Do we allow ourselves to be ourselves? We are all different. We have different personalities, dreams, goals, and priorities. We also have different backgrounds and have lived different experiences. Each of us reacts differently in front of similar situations. We also see and interpret things in a different way. What is important to me may not be so important to you. What affects me so profoundly maybe doesn’t affect you with the same intensity. This means that in life, everything is relative, and what other people think about us and what we think about ourselves is also relative.
We live in a culture where we should fill the expectations of others. We are supposed to be perfect daughters or sons, perfect family members, students, friends, spouses, parents, perfect at work, and of course, be fitted and beautiful. The expectations are very high, and those of course, are also relative for each of us.
My blog is about putting words into action, but not to be perfect for others but to be better for ourselves. In order to do that, we have to put another word into action and that word is “allow.” We need to “allow” ourselves to be who we are, with the good and not so good, without trying to fulfill the expectations of others. Instead, we should focus on fulfilling the expectations we have for ourselves.
Allowing ourselves to be ourselves is not an easy task. Again, society and people around us put a lot of pressure on who we should be, how we should think and act, and even how we should feel. This is a pressure we receive every single day without realizing it, and sometimes that pressure makes us too harsh with ourselves, creating what we all know as stress. So, how can we reduce that stress?
7 things we must "allow" ourselves to do to reduce stress:
1. Allow ourselves to make mistakes:
Do you remember the last time you made a mistake? Every time, the feeling is usually the same. We feel embarrassed and tend to beat ourselves up very hard. But guess what? It is impossible to live a life without making mistakes.
Our lives are like a very challenging project where we learn while we live. Living is a very complex miracle full of too many things, and one of those things is our mistakes. Like it or not, they are part of our lives, and we have to allow ourselves to make them. This doesn’t mean we are going to make mistakes on purpose. What it means is that when we make a mistake, we should stop seeing it as the end of the world. Instead, let’s try to reprogram ourselves and see our mistakes like a way to learn. Let’s remember that our lives are a work in progress managed by us, and we are not perfect. We are always learning and changing, and our mistakes are part of what makes that possible.
2. Allow ourselves to cry:
Have you ever cried for hours until no more tears can come out? At that moment, we feel like we emptied a container that was about to explode. Crying is one way our body has to release emotions. Every time we hold our tears, we tell our bodies to stop doing something they desperately need to do. Some people believe crying is being weak. In my opinion, crying is one of the best ways to decompress what we can’t hold anymore. Crying has several health benefits, and it is a natural mechanism our bodies have to heal themselves. We should always allow our bodies to do what they naturally need. I am very sure our bodies know better.
3. Allow ourselves to be alone:
Some people don’t like to be alone. Others think that being alone is sad or bad. Others, like one of my friends, enjoy it. He always says:
“I am going to be with my favorite person: myself.”
I like his saying. Allowing ourselves to be alone gives us the opportunity to enjoy being with who we are in addition to other interesting benefits. I think we all need some time alone from time to time. The key is to use that time alone to renovate ourselves in any way the word renovation works for us.
4. Allow ourselves to let go:
We should allow ourselves to put into action the word minimalism and let go of material things that we don’t need or use any more, especially when those things don’t do any good to us. In the same way, we should allow us to let go of toxic people and negative feelings, memories, or experiences that only fill our hearts with resentment, anger, and guilt. Allowing ourselves to let go of things that negatively affects us will help us to reduce stress and live better. I know letting go of feelings and emotions is very hard, but it is something we need to do for our health.
5. Allow ourselves to forgive:
Forgiving others and ourselves is one of those things that usually requires time. When we get hurt, we tend to put the word forgiving aside without realizing that forgiving is the best way to heal. In my opinion, allowing ourselves to forgive is by no means to forget. It is just allowing ourselves to let go of all the bad feelings another person or ourselves made us feel. Allowing us to forgive is allowing us to find peace for ourselves.
6. Allow ourselves to enjoy:
Life is hard and short. We are always too busy and frequently say that we don’t have time for anything. We have plenty of things to worry about and even more when we are parents of teenagers. We play the game of worry: worry about our kids, spouses, families, jobs, money, health, economy, politics, climate change, the news, how we look, what people think about us, what will happen next in the Netflix series we are watching, and so on. We worry about the past, the present, and the future even though we know the present is the only real thing we have. We worry so much that we forget to enjoy. I suggest playing a different game: the game of enjoying. There are plenty of things we can enjoy if we just put into action the word awareness. Yes, let’s be aware of everything we appreciate and allow ourselves to enjoy each of them. Read my post about “Let’s Go and Enjoy”
7. Allow ourselves to receive help:
How many times have we said “no, thanks” to someone who offers us to help when we most need it? There are usually two reasons why we answer “no, thanks.” The first one is that we don’t want to bother anyone. The second one is that we think that we can do it by ourselves. The problem with these two reasons is that in the end, we are depriving ourselves of being helped. I genuinely believe that when life gets tough, God sends angels to help us. It is our job to recognize those angels and accept their help.
I have been told my whole life that I am a strong and tough person, and that assumption is maybe right. However, there are times that I don’t feel that strong but still need to perform strong. I do it because it is what people are expecting from me, and ironically it is also what I am expecting from myself. Last week I went through one of those times when I needed to perform strong until I decided to allow myself to be whoever I was in that specific moment. I just decided to stop performing.
If we want to lower our level of stress, we need to allow ourselves to be who we are in any specific moment. As I said before, we are a work in progress. Always changing, never static. We should allow ourselves to be ourselves. We should also be our favorite people and treat ourselves likewise.
What do you think?
Here it is another interesting post about this topic that might interest you:
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