Today I took my goofy dog Alfred out for a walk. We live now on the edge of Loch Fyne on the west coast of Scotland. It’s beautiful here. And lots of people enjoy the outdoors by climbing hills and walking long distance trails. This morning I walked the half mile or so down to the water and then sat in my favourite spot just above the shore, surrounded by blooming heather and watching the gannets dive for fish out on the loch. Freaking idyllic! But I caught myself thinking that MY way of being outside today wasn’t enough. That I should be more aggressive and exploratory with my outings. That my satisfaction with moving slowly through the world right now was some how wrong and not enough. I could feel the tension beginning to rise inside me. I thought about going home and just getting to work if I wasn’t going to be “doing” something.
But I stopped myself. And I made the decision that being myself was actually absolutely perfect. I gave myself permission to have my own experiences. I gave myself permission to not cheapen my own joy by worrying if it was everyone’s. Making that decision kept me in the beauty of the present moment and let the tension all seep back out. I went on to putter in the low tide looking for mussels and cockles, and spend another precious August hour outside.
Are your beliefs making your world smaller than it could be? Do your should’s and have to’s make you think that you can’t do anything unless you do it “that” way? Sometimes our judging of ourselves based on what we think things should look like or what other people do stops us from having our own experience. It’s so important that we spend some time inventorying the beliefs that we keep in our heads and ask whether or not they are having a positive impact.
Learning to give ourselves Permission is a life skill you will never regret teaching yourself. If you are interested try the How To Give Yourself Permission mini-course. If you are interested in teaching it check out my Permission for Coaches Course.