Are You Playing Small to Stay Safe?

Welcome to the 26 days of Happiness! Today is day 12. Please meet featured author Pam McDonel from the soon to be released book: The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care, 25 Tools for Happiness, sharing their inspiring story!

A few months ago, I accepted the invitation and challenge to write a chapter in the book The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care, 25 Tools for Happiness. I say challenge because I have never considered writing “professionally” although my daughter would love to have contributions for our website and social media; she’s a genius in that arena! In this book, 25 souls came together to write about happiness.


Anna Pereira, founder of The Wellness Universe and author of the book, invited a small group of us to gather on Zoom to get to know each other a little better. From our discussion, we realized that in our own ways, each with different approaches or modalities, we work with our clients on what we eventually termed as “identify change.” Changes that are brought about by growth, marriage, divorce, death, life transitions of any kind and can be devastating based on who or what we identified with at that time they occurred.

So, as I sometimes do when I’m ruminating on something, I will select a book or one of my oracle decks, randomly pick a page or card, and just see what the energy shows me. In this case I picked up a little book by Katy Bray Life with the Lights On – 90 Days to MultiDimensional Living, Volume Three. I had not yet started to read it, so I felt moved to turn to the first page.


It never ceases to amaze me how synchronicity plays such a big part in our lives and how the universe conspires on our behalf. This is what was written:

“Do you define yourself by the roles you play? You give up a lot of freedom when you define yourself this way. When confronted with something incongruent with a role you are attached to, you may quickly dismiss it because it is outside of how you see yourself, keeping you from trying something new. When you define yourself from a higher place, you free yourself from limitations.”

Now it seemed to me this concept of “role-playing” and “identity change” fit nicely within what I term as “playing small to stay safe!” We become comfortable playing our roles in life as a child, parent, partner, teacher, doctor, and so on. When our roles change, let’s say from child to parent, when we’re suddenly responsible for the care of an elderly parent, through death of a relationship or loved one, or the loss of a job, we may suddenly realize we aren’t who we thought we were. We may not be sure where to turn to for help or if we should begin again, especially if we are older.


From a very early age, I learned how to “play small to stay safe” and that followed me through most of my life. I became well versed in the “chameleon effect,”  fitting into whatever role I felt I needed to play for whomever I was with based on what I thought they wanted or needed.

My roles moved from Mac and Dorothy’s daughter or Rod’s little sister to wife (three times! you think I’d learn) to administrative professional, and now to independent single entrepreneur and author. Many times, I’ve asked, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” Was I happy in any of those roles? I was until I wasn’t. Then it was time to make some decisions on how to move back to happiness. I’m feeling pretty happy where I am right now.


I give you this to think about:

When you define yourself from a higher place, you free yourself from limitations

Do you play a role based on another’s expectations? And if so, I ask, “Are you happy with the role(s) you play?” If you are, great. If not so much, you might reach for Anna’s book to see if there is something there for you. Look for it on February 11, 2021, on Amazon! It’s sure to be a best seller.

You can find me in Chapter 7 of the book, Choose to Feel Happy – The Power of Gentle Touch and Mindfulness, on the web:
and on The Wellness Universe.


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A super simple way to happiness! Meet the Author of Chapter 24 Lynanne Cottle: WHAT A WONDERFUL FEELING|POWER OF SINGING TO RELEASE TRAPPED EMOTIONS
Mark your calendar, 2021 will be a year filled with happiness! February 11, pick up your copy of The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care, 25 Tools for Happiness!

Join us in the Wellness Universe Book Club Group to take part in our special events and connect with all the authors!

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