Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Escape the Vicious Cycle By Giving Yourself Permission

Whatever your current problem or vicious cycle, give yourself permission to do whatever it is that isn’t allowing you to breathe, relax or face your deepest fear. Whatever action that you fail to do or keep repeating even though it’s not the best answer - stop, listen, and ask yourself, “What am I really running away from?”

Whenever I seek out solace and validation, it’s really to listen for an answer that will reinforce what I already believe or really want to do. You have to realize that being the Type A person that I am, I hate asking for advice, help, or not being independent. I’m all about self-awareness. Since I was a teen, friends told me to become a philosopher because I constantly grilled them through questioning on what they wanted, who they were, and that knowing yourself was the key to life whenever they came to me with the problem. I would elicit answers and peel away their excuses, justifications, and logic until the only thing left was their unabashed truth.

However, despite all this self-knowledge, of course there would be a gnawing question or major dilemma that I would need to consult my circle of friends every now and then, no matter how self-sufficient I wanted to be. Even though I know the answer, I refuse to implement it because I have not yet given myself the permission to do whatever it is I really should or want, for fear of X, Y, or Z. Or sometimes I wouldn’t be able to see that holding back or not taking any action was the thing to do. It wouldn’t be until my trusted friend or confidante would give me the solution that I wanted that I would allow myself to do it by justifying is as, “They know me really well. They are also very smart, fair, and have my best interest at heart. Since they are an objective party to my dilemma their reasoning and advice must have value.”

If we could only have enough insight into ourselves and unwavering confidence in our loved ones to tell them, “This is my dilemma. This is what I want to do. I know you may not agree with my choice at all, but I really need your support.” Instead we poll all of our friends, find the ones that agree with us, do what we wanted to do all along, and know we can go back to them for more advice or update them on the outcome knowing they are on our side.

One of my biggest eye openers this year is that it took two people to finally get through to me that I didn’t HAVE to do anything if I didn’t want to or if I simply just wasn’t ready. For whatever reason, not being ready that wasn’t even an option in my eyes. My faulty line of thinking was: I must do this, I’m scared, I’ll do it to get it over with because it seems the right thing to do. I didn’t pause to examine if my reason for being scared was one that would push me forward and help me grow or one that hold me back and cause harm. It wasn’t until I spoke to my friends that I realized it was the latter. I knew that I would have to eventually go through with the action that I was scared of, but it didn’t have to be today or even tomorrow. Instead, I waited three weeks. And during those three weeks, I mentally prepared and practiced.

What was I scared of? Everything everyone is also scared of - the truth and what is means, reality, what it might say about me as a person, being rejected, doing or saying it incorrectly or imperfectly, having a difference of opinion or perspective, or not being validated.

Stop, think, and listen to that truth you hide even yourself, especially from yourself. This shall be my new motto.

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