Wait a minute. Didn’t I just do a blog about the Power of Saying No? Yes, I did. And I believe you can also use YES in the same context of managing your personal happiness. Just stick with me for a few minutes and hear me out on this one, OK?
We live our entire lives asking permission from others to do the things we want to do. Mommy, can I have a cookie? Teacher, can I go to the bathroom? Sergeant Drill Instructor, can I have permission to breath? Boss, can I go on vacation? Honey, can I buy a pair of shoes? Dad, can I become an actor instead of a Doctor like you? There certainly isn’t anything wrong with having to ask permission for these things and I understand and appreciate the need for certain limitations in our lives and to ensure law and order. What I do have an issue with, is that we’ve become so conditioned to asking for permission, we tend to ask for it in every aspect of our lives…even in the realm of our own happiness.
I think we tend to lean towards taking the path of least resistance. A path that’s safe, secure and stable. And for the sake of making other’s happy, not offending anyone, or from risking embarrassment and failure, we don’t take a chance on pursuing our interests and our passions. I know I’ve taken the path of least resistance many a times. Like when I hit the “easy button” in college and opted for a less strenuous degree program because I wanted to graduate as soon as possible and start making money. Where did that land me? In a career that really didn’t fit me. Sure…I was pretty good at it. Pretty damn good at it as a matter of fact, but I knew deep down it wasn’t my calling. I found myself “gutting it out” and sticking with it because I didn’t want to disappoint my family, friends, coworkers and bosses…and I was afraid. Afraid that I wouldn’t find my real calling and that my family couldn’t survive a drastic cut in pay.
Well, in a leap of faith I gave myself permission to say YES. YES to being the wife and mother I wanted to be and to pursuing my true calling. It certainly wasn’t the path of least resistance and there were (are) plenty of ups and downs but I can honestly say, unequivocally, that I have never been happier.
So, maybe it’s time for you too. Time to stop saying “I can’t do such and such because…I’ll disappoint my parents, no one in my family has ever done it, I might fail, I might succeed, I might hurt someone’s feelings, no one will understand why”….and on and on. Perhaps it’s time to give yourself permission to say YES…YES to:
- Taking a chance…a leap of faith
- Trusting and not worring so much
- Leaving an unhealthy relationship
- Being just a little selfish
- Taking a break
- Straying from your diet and eating a piece of chocolate
- Taking care of yourself physically
- Taking care of yourself spiritually
- Pursuing your interests and your hobbies
- Being honest with your feelings
- Fulfilling your dreams
I know this idea isn’t easy and I’m not saying that you need to quit your job. But if you are at all experiencing thoughts of regret, animosity or resentment in certain areas of your life, maybe its worth taking a long hard look at the reasons your are experiencing those feelings. Maybe you just need to give yourself permission to let go of those ugly feelings and pursue your dreams and passions. Give yourself permission. Permission to lead a more focused, less stressful, happier life. A life more…simplifized.