Dream Bigger: Stop Playing Small

This week the Big U has been sending me lots of messages (as she always does, but I seem to have picked up on these particularly).

The theme has been around self belief, dreaming bigger and not playing small.


The first message came in the (attractive) form of John Hamm; speaking on the Jonathan Ross show at the weekend, he was talking about all the shit jobs he took in Hollywood before hitting his lucky break.

The guy slept in cars as a homeless waiter, did runner jobs on film sets, and stayed in the game to be surrounded by the right people. A little like art imitating life (our Don Draper totally hustled his way to his Ad Exec position), Hamm hung in there. (repeat that last phrase to yourself, it’s quite soothing. As you were…)

You either suck that up and find another agent, or you go home and say you gave it a shot, but that’s the end of that. The last thing I wanted to be out here was one of those actors who’s 45 years old, with a tenuous grasp of their own reality, and not really working much. So I gave myself five years. I said, if I can’t get it going by the time I’m 30, I’m in the wrong place. And as soon as I said that, it’s like I started working right away. (via The Times)

He gave himself 5 years of hustle to hit the a home run of a great role, and it sounds like his dream really challenged his make or break ethic.  His “lucky” break was the result of taking action, of being there, doing it, and believing.

Next up, I watching a rockumentary about legendary bands (loads of hair and testosterone thrown in), Brian May talked about his bandmate Freddie Mercury. Freddie always acted like a star, even before they had made it big.

As we all know, Freddie became of of the biggest rock stars in history – that guy wasn’t playing small.

Now, I am definitely not asking you to sleep in cars, don some spandex or start belting out Bohemian Rhapsody as a morning ritual (although if you DO, send me the video link below).

These stories of success reminded me that these people saw themselves where they wanted to be, and acted as though they were already there.

dream bigger

I am a big believer in manifesting the stuff in life that you desire from thoughts and actions, good and bad, so this totally rings true to me. This year has been amazing for my life and business, not least because I have been sure that I am capable, that it is possible, and why not me?

That said, I have a long way to do, and I can see what I need to do. There are still many areas in which I am playing small – partly down to confidence, health, having a family etc, but also down to needing to know and believe that I can dream bigger and succeed.

Maybe you can see your journey too – are you still playing small anywhere? How can you act “as if” you have already had success?

With lots of these things, starting small to not play small can help. Go incremental, as Denise DT teaches in her amazing Get Rich Lucky Bitch Bootcamp.

So, if the future you wears smart clothing for work, can you invest in one outfit, or even one item of clothing that makes you feel amazing?

If the future you has a VA, can you start to hire someone for an hour or two to get used to it and show the universe you are serious?

If the future you has a red shiny VW Beetle, can you drive one or hire one for the day?

You get the idea.

Sometimes when we think about dreaming big , the temptation is there to think about what we SHOULD be aiming for. Remember, the dream needs to be yours for it to feel congruent, for it to happen, for it to resonate with you.

Let me know in the comments below, where are you still playing small, and how can you dream bigger and make it happen in increments?

I can’t wait to hear,




Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
Work with me, Shop with me, and Chat with me!


  • http://brigidward.com Brigid Ward

    I love this Jo. I am playing small in my business and realise I am holding my future clients back by not showing up. So, I am going to come up with 2 “incremental” ways I can serve them sooner. Thanks for the push. I only just found you and am so happy I have.

    • Jo Gifford

      Hey Brigid! Ahhh awesome! So lovely to find you, too :) Ok, so what ways have you found? I would love to hear x

      • http://brigidward.com Brigid Ward

        How about where am I not? I second guess everything I do. I am trying to just come up with a small offer because I think that will help me just to present myself and show my expertise. And then I can build from there. I only came to this realisation this week. 😉 But I now feel stuck again. It is so frustrating. I need to step away and just think. Thank you Jo.

        • Jo Gifford

          Stepping away is such a great idea. Switch off, find your flow, and reach out for support when you need it too. How about a beta trial offer? x

          • http://brigidward.com Brigid Ward

            Thanks Jo, I am going to do just that. I am reviewing everything to just make sure I am addressing my ideal client and telling my story and how I can truly help etc. And then I need to come up with the beta offer that lights me up inside. thanks

          • http:/dexterousdiva.co.uk/ dexdiva

            Telling your story is where you will make the connections :) Do check out my Blogging for Business Bootcamp too, that will really help xxx http://www.dexterousdiva.co.uk/bootcamp x

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  • jillconyers

    I’m new to your blog as of last week and I love what you share! I’m still playing it small with a job so that I can dream bigger. Patience and do the work!

    • http:/dexterousdiva.co.uk/ dexdiva

      Hey Jill! How lovely to have you here – thanks so much for the lovely words! x

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