By Lisa Selow
It’s human to feel like you need approval, permission, or to get others’ opinions from time to time.
The challenge in waiting to get others’ approval is to not allow it to hold you back. I can get stuck in analysis, causing procrastination. If you’re sensitive (like me), sometimes, others’ words or even lack thereof, can make you start to question yourself. (By the way, I’m not saying to ignore others’ opinions, especially if you have a partner, children, loved ones, or others who will be affected by your choices. Of course, please consult them for at least the big stuff.)
I find that if I get a great idea or that I feel guided to make a change in my life often it feels right and I don’t need any opinions. Let’s say I want to change the color in my living room. I’m really drawn to coral and oranges lately with teal accents. I’m going to go for it soon. (Are you reading this, hubby? I need your painting skills!).
Some changes feel a bit more scary though. For example, I’ve had Bettie Page bangs since 2005. I’ve changed up my hair color often, but not my cut. For the past year, I’ve been agonizing about whether to let my bangs grow out. I mean, it’s just hair, right? I can cut it again, if I don’t like how the bangs turn out. I also have a stellar hairdresser whom I trust.
Other changes really scare me! Things like moving cross-country or doing my yoga teacher training. (I’m going to do the latter next year, if all goes well.) I know that some fears serve us. I don’t like the idea of jumping out of an airplane, but that is a good thing. It makes me go take a class, not that I ever would. I also have a healthy fear of going trekking in the Himalayas, but I know that I will one day. Of course, I will train for it and research the best guided trip for me, maybe doing some high altitude living for a spell to get acclimated.
I imagine that most of our first world changes that we desire to make or challenges we face pale in comparison to decisions having to be made in places that have war, natural disasters, government upheavals, revolution, poverty, and other distress. I do my best to imagine this, putting my little, old problems into perspective when I am trying to make decisions.
I’m not trying to guilt you with the prior paragraph about first world pain, and well, if you’re human, you’ve probably already mastered how to guilt trip yourself in the past. When I feel like I need approval or the green light, I see it as a chance to gently re-parent my inner child who feels lost. Then, I go into my inner adult or parent and mentally write myself a permission slip. I say you can even go one step further and make a physical permission slip, signing your name, something like the below:
“I, Lisa Selow, give myself full out permission to change the style of my hair, the colors of my website and the rooms in my house.” [date and sign]
Yes, it’s a mundane example, but hey, once you get used to giving yourself permission, it will get easier. I’ve found that this practice helps me to feel peaceful about my decision. I don’t worry as much about making the “right” decision. I only can make the best decision I can in the moment for where I’m currently at in life.
What about you? What do you need to write a permission slip for in your own life? Share in the comments below and let’s support each other.
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