I’ve written about happiness in many of my previous posts: From cultivating positive thoughts to choosing activities that make you feel like you are in “the flow”, from how to set goals that make you happy to finding careers that are fulfilling. However, none of these strategies will work unless you allow yourself to be happy.
Have you given yourself permission to be happy and live the life you want? Or do you feel that in some way you haven’t earned it or don’t deserve it? Or that other people’s needs take precedence before your own? Or that others will become too jealous if you do?
Unless we give ourselves full permission, we will never be happy. We sometimes hold ourselves back for the strangest reasons. Before I embarked on becoming a coach, I was very interested in psychology, but told myself that I couldn’t pursue anything in that field because a friend of mine was studying psychology and that was “her thing.” In my mind, it somehow felt like I would be taking it away from her.
A former client of mine was so focused on delivering at work and living up to what she thought was everyone’s expectations that she didn’t allow herself to plan fun events on the weekends or spend the weekend just relaxing and doing nothing.
I have talked to many well-meaning Moms who tried to sacrifice themselves for their children and husbands, thinking that that focusing on their own happiness would be selfish.
But the truth is that we all deserve to be happy. By remaining unhappy, we are not giving more happiness to someone else – chances are that we are making others around us unhappier instead. We might also slowly become resentful, which hurts our relationships with people we care about.
If instead we become our happiest, most vibrant selves, we have so much more joy, energy, and inspiration to share with others in our lives. Being happy is not selfish at all – it helps others! People who care about us really will want to see us be happy!
So how can you give yourself full permission? Here are a few simple steps you can take.
Step 1: Where in your life have you not given yourself full permission? Take a moment and write down what comes to mind.
Step 2: Remind yourself:
You have full permission to be happy!
You deserve to be happy, successful, loved, and valued.
You have full permission to pursue your heart’s desires, your hopes and your dreams.
By being happy, you will inspire others and bring more joy into this world.
Step 3: Write out: “I give myself full permission to ___________________.” and fill in the areas you have come up with in step 1.
Step 4: Take one action in the direction where you just have given yourself full permission.
Be compassionate and kind with yourself during this process. Draw on your Inner Champion when needed and keep on reminding yourself that you have full permission! You are the only one who can give this to yourself!