And get used to it.
In the past, I didn’t give myself permission to ask for help. I didn’t give myself permission to set boundaries. I didn’t give myself permission to feel my feelings. I didn’t give myself permission to consider what success really looked like and meant for me. I just accepted what other people and society told me success looked like and meant. I didn’t consider broader possibilities for myself.
I put myself in a box that I thought was a “good” box. I was doing the things I was “supposed to” do and was doing a great job with them.
Or so I thought.
I thought the armor that I put on each day was masking the insecurity and weaknesses I felt. Maybe to others, it looked like I had it all together. Maybe not. But while I thought the armor was protecting me, it was actually keeping me separated from what I really wanted and who I could become.
Because I didn’t even know who I wanted to become. By my own choice, through my own decisions, and by knowing myself.
And now I do know. More than I did before. And I will keep learning more.
Part of this process began when I started to give myself permission to take off the armor. To know that the armor wasn’t necessary for who I wanted to be. That armor was heavy and I didn’t even know it, until I didn’t have to put it on all the time.
I learned how to give myself permission for things that seem obvious now. To rest. To relax. To not feel guilty and obligated all the time. To let other people do some of the work. To ask for help. To say no. To say yes … to things like pleasure and joy and freedom. To believe new things.
Who do we think we need to ask permission from? Why? Who do we think we’ll get permission from, if not from ourselves?
Your turn: What are you not giving yourself permission to do, be, say, think, feel, believe, want, have? What would you really like to do, be, say, think, feel, believe, want, and have? Who do you need permission from? What might happen if you asked yourself permission? What might happen if you gave yourself permission?
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What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.