We find ways to justify all kinds of detrimental behavior. We can find excuses for all our bad habits, half of which are unconscious. But why is it so hard for some of us to allow ourselves happiness, freedom, passion? Why do we make excuses for poor relationships and unrewarding careers?
Embrace the Fear
Fear is responsible for much of our thinking. I have made too many decisions in its influence and I’m sure you have too. You don’t think so? It is easily disguised. Maybe you thought, “The timing isn’t right for me to leave this job. I’ll wait until _____.” Or maybe you thought, “I’m too busy to look for a new _____.” Perhaps fear even felt like comfort.
People will tell you to move past the fear. That’s never worked for me. I just couldn’t let go of those feelings. What I have been able to successfully do at many points, and am encouraging you to do here, is embrace the fear. Hold the fear and move on anyway. Use the fear and turn it into excitement or, at least, allow it to remind you to keep moving. Who wants to sit around in fear? You want to move fast enough that you don’t quite feel it anymore.
Dump the dead weight you are with. the one who makes you feel terrible, that holds you back. Afraid to be lonely? Well…make a plan to join a social club. Use the fear to spur you into finding opportunities to meet people whose company you’d enjoy. Afraid of loosing your job if you start looking for a new one? Use the fear to help you organize yourself and move quickly. Make a plan to send out resumes and be smart about your search. Don’t allow the fear of loosing a job you hate keep you in the job you hate!
Remember You Are Not Psychic
Our imaginations can get the best of us. We can project (fear) into the future and hallucinate all kinds of scenarios to talk us out of following our passion. Have you ever had a fake conversation with someone that turned into an argument? Have you ever felt terrible (racing pulse, upset stomach, tight chest) after this imaginary fight with someone? Again, I have. My brain is excellent at imagining tragedy at a moments notice. But alas…I am not psychic. Precisely NONE of the times I have imagined how something would go has actually ended up the way I imagined. Psychic fail. I am willing to bet you are not psycic either. You cannot tell how things are going to work out with 100% accuracy. Allow yourself to be aware of potential “bumps along the way” but vow to deal with them as they arise. Move forward anyway.
Understand You Deserve It
Even horrible people deserve happiness and love. Without it, horrible people can never turn into good people. Bad+Bad never equals good. So take a breath and allow yourself the opportunity for greatness. You deserve it. Believing you deserve good things encourages you to make good choices and be good to others.
You need to have people (or a person, at the very least) to support you on your path. People who support you will not make you feel guilty, judged, like you are making a mistake, take jabs at you, or wag their preverbal finger in your face. Instead, they will ask, “How can I help you?” They will listen to you. They may offer suggestions. They may share in your excitement. A supportive person might even share in your FEAR, but support you anyway. A supportive person will not blindly accept all your bull or love your errors–that isn’t helpful at all. A supportive person might say, “That didn’t work, but here’s what you’re doing right…”
Ask for Permission
Ask who? Your mother. Your father. Your friend. Your spouse. Sometimes, we really need to hear the words, “I give you permission.” It is symbolic. When I faced a life changing decision, a real cross-roads, where both choices would be wonderful and terrifying, I had a dear friend say those words to me. She gave me the “permission” to listen to what my body was really saying to me. She gave me “permission” to choose a choice that was best for me personally and not based on all the other “stuff” I allowed to influence me. My mother also gave me permission. It was a relief. Hearing the words, ” I give you permission,” made me laugh. It felt silly. But in that laugh came the realization that permission was exactly what I was not giving myself. Those words caused enough of a shift in my thinking to allow for forward movement.
I give YOU permission.