Do you want to play it safe?
“Research on the attributes that we associate with “being feminine” tells us that the most important qualities for women are: thin, nice, pretty. If you want to play it totally safe, you have to be willing to stay as small, quiet, and attractive as possible. “ –Brene Brown
I do not want to live my life playing it safe. I don’t want to rest in conventional, content to rush about in a daze, checking errands off my to do list, putting in facetime where required, doing all the things expected of me.
Getting by, by giving up on life, is not my style.
Ladies, safe is not the new black. I don’t want you to play it safe.
When we get too used to playing it safe–being small, quiet and attractive–we forget what it’s like to be out in the world, unencumbered and earnest. We forget what it’s like to beat on our chest with a Tarzan yell and declare, “Today’s the day to break the rules! To climb trees, write a poem, eat cherries, to live today as if it’s all I’ve got!”
To play is safe requires us to forget that we are overflowing with a unique life force. Overflowing with dreams, and hopes, and an incredible capacity to love. It requires us to make our adventures and goals fit within society’s ruler of acceptable.
Playing safe takes away our opportunity to carve our place in the world. There’s a cosmic space that belongs only to us– it’s our unique contribution to the world– and safe doesn’t allow us to paint it with rainbows, to sing at the top of our lungs, to make millions in the service of others, to dance naked, or to take pride in our quirks.
Safe keeps those differences, those shimmering contributions, from ever emerging.
Safe makes us afraid to be big, bold, and unique. Safe makes us forget what that would even look like.
Which leads me to this…
How Not to Play it Safe
We are a generation of educated, gutsy women who are capable of so many incredible contributions (from raising amazing children to creating art, from making a difference in our communities to starting businesses, from exploring the world to inspiring others) yet we spend so much of our energy on our outer appearance.
We don’t feel good enough unless we “look good enough.” And “looking good” requires being thin, stylish, pretty, and pulled together. All of the time. And seemingly without effort.
Reality check? This is impossible.
Stop letting your outer appearance dictate how your feel about yourself, your life. Stop striving for thin as if it’s the answer to everything. Stop trying to fit in with whatever pretty happens to equal this year.
Be Big. Be Unique. Be YOU.
Strive for healthy, for strong, for capable. Love your body by fueling it properly and moving it and adorning it with fashion you love. Celebrate your unique beauty, the bloodlines that connect you to each and every gorgeous woman in your family.
Deck yourself in sequins, in pinstriped suits, in cowboy boots, in sundresses, in rock tee-shirts—whatever it is that tickles your fancy. Dress for the woman you are, not the one you’re pretending to be.
Honor your reality. Practice loving you, as is.
As far as being nice goes… I’m all for kind, for loving, for rose-colored glasses and solving problems with honey. But when nice starts equaling quiet, safe, small—it’s time to break out the bold.
You’re a woman. You’ve got an opinion, a unique take on the world. Make sure it’s heard.
Don’t play it safe.
You’re hurting yourself and those around you by agreeing with something that makes you want to pull your hair out. You’re disrespecting yourself by constantly grinning and bearing it. You’re giving up your power by biting your tongue.
There’s a time to be nice. There’s a time to get your sass on. There’s time to stand up for yourself no matter what the cost. There’s even a time to pull the bitch card.
Don’t be afraid. Be Bold.
You are a woman, thin or thick, small or big. You are a woman, pretty or unusual, attractive or unique. You are a woman, nice or sassy, quiet or bold.
Wherever you fall on the spectrum, ladies, don’t play it safe.
This is your life. Live it with all the guts, glory, and bravado you can muster.
Dive in. Make it Count.
And don’t worry–you’re not alone. I promise you, I’m doing the same.