet what you have in a way that is so destructive to them. It’s such a waste of time. Look at what you’re missing. Just be a better version of you next time. What’s that look like? Go into your own brain. Stop looking at mine. You can’t identify tactics that make you be better. You have to be willing to step into a better version of yourself. That woman may deploy different tactics. So when we all get together and we start competing on what is she wearing, what does she look like, what does she say, what is her business, how does she hold herself, what do people think about her, you’re just icky.
Be you, man, and love yourself. Can’t we just love who we are and stop needing to minimize other people so we can feel better about who we are? I know this isn’t on purpose either. That’s the thing that’s the roughest for all of us, right? It’s just so insidious. We’re taught. I think this is changing with our young girls, right? My daughter, she’s 16. They’re different. But I do also think that we’re still teaching socially that girls need to be small. I had this heartbreaking conversation with her the other day. She went to pick up some lunch and she was in a restaurant and she had her cute little outfit on. All the girls now wear little crop tops, right? She came home and she said, “This guy would not stop staring at me, mom.” It was gross. It was overt. She took a picture of him staring at her. It was pretty gross, I got to say. He was old and he was just staring at her.
Of course, my mama brain, I’m like, “Did you tell him to F off? Did you tell him to take a picture, it’ll last longer?” What do we say? Right? I don’t know. I’m from the ’80s. We have all our little quotes that we used to say, right? But her response was, “I just kept feeling like I was doing something wrong. What did I do wrong to get that attention?” Of course, I was like, “Listen to me, you are stunning and gorgeous. People will look at you. This is what will happen. This is what happens to women. You did nothing wrong, and you don’t need to be small and you don’t need to cross your arms over your midriff and you don’t need to tone it down. You don’t need to dim your light. You show up and you shine and you either decide, you have to decide that there’s going to be guys like that and you’re going to look at them and say, ‘What? You’re right, this is awesome. Sucks for you’.”
Or you’re going to just know that happens in the world and we’re not going to care. We’re going to go on and we’re going to be who we are. You get to decide but dimming your light and not showing up in the world and not being in your body or in your mind or in your voice and speaking and saying and laughing loud and having fun. We’re not change that so other people are more comfortable ever, ever. Leadership is feminine. Leadership gets to be what she wants to be, not who you think she should be today in your room, in your meeting, in your program. I want you to remember that for the people you work with. Look at the women that work for you. Do you boost it them? Do you hold that space for them? Do you listen to them as much as you do the men? Do you hear their voice? Do you unintentionally minimize them? Right?
One of my favorite ones that people used to do when I used to go to work-work was, “Wow, you look really nice today.” Did I look like shit yesterday? Or the other one, “Wow. You look really tired today. Are you okay?” What is that? Stop it. It’s none of your business. But this is so insidious. So insidious, we don’t even know. So I’m putting it out there because I know that 99% of the people who talk to women this way do not know they’re doing it. Wow. Man, you were jacked up on that meeting today. You had a lot to say. Yeah, I normally do. If you ask. Right? Versus like, “God, everything you contributed today was so valuable. That was powerful. Thank you for modeling enthusiasm and strength and dynamic energy and charisma. Wow. I was impressed.” That’s what leadership looks like. Thank you for that. That’s what we’re trying to do here. Right?
Why is that so hard? But I think we just have to invert the conversation and we have to start. First of all, we have to call it out, and then we also have to recognize it in ourselves because I think we do it and we don’t even know where doing it to each other. So stop. We have to stop first if we want the world to change. This is my whole point about leadership is feminine, you guys. We’re not here to reform the world. We’re here just to step into what’s already been there all along. Are you willing? Are you willing to honor the light and the gorgeousness and the bigness of every woman you meet and are you willing to honor it in yourself and not back down and not apologize and not minimize and not slow down, get quiet, be soft, dim your light? Hell no. Let’s go. We’ve got a world to wake up and I’m counting on everybody who at least is in my world to join me. Are you ready? Let’s go. Have a good day.
One more thing before you go. In a world of digital courses and online content, I like to work with my clients live because I know that when you have someone you can work with, ask questions of and meet with, you’re so much more likely to get the success that you want. So head on over to howtoceolive.com to learn more about our very exciting, very exclusive program just for female entrepreneurs. We’ll see you there.