Be exactly who you want to be.
Stop hiding your magic.
I’m learning to boldly take up space.
I’m unlearning that I should be quiet, shrink to the sidelines and tiptoe around my needs. I am especially unlearning that my main mission in this life is to make others comfortable – at my expense. It’s from when we’re little girls, to be seen and not heard, to teenagers whose opinions are met with “I’m older than you so I know better” to young adults who are told that they are “too much”, “too little” and “never enough”. “Too intense”, “too emotional”, “too serious”…I’ve heard it all…and you know what? I am returning (these opinions) to sender.
Taking up space to me, means existing and thriving on my terms.
I’m learning to let people’s opinions be just opinions – not commandments on how to live my life. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent too much time shrinking; trying to repress who I really am so that I can fit into a particular mould. However, my authentic self keeps showing up like “hey girl, still here!” and I am tired of holding her prisoner. She’s way too bomb to be locked up – she deserves to shine in all of her glory. She deserves to take up space.
As we become cognizant of our conditioning, it’s important to take what works for us and form personal values and beliefs. It’s important to do the things we want to do, rather than those that are nothing but cultural demands.
While it’s a lifelong process of learning to expand in all the ways I need to, here are some of the ways I’m taking up space:
Accept your reality, no matter how wonderful or empty it feels. Embrace it in its fullness. Acceptance has been the simplest way for me to meet myself, grow in love with my quirks and to do better when I need to. When you accept yourself, your life, your past and your choices, it empowers you. You start to move different – in accordance with, rather than resistance to, life.
“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person. It’s about becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.” – Heath L Buckmaster
Let life happen. That’s how you take your power back.
…that every room you’re in is a room you belong in (thank Shonda Rhimes for this one). Make up your mind. You’d be shocked at how much is in your control. While this requires a great deal of confidence, the good news is that confidence is a muscle you can cultivate.
While we’re here, TD Jakes has a word for us.
Speak Your Mind
Voicing my opinions doesn’t come naturally; I’ve always tried to do everything I can not to disturb the peace. But since when is that synonymous with not using my voice? I mean this both literally and figuratively. I am realising that it works better for me, my relationships and my career, if I communicate as often and as honestly as I need to. I’ve declared peace with with my body, as it is. I am dressing it in colour. I’m using my creativity in the ways I enjoy. I’m choosing to live in the essence of my fullest expression.
The more I express myself, the more I speak up and the more I put myself out there, the more comfortable I am being myself – regardless of what others think.
– when you’re not wrong. If you are wrong, apologize. Profusely even. But when it comes to being you, never, ever apologise for that. Read that, then read it again.
Set Clear Boundaries
As a recovering people pleaser, I’ve prioritised being liked and accepted over setting healthy boundaries. However, I now know that in order to fill my cup, honour myself, live in tune with my desires and have healthier relationships, I must set physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits. I must practice saying no when I need to and yes when I want to.
Do yourself a favour and check out this awesome tweet on setting boundaries.
Make Room for Inspiration
From the books I read, the people I follow on social media to the people I interact with, I am deliberate about surrounding myself with positive influences. It’s one of the easiest ways to spark curiosity, passion, motivation and joy in your heart and mind. Reminders to stay on course, captain!
Celebrate the process of showing up for and stepping into yourself.
And in case you need one last reminder, you’re allowed to take up space. We’re all allowed to take up space.