As children, we are taught to always ask permission. You want to go somewhere? Ask permission. You want to eat something? Ask permission. You want to do something? Ask permission. You want to see a friend? Ask permission.
Permission was always asked before doing anything, at least if you wanted to be an obedient child. I was a follow-the-rules kind of girl, so this was very much me. However, I know there are rule breakers out there, and we can chat about this dynamic in another blog.
While I obviously understand the immense importance of children seeking approval in doing things at a young age, it seems to me that the habit of looking for approval seeps into adulthood in ways that I only recently uncovered.
A couple weeks ago, I was having a conversation with my mentor, Rha Goddess, about a creative project I have been brewing for quite sometime. I tend to be perfectionistic when it comes to my work and so, I was majorly stalling on getting the job done. I felt frustrated by my own limitations but also confused as to what exactly was keeping me in this unproductive holding pattern.
Rha is brilliantly inquisitive and intuitive. She knew that I held such a strong desire to actually create this project, and she nudged me into looking deeper into myself to see if I could uncover what was really holding me back.
I searched my soul for answers, and I realized that underneath all the logistical, mechanical nonsense that my brain was throwing at me, relating to why my desires couldn’t be attained, I was afraid. I was afraid of being wrong, of not being good enough to do what I wanted to do, of failing, of judgment, and of being the subject of the harshest critic, myself.
Rha then asked if I could find it within me, to give myself permission to do the work. She asked me to recognize that I am already worthy of my desires, and that I do not have to be perfect. I can be afraid, and do it anyway. She asked me if I could give myself permission to fully be myself, and not worry so much about what will happen in doing so.
A light went on in my mind, and I immediately began to take inventory of all the places in my life where I refuse to give myself permission. It also forced me into a serious reflection on why exactly I feel so hesitant to allow myself to just be exactly me, as I am.
What I know to be true is that it’s time for us all to unlearn the conditioned behavior of needing permission or approval from external sources, and to cultivate the courage and belief that we, alone can provide that proverbial nod to do what we know in our soul needs to be done. Can we take a look at our own lives and see where we, for so long, have said no to ourselves, and be brave enough to finally say, yes?
Starting now, I intend to give myself permission to:
…make decisions without seeking external input
…speak freely and truthfully
…not hold back aspects of who I am, for fear of not conforming
…let go of the desire to always be in control
…release the need to constantly change myself
…be exactly who I am in each and every moment.
Truthfully, I find great comfort in making (and publicly announcing) this list of where I intend to step up. It’s freeing to know that we don’t have to wait to live the life we desire, and that it all stems from inside ourselves.
Granting yourself permission, in whichever way you feel called to (and I’d love to know where you intend to do this in your lives) is really a daily practice of noticing, allowing, and being courageous in taking the appropriate action. It’s a relief for me to know that I no longer need to ask others for what I already know I approve of within myself. I hope you’ll give yourself permission to do it, too.
I can’t wait to hear how you’ll take this into practice!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org