How many of us are raised in feeling uncomfortable in asking for something from others? And even worse, giving ourselves the permission to do something in fear of coming across as selfish? Society tells us to grow up, get an education, find a partner, get married, etc, and we often fill our time in blocks. When are we allowed to take the time to think about ourselves and our desires?
Over the years, I had struggled to give myself permission to do anything. Permission to take time for myself. Allowing myself to say no. Taking opportunities that could cause some conflict but felt right for me. A belief that I held, as many of us do, is that the needs of others come before our own. I had to put a brave face on and be the support for everyone else.
The biggest risk I have taken is giving myself permission to put myself first. When starting our journey, at any point in our life, the hardest part is giving ourselves the opportunity to say yes. Yes we can.
How can anyone possibly do this? Reflecting back, it blew my mind that my first step was acknowledging the need to actually focus on accomplishing my dream as a life coach and that entailed taking less time to teach. As many know, teaching is not a 9-5 job. We often take our work home, prepare, worry about a student who may not have the best home life and many other roles teachers have. As an experienced teacher working in different grades around the world, I knew that I couldn't balance teaching and this new venture. I needed to change a piece in my puzzle.
So what steps did I take? I knew I needed to work part-time, but was it even possible? I had to break it down and the big question that arose was, how can I allow myself to move forward in following my dreams?
This is what I had to consider before feeling safe in allowing myself to take the risk of working part-time:
1) First and foremost, we need to trust ourselves. By listening to our inner voice, we know what is right. Have you ever made possibly the easiest decision in the world? What did it feel like to simply know?
For me, I knew working part-time would give me the opportunity to try this new path while making enough to get by. I can't say that I have always trusted myself, but in the past few years, I have definitely built that inner knowing and trust to know when I am making the right decisions. Life provides in ways we hope for. We just need to believe.
2) Plan it out: We can't go into this blind. We can have faith but it doesn't mean we just passively allow something to happen. We can put our heart into it, but we also need to DO something.
This was difficult. I had trouble asking for things and was definitely practicing this skill. I knew I would have to talk to my boss about the opportunity to work part-time next year. Not only that, I had to work through my finances to see how to make it possible. Of course, I needed to shift things and I knew I could tutor if I needed to.
3) Be curious: In order to change our route, there is someTHING we need to tweak. Be curious as to what you have in front of you and play with changing something in that. See what happens because the idea is to find a more fulfilling life, right?
I was not only curious but desperate to try something different. I had not tried to take time off from teaching and definitely held fears about it but was also curious because it wasn't about failure, but instead, success. By being curious and taking a different step than what I was already doing, I knew it would change my course in a different direction.
By exploring these three things, I was able to feel confident (and of course nervous, excited, etc) in allowing myself to take this leap. And know what? I finally did ask for part-time work and was granted it. At the time, it was the scariest thing because I allowed myself to change my path and pursue my dream by trusting my abilities, planning and remaining curious. By giving myself the go-ahead to pursue this, everything seemed to have fallen into place. When we are true to ourselves and give ourselves the permission to do something, we tend to feel lighter.
What are your dreams? In what ways are you holding back from moving forward? What can we do to set up an action plan in your life to move past your fears and make your dreams a reality? Give yourself permission to live the life you want and connect with me.