Why We Give Ourselves Permission (And You Should, Too!)
A couple of years ago, I believed there was never any reason to give myself permission just to be myself.
Fear ruled me and perfectionism soothed me, even with ten years of recovery. So: No! The permission to just show up and be myself was never allowed.
Around this time, I was given an opportunity to talk. I was asked to speak for the Eating Recovery Foundation conference.
However, I had to kind of audition first. I was scared and excited. "What if he doesn't like me?" I fretted. "What if I act like I have absolutely no idea what I am doing?" "What if he can see who I really am?" "What if…" "What if…"
I was going down in flames of “not enough” and getting ready to sabotage everything. I mean... the pressure was way too much, and I wanted to bail. But I couldn’t even give myself permission to do that.
So I called a friend — it's a tool that never fails me in my recovery. She suggested that I start giving myself permission. What? Come on! But I was desperate (sigh) so I tried it.
I wrote a permission slip for myself and placed it in my purse to carry with me when I met the employer. The paper read: "I give myself permission to not hustle for my worthiness." For someone who was so desperate to be liked, it was a frightening permission slip to write and to honor.
I showed up: nervous, excited, and carrying my permission slip. I reminded myself not to hustle and I even showed the employer the permission slip. We both laughed.
I got the gig.
Giving myself permission liberated me so much that I incorporated it into my talk as a tool in recovery. I asked the audience to give themselves permission for one thing that the eating disorder would tell them they could not do, be or experience.
Giving ourselves permission sets our truth — and our spirit — free.
The truth is: it is the acceptance of self — as we are — perfectly imperfect — that creates a foundation in which we grow. We just need to get out of the way and give ourselves permission when required.
What will you give yourself permission for today?