3 min read

Make Room For Being Bigger Than Expected

Make Room For Being Bigger Than Expected
Midjourney: a very tall robot that has just been built standing next to the very small box it's parts came in. Make it clear that the robot is much bigger than the box it came in --ar 16:9

It catches people off guard, and more often than not, when they go to express the thoughts running through their head, they say something they later amend or restate.

"You're so much bigger than I thought you would be!"

I smile.

"And I don't mean like fat, or overweight or anything - ah, sorry - I just meant, I didn't know from talking to you on Zoom that you were so tall!"

I smile some more.

This happened last week at lunch with a good friend, but one I hadn't seen in person in a while. She knew how tall I was, almost a foot taller than her, but having only Zoomed and Facetimed over the past six months, I got to be surprisingly tall again.

Over vegan pumpkin sandwiches and turmeric lattes, our conversation, funnily enough, turned to being more, or bigger, than what others expect us to be.

Over vegan pumpkin sandwiches and turmeric lattes, our conversation, funnily enough, turned to being more, or bigger, than what others expect us to be.

We have both recently been doing a lot of work that no one has seen, both on ourselves and on projects that aren't ready for their public debut. We've both been diligently pushing ourselves and thinking that this work is going to pay off, and maybe sooner rather than later. But in that payoff, there is a fear that we spent some time talking about, and I wanted to share it here.

There is a fear that if (when) this work pays off, the resulting success might alienate some people in our lives who would prefer for us to be content in the version of ourselves that they know us in currently. We fit into a box that they have come to understand, and we fear that they wouldn't want to do the work to update their understanding. We fear that they might view these next steps toward our vision for life as steps taken away from them.

We fear that standing taller than we do right now might make them feel short.

As we talked about it more, we were able to reason through some of the sources of that fear and point to different times in our careers that it had happened before.

Every time it has happened for me, I have lost friends and people who I was close to in that time of life. I had one really close friend who works in marketing tell me, "We need to distance our brands from each other." What does that even mean?

But every time it has happened to me, the ones who cheered the loudest and showed up to celebrate the most were the friends who had the kind of confidence to know that their friend's success was not an affront to them or anything to second guess.

The fear that winning the game I'm playing will make anyone else feel like they lose is not a reason not to win.

Win and see how others show up.

Being bigger than expected is not a reason to slouch.

Be bigger than expected, with the humility to know you're replaceable but with the confidence to know it would be a downgrade.

Be bigger than expected and cheer for others when they show up that way in your life.

We have so many people playing small right now, if you've got a way to go big, please do and tell me about it, I want to celebrate with you.

Have an awesome start to your Q2.


Proud Husband Moment

Last month was Autoimmune Awareness Month. My wife was first diagnosed when she was 19. To wrap up the month, she shared a beautiful letter she wrote to her younger self.

"Sickness will slow your life but in slowing,
you will see the beauty others blaze past."

I know it will encourage you no matter what challenges you're facing or will face.

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