“Are You Playing Safe?”

If so, why? Are you enjoying your life by playing it safe? Or is it a little dull, and predictable. Give me anything but predictable.

There are two parts of you that want to play safe.

The gremlin and the inner child. The gremlin’s (ego, judge) job is to play safe; to maintain the status quo at all costs. The soul doesn’t care about being safe.

And it’s the adult’s job to take care of the inner child so that the adult can function at full power.


Let me list some ways that you might be playing safe:

Withholding love so that you don’t get hurt

*Not writing that book so that you won’t get criticized

*Not drawing boundaries so that you won’t lose love, or your job, friends, etc.

*Not playing full out at your job so that you won’t look foolish if it doesn’t work out

*Not committing to your talent or gift so you don’t have to deal with failure

Are any of these sounding familiar?


Let’s look at the cost of these safe choices.

If you withhold love so you don’t get hurt, you also don’t get to experience the ecstasy of real love. So what’s the point? A little pain, or real pain, isn’t going to kill you. It may feel like it, and I know first hand what that’s like, but the option of not experiencing the ecstasy is a much more painful choice.

Not writing the book so you’ll avoid criticism. There may be so many people that could benefit from your writing. How do you know? Are you willing to not serve others because of your fear? So what if someone criticizes you? It’s not personal, it’s their stuff.

Not drawing boundaries is about not owning your power and not trusting that the Universe will send you something better if the person does walk away, or you get fired. You’ll feel so empowered by speaking up, that others will automatically be drawn to you. This is a step-by-step process and it works.

Not playing full out at your job in order to avoid being laughed at, or looking foolish. Wow, how many people get ripped off when you don’t play full out at your work? This isn’t just about you – it’s also about your boss, employees, co-workers and customers. Let it rip. Who cares if someone thinks your idea is foolish.

Herb Brooks, who coached the US Olympic hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics, was thought to be foolish and crazy among other things. Against impossible odds, the American team beat the Russians and ultimately won the gold medal that year. Now who was foolish?

Not committing to your gift or talent. This one is a travesty. We all come in with wonderful gifts and talents that can be enhanced and expanded. And to make a choice not to do that because of fear, rips everyone off.

What if your painting would calm someone suffering from a disease? What if your music would open a heart? What if a toy you created brought joy to a homeless child? What if your gift as a fitness trainer would keep a mom of 4 healthy?

You get my point. You are ripping other people off when you choose to play it safe.

And worse, you are ripping yourself off!!!


In order to move forward you’ll want to be able to quiet that pesky gremlin. Remember his job is to maintain the status quo and keep you “safe” which means Stuck.

Here are some things you can say to quiet him.

Shut up, get lost, get out of here, thanks for sharing, take a hike, and my favorite, QUIET.

Choose one and use it when the gremlin shares why you shouldn’t do something.


One exercise I have my clients do is to create a place to send their inner child – someplace where they are safe. I send my little girl up to the arms of God, or onto a magic carpet with an angel on each corner so she can jump and play. She jumps around and has a great time and the angels are watching out for her.

Some people send them into the forest, or to a goddess, or to a castle, or into a cave. Anywhere that the little child within feels safe.

Take a minute to create and visualize that place where your inner child will feel safe. This really works. If you think it’s silly, do it anyway – it’s just your ego that thinks it’s silly. Don’t let your ego run the show.

When you’ve found it, remember to send the little boy or girl there next time the adult needs to play full out.


What is the one area where you are playing safe?

I started this by saying that your soul doesn’t care about being safe. It doesn’t. It came here to love, learn, grow, stretch and express.

Let the love, the talent, the gift, the suggestion, the creation out!!!

Choose to NOT play safe. Choose to let it rip!

imagine the possibilities…..

© Carol Chanel

Q & A

The question is from John, a banker in San Jose, CA.

Q: Carol, I have met the woman of my dreams and I am so afraid to tell her I love her and commit to loving her with all my heart. My mother divorced my father and left, when I was 7 and since that time I have protected myself. I know I’m hurting myself and the woman I love. What can I do to remedy this situation?

A: John, I’m so thankful you wrote me. This is a huge problem that so many people face. I know you’ve done some work on yourself since you know where your fear comes from.

And moving beyond that fear is your next step. So first, I want you to create a safe place to send that 7-year-old within you. He was so deeply wounded and you’ve been protecting him ever since. And you can still protect him and love.

And it’s time he stopped running your life.

So create the safe place and send him there before you talk to your girlfriend.

Now, with him safe, I want you to think of all the people in your life who would benefit from you loving them. You don’t have to do anything yet, just think of them.

Then imagine yourself, safely, loving them. See them loving you back. I want you to feel that in your heart, soul and body.

Then when you’ve imagined that love, I want you to pick a very safe person and express that love. It could be a sister, aunt, a good friend. Someone safe.

Then choose someone not so easy. And so on. Until you are ready to share with your girlfriend.

Again, remembering to send the little boy to his safe place, start with a little I Love You. You can even tell her you’re scared. If she is the person I think she is, then she will be thrilled.

Keep taking little steps. Safe, small, successive steps. And before you know it, you’ll love her with all your heart, you’ll feel the ecstasy of love, and then the next step for you will unfold naturally.

John, let your love fill you and the world. We will all be better off for your willingness to love.


There is a fabulous book “Beyond Fear” which is a compilation of “The Teachings of Don Miguel Ruiz,” who wrote two other fabulous books, “The Four Agreements” and ”The Mastery of Love.”

Here’s a quote:

“Action is what makes the difference in this reality. The power is in the action, not in the dream. Through your actions you have the power to change everything. You can claim the freedom to act on behalf of transformation.

If you focus your intent, there is no doubt that you will get what you want. This is true for everyone.”

Carol's Services

I teach people to overcome the obstacles that keep them stuck yet longing for romantic relationships, more self-confidence and inspiration to accomplish their dreams.

We sometimes forget what it feels like to live from our hearts and souls. We forget the thrill of taking the brakes off and flying. Life is dull if we just live from our minds.

Are you - or someone you know - settling, for less than exciting, either in relationships or a career?

You can visit my website at:

You'll find other articles there and more in-depth information about both my services and me.

Carol Chanel
Certified Life Coach

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