So yes. While I do talk a lot about biggification, the whole thing started as a joke.
When I launched this site nearly five years ago, I read piles of business advice, only to start really losing patience.
The neverending litany of think big think big just felt so … stressful. And pushy.
Referring to all the people who wanted me to get bigger already as “the Biggifiers” was a way to take the piss out of things a little.
And also partially inspired by that hilariously great line from The Simpsons about how “a noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.”
The problem? Biggification = intimidating.
Both the experience and the word can be so stressful.
And as soon as you focus on what might happen if you start to biggify, all that repressed (or not-very-repressed) fear of success kicks in like crazy. Not fun.
That’s why we’re looking at our monsters‘ myths about why biggification is bad.
So we can focus on growth that’s more organic and less terrifying, which I call mindful biggification:
The art and science of getting your thing into the hands of your right people without feeling icky or weird about it.
“If I start biggifying …”
1. “I have to learn how to … X, Y, Z”
And, of course, X, Y and Z are always things that are completely depressing and paralyzing.
“I’ll have to care about stuff like search engine optimization! I’ll have to promote myself! I’ll have to learn how to eat worms! Ew ew ew!”
You won’t, sweetie. Not unless you want to.
I have chosen not to care about any of those things and it works for me.
The amount of information/skills you need to acquire to biggify your thing is actually minuscule — especially compared to the mountains of research your monsters think you need to be doing.
They’re wrong. Ninety-nine percent of the biggification learning curve is internal. Like learning how to talk to your monsters. And how to not be impressed by the fact that you’re human and you have stuff.
(Caveat: sometimes you will need to find someone who can do tech stuff or explain things to you, but that’s a much tinier part of biggifying than you’re imagining it will be).
2. “I’ll have to become someone I’m not.”
“And then I’ll curl up in a ball and die!”
Actually, most people are busy trying to be other people. Which means that by not doing that, you already have a huge advantage in the integrity department.
Not to mention the Relatable and Fabulous Department, which is a very useful department to excel in.
3. “I need to be more like Havi and less like me.”
“I’ll have to write a million posts a week and say inappropriate things on Twitter and ohmygod I can’t do this.”
It would be the height of silliness (as well as poor business sense) to try and exactly imitate anything that I do, especially if you’re going to turn it into a guilt thing.
Giving yourself permission to do things your way is the best piece of advice I can give.
The other one is “try stuff”. Because that’s partly how you figure out what your way is.
4. “I’ll have to confront my fears!”
No confrontations necessary.
But active confrontation? Not unless you want to.
There are plenty of ways around, over, under and behind fears. Not to mention ways to intentionally interact with them in a smart, conscious, loving, non-confrontational way.
All that face your fear stuff can be really violent sometimes. And it’s absurd that we think our only choices are running away or running into battle.
There are better choices than repressing or confronting. That’s kind of what we talk about here every day.
5. “I’ll have to give up this thing I really like.”
I see no reason for this.
It is true that sometimes, through the process of working on our stuff and discovering information for the Book of You, things will change.
You may find that you stop wanting to do things you used to do. Or in the way you used to do.
But to just give things up because biggification supposedly means you’re not allowed to have fun anymore, or to take time for yourself, or to see your friends? That’s just wrong.
6. “They’ll realize what a total phony I am.”
Not if you don’t pretend to be something you’re not.
That’s classic monster talk and it’s really scary and uncomfortable when you’re in it. But as arguments go, it doesn’t hold a lot of water.
7. “No one will like me.”
That is a worry, yes. And it feels horrible.
So much pain. I want to give you a hug right now.
And the whispered reminder that the more you speak in your own voice, the easier it is for people who are not your people to self-select out. Right? When visibility creates safety in ridiculous paradoxical ways?
8. “Whatever I do won’t be good enough.”
This is a hard one too. Especially because it feels so true.
So I’m not going to contradict it.
I will just say that for those specific people who need you right now, that’s what they need. Your you-ness. Just as it is.
And then we learn through experience that things as they are have meaning too. And this is hard. And I’m still in it too. And I’m sorry.
9. “Havi will hate me if I don’t live up to my potential.”
I honestly don’t know where people’s monsters get this one, because it’s absurd, but I’ve heard it more than once, so we’ll count it as a myth too.
If you want me to hate you, you’re going to have to try a lot harder than that. Seriously. There’s pretty much no way I’m going to stop liking you over something stupid like potential.
You’d have to burn down all my favorite buildings and be mean to my duck and stalk my gentleman friend and throw toilet paper all over the Playground. Exactly.
Also, this is not a parent-teacher conference. I don’t care about your potential. I just care about you.
You do not have to biggify. I will like you just the same either way. We’ve covered this.
10. “I’ll have to keep getting biggified and it will never stop! Bigger and bigger and bigger until it takes over my life. Nooooooo!”
Not going to happen. That’s because of the inverse hourglass principle, which I’ll tell you about soon. In the meantime, trust me — there is a way to sneak around this one.
Summing up the important stuff:
- Fear of biggification = normal.
- As is wanting it to happen and being terrified about things at the same time.
- Pretty much every objection that comes up is your monsters talking.
- They want so much to know you’ll be safe that they forget to tread gently with your tiny, sweet thing.
- Biggification isn’t something that you have to force. It’s something that gets more comfortable through the process of working on your stuff.
- Feeling safe and supported is a legitimate thing to want.
- Challenging your patterns is important. But there are loving ways to do that and there are violent ways to do that.
- It will be okay.
And comment zen for today …
Biggification stuff can be really painful.
So even though I can sometimes be kind of flippant because that’s my way …
I just want to acknowledge how sucky it is when all the monsters talk at once and biggification (mindful or otherwise), just feels so completely out of reach.
We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff. We tread gently with other people’s stuff. Besos.