“We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it as not as dreadful as it appears, discovering that we have the strength to stare it down.”
Achieving your goals in life and improving your life is totally possible.
With clear reasons, stretching goals, good habits and a system or person to keep you accountable, you can definitely experience real and lasting progress.
However, despite this, it can often be the case that people don’t get started.
Even if the end result would be more happiness.
Or people get started, and then stall and don’t’ get started again, so that after much time has passed, nothing fundamental really changes at all.
A big reason in my experience as a coach is that people don’t give themselves permission to succeed or to live the life they want.
They don’t know how to.
Feel that they shouldn’t give themselves permission to live a big life.
That’s it not their right.
Just to be clear, living a big life isn’t about fame and glory.
I mean just living a life that’s happier and more fulfilling than the experience you are used to.
Deep down you may want to live a more fulfilling life but can’t find the courage or a practical way to get really comfortable with the idea that a different life and experience is ok.
If you have found yourself wanting to create change but you are still going around in circles, consider if you need to give yourself permission to succeed.
When people don’t commit or take the first steps to really pursue their dreams, it’s often because they feel the need to get the green light from someone else (alive or dead) to begin and dive in.
They’ve given away their own power and free will to determine the direction of their one, precious life.
It could be because of anxiety.
Or concern about getting out of a comfort zone.
Or it could be that certain skills and ‘know-how’ are missing so the feeling of being an imposter determines their choices.
Whatever it might be it comes down to self-confidence that’s being restricted because of limiting beliefs.
So you may seek approval and permission from everybody else, except first and foremost from yourself.
Many people may say that isn’t the case.
That they are in charge of their own destiny.
That they do want they want.
They are “living their best life”.
Masters of their fate.
Captains of their soul.
Except, in the heat of the moment, limiting beliefs have an annoying habit of reappearing with vengeance and stopping progress.
How you might not give yourself permission to live your life
By limiting beliefs I mean the ideas a person has about their life and the world or environment they live in.
It’s a partial version of the whole story and it keeps them stuck.
One very real impact of limiting beliefs is to stop people from taking action. It persuades people to give up on going for greater happiness even before they’ve really started.
It could be you are afraid that even the people closest to you might be critical of what you may want to do. That they might think it’s silly and foolish.
So, you don’t give yourself permission to step forward into a new chapter of your life.
It could be the pull of the past. Situations that you were involved in professionally or romantically that are long over but are keeping you trapped and limited in terms of what you could experience in the future.
So, you don’t give yourself permission to succeed and live the life you want.
It could be due to the tradition or culture that you’ve grown up with, that you feel means you can’t go in a different direction because of social expectation. If you dare to step out onto your own path, you’ll be punished or ostracised from the clan.
So, you bury your own desires, play the part of someone you are not and remain scared to give yourself permission.
Even social media, where we can all get wrapped up in the opinions of people we don’t even know or may ever meet, can keep you mentally trapped and discourage you from taking action on that business or idea.
So, you find imaginary obstacles and don’t give yourself permission to go after your dreams, express yourself or to be more creative.
Giving yourself permission really matters for your own happiness
If you hold back from giving yourself permission and don’t go for those things that really matter to you deep down, you’ll stop growing.
One day, the chances are that you will feel stagnated.
You’ll feel limited and you won’t feel you are living the most of the one life you have.
It matters as it effects not only simple things, like choosing a hobby or a pet.
It affects the most PROFOUND things about your life.
Who you love.
What you think.
Who you are.
How you live.
Look out for when you hold yourself back.
There are many subtle ways you may do so, from things that may seem small and innocuous, to choices that end up shaping the rest of your life (even if you don’t realise this at the time).
Instead of trying a new way to dress and starting a new trend, Vincent decides it’s too outrageous and that he should keep within the bounds of ‘social acceptability.’ He isn’t able to express himself fully.
Instead of trying the new hobby she’s been thinking about for years, Kate holds back as she is worried about what others might think. It’s not the worrying that matters, it’s that she ultimately puts others’ views over her own interests when there is no good reason to.
Instead of saying what he really thinks about a situation, José pretends to believe something else, so that he can fit in with the crowd he’s hung out with for years. He even defends it with a passion.
Instead of focusing on what could go right with a new business or idea, Emma focuses mostly on what could go wrong, and doesn’t balance this out with what could go right. So, she doesn’t move forward with even exploring her idea – which might have changed lives.
There are many, many examples of people who changed the world, who failed time and time again, but gave themselves permission to succeed. They weren’t special or divinely blessed in some way.
Ask yourself ‘what if’?
What if you gave yourself permission to succeed and live the life you want?
Imagine how much more fulfilled you’d would be if you were being truer to yourself.
It’s not always easy but try and focus on giving yourself permission first and foremost, as in the long term it will be better even if there is short term pain.
Fear plays such a massive part in life to the point that it can determine the story of what a life ends up being in the long term.
It’s easy to sail through life being knocked by the push and pull of fear without facing it down or sometimes even realising when we’re acting, thinking and living because of fear.
Depending on how we respond, this can lead to success/failure; happiness/unhappiness; great experiences/average experiences; a fulfilled life/unfulfilled life.
Getting past it can be helped by the mastery of courage.
Mastery is the word I use deliberately because courage isn’t a static or stationary thing.
In the face of some new difficulty or challenge, courage requires a person to try their best to step up/move forward and past the barrier.
Courage has to be found again, and again and again, and again and again and again.
Coaching is a great way to help someone find or remind themselves of their own courage.
Committing to that act of repeated courage takes a lot of time to learn and to be comfortable with.
But it’s essential if dead energy and old experiences are to be put aside and new opportunities taken advantage of.
Moving past fear and anxiety comes from daily tackling the little and big situations that unnerve us with a healthy dose of courage. Then it’s possible to see that the worst is unlikely to happen (most of the time) and that you’re more capable and stronger than you thought.
What will you do next?
If you’d like to make a change in your own life and start going after the kind of life you really want, get in touch for a complimentary session. As a coach I’ll work with you and push you to give yourself permission to succeed.
Still not sure. Take a few seconds to read what some clients have also said about me here.
Check out some other articles I’ve written that might help whether you get in touch or not. I hope they help y0u.