by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE


Maybe it’s just me. Or has this happened to you?

You’re happy with where you’re life is going and post your excitement on social media.

Only to find that people are judging you, calling your character into question.

When this happens, know this… it is always about them. Their judgment is a derivative of their own feelings of lack, scarcity, or fear.

And sometimes all three.

It’s a sad phenomenon. I know. But, negatively judging you makes those who feel small or less than, feel bigger. Somehow the slap down they administer makes them feel more significant.

It is never really about you.

The people who make jokes about teetotaling when you abstain from alcohol? It’s about them.

The people who force birthday cake on you when you’re cutting your sugar intake? It’s about them.

The people who call your character into question when commenting on your happy posts on social media? It’s about them.

I know this.

In fact, I teach my clients this. And even offer interventions to put to rest the anxiety that accompanies fear of judgment.

Then why did I start playing small, nearly four months ago, when, after reading my social media posts, a friend said it appeared I had lost my humbleness? I don’t know except that I was crushed. (Well, I do know now after much thought work and a few coaching sessions.:))

In my quest to move past the damage this comment did to my productivity, I looked up the definition of humbleness: “Having or showing a low estimate of one’s own importance, having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience”.


What this person was really saying was, “I want you to play small and have a low opinion of yourself, so that I don’t feel so bad about where I am in my life”.

Enough is Enough

What’s crazy about this is that the choice to curl into myself and not express my gifts was totally out of alignment with who I am.

You see, my credo is this: We are each given gifts to make this world a better place to live. Our gifts are not to be squandered. In fact, sharing our gifts is our ethical responsibility. This credo, typically helps me move forward every time I fear living out loud.

In other words, I typically do it anyway, fear and all.

Yet, because I started playing small and failed to share the success I am having with healthcare graduates and professors, I haven’t been in a position to serve those who need my help. Thus, shame on me for backing off and failing to share my gifts.

So enough is enough.

refuse to play smallI call quits on playing small.

Now I ask, what about you?

What have you held back from putting into the world for fear someone will judge you?

An article?

A book?

Your true feelings?

What goal have you wanted to achieve but haven’t told a soul because you fear what people will say?

Going back to graduate school?

Moving up the ladder at work?

Starting a side business?

I say to you, put it out there.

Play big.

Go for it.

The world needs your gifts.

Yes, people may judge you for it. You can’t control that.

Just remember, it’s not about you. It’s about them.

Caring about you,








If we aren’t friends on Facebook, you may have missed me being what my parents call contrary. Yes, being contrary is another way of saying no to playing small.

Let’s be contrary together. Shall we?