Recognizing The Smallifier

The Smallifier is one traitor character that shows up in a lot of folks in many different ways. Here are two examples:

My husband, who often makes up words, was coaching someone and he told her that she was 'smallifying' herself. This labeling of the process that her traitor was using in making and keeping her small was extremely beneficial. She used this to begin the work of dismantling that process and allowing herself to grow into her real shoes, so to speak. She is now sought after and is speaking and teaching internationally—not from her smallified self.

Years ago, I was coaching an executive in a large, multi-national company. While I was visiting him and his team on site, I saw him 'shrink' when he walked into the office of one of his direct reports. It was as if he were apologizing for taking up space. When we investigated this unconscious behavior, we uncovered beliefs that were rooted in his childhood and that were deeply shame-based. As he worked through this network of beliefs and behaviors and unraveled it, he emerged more confident, clearer, and more grounded and centered in himself, his perspective, and his decision-making process. After several promotions, he left the company and went out on his own as a consultant. He is thriving from a grounded sense of self that is no longer shame-based.


Whenever you are making an important decision about something you will or will not do, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What character in me wants me to do this or doesn't want me to do it?
  2. What do I stand to gain by doing it?
  3. What do I stand to lose by not doing it?
  4. What would I do differently if I felt more confident in myself?
  5. What would I do differently if I didn't feel as good about myself?
  6. If I were to do it, what is the worst that could happen? Could I cope with that?
  7. What would my parents think or feel about me if they knew I was doing this?
  8. What might others think or feel about me if I do this?

Write down all the thoughts that emerge, no matter how silly they may seem. Then, when you are finished, read them over and notice what seems true for you, even if you don't like what you're admitting to. Remember that if you bring some of these beliefs out into the light, you can begin to unravel them and take away their potency. Many of the beliefs that will emerge actually developed when you were a young child and your reasoning and logic was very different then than it is now as an adult. This practice will help your beliefs catch up with your age.

As usual, write in with comments about your experience.

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