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Photograph: courtesy of Kira O'Connor
I’m going to go off on a bit of a seemingly random topic here, but it’s absolutely integral to what we talk about in here. Let me ask you something: what do you give yourself permission for?
What do you give yourself permission to do?
What do you give yourself permission to feel?
What do you give yourself permission to have?
What do you give yourself permission to be?
Because until you give yourself permission to be, do or have anything, no matter how much you work towards it, dream about it or wish for it, you’re never going to get it.
I’m getting antsy with myself at the moment because I haven’t finished something off. I’ve been procrastinating and putting it off and generally coming up with both amazing and not-so-amazing excuses for not doing it.
Now we’re getting to the pointy end of things and if I don’t get this stuff done, it’s actually not going to happen at all. There’s a set date for this and that final date is final and getting very, very close.
I sat my bum down in the chair this morning and COMMITTED to doing nothing else apart from my journaling until I’d completed that task. But what was on my mind was, I’ve got my group to take care of, I’ve got to put stuff up on my page, I have to answer people on FB, check the comments, respond to emails…
In other words, what was getting in my way this morning was that I had responsibilities. As a SAHM, I’ve spent years getting all the housework done and looking after everyone else BEFORE I did anything for myself. Most parents are like this, male and female: family comes before everything. And we get used to doing that and we feel guilty when we do things for ourselves – or do something that we want to do, particularly if we’re going to ENJOY doing it – while we still have responsibilities & obligations to take care of.
For a very long time, I found it pretty much impossible to do anything I enjoyed doing or that made me feel good, until I’d finished absolutely everything else that I had to do or might have to do in the near future.
Can anyone else relate to this?
It was interesting, though, that I’d encourage my husband to go out on a bushwalk every morning because I knew how productive, powerful and creative he was when he got back. Most of the time, he’d go out for a walk and he’d pretty much finished his days’ work by the time he got home!
I knew that. I encouraged him to do that. I could see the results he had from doing that.
But I’d never allow myself to do it. I’d never give myself permission to look after myself, to do things for myself.
I was only allowed to do what I wanted to do AFTER I’d finished everything else. I couldn’t possibly spend any time enjoying myself if there was work to do.
Getting back to this morning, I realised I was doing the same thing in a slightly sneakier way. Instead of housework as being the thing that got in the way of enjoying myself, it’s writing and getting involved in the group.
And the thing is, I love writing, I love this group, I’m having an absolute blast sharing all of the things I’ve learned and watching others apply it in their lives and make a difference for themselves, but my old ways of being were beginning to turn it into an obligation/responsibility because I couldn’t possibly be doing something JUST BECAUSE I ENJOY DOING IT.
My familiar ways of being couldn’t accept the fact that I could do something just because I enjoyed it, it just wouldn’t be right. Can you see that? Can you relate to it and see something of yourself in it?
I hadn’t given myself permission to do two things. The first is doing something purely because I enjoy it.
The second – you’ll like this – is finishing something that will result in financial success in my own right. I’m very good at creating success through others. Everyone I’ve ever coached on a personal basis has made massive changes in their lives, my husband John is right at the top of that list. But I’ve never given myself permission to do the same thing.
I suspect that a lot of women in particular are like that: we prefer to hang in the background and let others take the glory. There are men like that, but it seems to be more prevalent in women. That’s a vast generalisation and a personal opinion, by the way, I could be horribly wrong. Maybe it’s just the women I meet and, life being a mirror, they’re all a reflection of me, lol!
So, I sat down and I journaled, I gave myself permission:
I give myself permission to do what is most important to me, regardless of what I perceive to be my obligations.
I give myself permission to do something that I want to do, regardless of what I think other people think.
I give myself permission to do things that will make me feel good.
I give myself permission to succeed.
I give myself permission to be wealthy in my own right.
I give myself permission to be vulnerable.
I give myself permission to be powerful.
I give myself permission to be happy.
I give myself permission to live life on my terms.
I am enough.
What I do is enough.
What have you not given yourself permission for and what do you now give yourself permission for? If you’ve been wishing for something or chasing it and it hasn’t happened, what is there that you don’t have permission to do/be/have? Has it ever occurred to you that you might be waiting for permission? If you are, who are you waiting for permission from?
Let me know,
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Hi! I’m Karen O’Connor, hormonally-challenged, menopausal writer, blogger, self-confessed sarcasm enthusiast, mother of 4, wife of 30 years, destroyer of souls... no, wait, that's just in the mornings...