Today I want to share three of the most common roadblocks my clients tend to have, and how to give yourself permission to overcome them. Because even when a therapist says the exact right thing in session, that’s only a 50 minute block of your week. The rest of the time, it’s just you out there, and you’ll need to consistently give yourself permission to overcome those roadblocks the other 10,030 minutes of the week.
For some reason, there are certain things we have no problem saying to other people, but can’t seem to bring ourselves to believe or apply to our own life. For example, we may readily give a friend or co-worker a compliment on how nicely she is dressed today or how well her hair looks, and yet…rarely (if ever) do we stand before the mirror and give ourselves a similar compliment. We seem ever-ready and willing to give our besties compassion and sound advice in their most difficult conundrums, and yet, we often struggle greatly within ourselves when it comes to what to do about things in our own lives.
Believe me friends, this is a common occurrence. The problem for most of us is that we, for a multitude of reasons, don’t trust ourselves. Perhaps you grew up constantly second-guessing yourself because, according to your parents, you could never do anything right. Or maybe you suffered from low self-esteem due to bullying or feeling left out at school and so you learned to look to the crowd for what was right, neglecting your own instincts.
Whatever the reason (and believe me, there are many more), most people struggle to give themselves the same compassion and sound advice they so easily give to others. One of the main questions I ask my clients when they struggle to decide what to do in a certain situation is: “If your best friend was in the exact same situation, what words would you say to them? What advice would you give to them?” It may take a bit of coaxing (some people will protest, stating all the reasons they’re not like they’re best friend or why their best friend wouldn’t need advice…sigh), but eventually each person usually comes up with the exact right thing they need to hear, say, or do.
It’s a beautiful thing. And not just because it makes my job a whole lot easier because my client just said the perfect thing so I don’t have to. 😉
And sometimes, despite our trying, despite our very best efforts, we fail. Yes, even though we showed up and did our best, our best might have included something we wish we hadn’t said or done. It might include a regret here or there. It might include a desperate wish for a do-over. And, friends…that’s ok. That’s normal, even. Why? Because nobody’s perfect. So extend some compassion toward yourself and leave your past in your past. I realize this is easier said than done, which is why I wrote this post.
We need to worry less about making a mistake (see above), and worry more about being fully present in our lives and living each day to the fullest. Think about the decisions you typically agonize over, and find a way to go with your gut. If you’re still a newbie at this, that’s ok. Choose randomly by flipping a coin or using a randomizer form until you see that no matter what decision you make, it’s not make or break. Once you realize this, you will find it easier to trust yourself. You will find yourself tuning in to what really sounds, looks, or feels good to you. And then, ideally, you will do more of that.
I hope this post can encourage you to give yourself permission to live your best life, my friends. These struggles are common to most people, but just because they are common doesn’t mean we have to accept them. Please let me know if you have any questions!
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