Why cannot we give ourselves permission to be who we are? To be imperfect and silly, to cry and to feel the pain, to fail and not to be afraid of being left behind, to not please and seek validation from others, to accept the “mess” and show up “messy”?
From a very early age, we are wired to seek permission from others, then why don’t we use the same strategy to give permission to ourselves?
“When we don’t give ourselves permission to be free, we rarely tolerate that freedom in others. We put them down, make fun of them, ridicule their behaviors, and sometimes shame them. We can do this intentionally or unconsciously. Either way the message is, “Geez, man. Don’t be so uncool.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
What is holding us back from making these life-changing decisions? Why do we hesitate to allow ourselves to be who we are [in real life], and to go for what we deserve [we always know what we want!], to unlock our full potential, and to meet our highest potentials?
Our mind is so attuned to tending to others and seeking approvals from them, that it feels nerve-wracking to be on our own! It feels like a daunting process to make decisions for ourselves, to choose what’s best for us, or to show up truly, that may leave you feeling alienated from the society and family.
Sometimes giving ourselves permission isn’t just about making big life-changing decisions in our life, sometimes it is also about acknowledging that something is hurting and doesn’t feel right!
It is about creating the space where you get to sit with your pain to acknowledge that, “you’re not happy or satisfied in your present life!” This gives you a new perspective to look for solutions that can help you fix your emotional platter!
We hide our true-self behind the daily highlighted presentations of ourselves because we feel safe that way. We do not want others to see us as vulnerable, and weak. Therefore, we pretend we are just perfect!
Not just our physical health, but our emotional well-being also gets affected when we don’t tend to our emotions when they show up! Stress managing techniques, and generating the good-feeling emotions can help us keep a check on our emotional health, but it is also very important to give yourself permission to listen to your emotions and care for them!
When people and circumstances take a toll on us; we must remember to slow down and breathe life. We should give ourselves permission to take life one day at a time, and to not rush, to accept the changes that comes our way, and to flip through each chapters of our life slowly!
We are all fighting our own battles, and dealing with them our way. What if you gave yourself permission to show up messy, because being kind of in a mess is a part of being human! Allow yourself to laugh out loud, to cry when you need to, to fail, to fall apart, breakdown, and get back up again.
Give yourself permission to be different and unique your way, permission to go too far and reach your dreams. Allow yourself to make mistakes, be the ‘imperfect you’, to make mistakes (again and again), and to learn and grow.
Sometimes we just have to be calm and let the storm inside us (that make us act in a weird way sometimes) settle down!
I have found some simple yet powerful practices to breathe life, to move through my life in a confident way, and in a comfortable way, and to give myself permission to be unapologetically me! And therefore I encourage you to do that too! –
1. Give Yourself Permission to be Imperfect.
Feel your negative feelings and heal them first. Do not run away from negative comments and remarks. Face them with courage, because you are soon going to add them to your experiences/learning towards success. Care less about other’s opinions. Care for who you are today; and what you want to become tomorrow. Yes! “I give myself permission to be called anything, but not a perfectionist- even if it paralyzes my thoughts and actions of accepting ‘me’ in a more positive way. Allow yourself to accept-“I don’t know.” It is absolutely okay to not know everything and or be “perfect.”
2. Give Yourself Permission to Not Feel Beautiful.
Let your skin under your make-up show-up sometimes! Feel the real you amidst crowd. Give yourself permission to feel under the weather sometimes. It is okay to not feel yourself-all-the-time! Just relax and take it slowly!
The journey from pimples to wrinkles is worth turning back and reflecting upon all your great [and not so great] experiences, and learning. Reflect on your learning and the discoveries you have had made about yourself in all these years and how far you have come by making the most from every experience!
3. Give Yourself Permission to be Messy.
Give yourself permission to be messy, and broken, and sad, angry, afraid, jealous, clumsy, imperfect, and frustrated. It is absolutely okay to be just with your emotions certain days, and to not show up in a perfect way! By doing so you’re releasing all the controls [put up either by you or by the society], and giving yourself the permission and the courage to show up in a real messy way, sometimes!
4. Give Yourself Permission to Be Available For Yourself.
Be present for your needs. Avoid places, people and events-that does not make you feel good and happy, and that steals your joy. Stop forcing yourself to be present everywhere, or to do everything. Choose your actions.
Humans [especially women] are wired to take care of everyone else’s needs first and then herself! But, it’s time we tend to our physical and emotional needs too! Invest in yourself quite often, and stop being available to everyone.
5. Give Yourself Permission to Be Where You Are.
Be in peace with where you’re in your life- at this moment. It is okay and very natural to feel frustrated, confused, and angry sometimes, but try to align your actions with your thoughts. Remember, it’s only you, who knows better what you want from life, and how to achieve it- is a continuous process of learning and taking risks. Try doing something new and different each day, that will help you to propel yourself every single day, even on the days when you feel stuck and confused.
6. Give Yourself Permission to Be Childlike.
As we get older, we become alienated from our creative and imaginative abilities. We don’t have time to get curious, and or explore! And therefore we get disconnected from our childlike curiosity. But we must remind ourselves that our imagination still exists, and we are still creative who can dream and create amazing things.
Give yourself permission to be lost in your creative endeavors. Stop running after getting the results, and enjoy the moment; be lazy, be imaginative, be carefree, experiment, explore, and play, and be in the moment quite often.
7. Give Yourself Permission to be comfortable.
Give yourself permission to be confidently comfortable in the way you show up to the world! Do not try to change yourself to blend in, or to be loved and accepted. This is a form of people pleasing and you can never please anyone enough to love you forever and to accept you the way you are! Their preferences will change over time, and their real attitude will again push you back out!
Just be true, be you, and let the world accept you “without any filters,” without insulting you, and without judging you! That’s where the real bonding happens. Find your “tribe,” and do not compromise and/or settle for anything less than you deserve.
Don’t waste you life trying to fit in! I did that for many years, and now I’m on my own. I know I’m worthy and as important as anybody else on this planet, therefore I will carry my whole self wherever I go- whether you like it or not! At least I’m showing up in an authentic way.
We all want to belong, to connect, to feel confident, and to believe we’re okay as we are, and there is nothing wrong with us if we show up in a messy, imperfect way.
No matter how hard you try, you can never be the person the world expect you to be! Therefore, give yourself permission to be real, and to fall apart, and to pick yourself up back again- just like a warrior, instead of faking being ‘perfect!’