Over the last week, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders.
I've been actively searching for wisdom and fulfillment, both external and internal, for a few years now. Ever since my self-proclaimed "quarter-life crisis," I've started a journey of consciously trying to live out my truth and empower others to do the same.
It's taken me a long time to get here, and I certainly still have a long time to go on this journey, but, over the last week or so, I felt this huge barrier break. Now it's not to say I won't have to work each and every day to make sure that pesky little obstacle won't rebuild itself while I'm not looking, but the destruction of it was something so simple and straight forward that I needed to share with all of you.
First, let's backtrack for a second.
I believe we are all put here for a purpose. You were created with unique, God-given talents, skills, and passions -- and I'm a firm believer that our purpose in life is to live out all of those things for which we were created.
I used to think this sounded fluffy. And I held myself back from voicing my beliefs because I was scared that other people would think this too. Thankfully along the journey I've slowly been learning to shed the weight of others' opinions (huge shout out to Brené Brown's Daring Greatly for a huge mental shift with this one).
If anyone one else struggles with filtering their thoughts or holds themselves back from sharing their truths, I'll leave you with this quick excerpt:
Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it's a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands. -- Brené Brown
Until people are joining you in the arena and not hiding behind their social media feeds, until they start showing up as their true, authentic, and vulnerable selves, then their opinions are of no concern of mine.
Accepting this was a fairly big breakthrough for me on its own, and if it resonates at all with what you're going through, I cannot recommend reading Daring Greatly enough.
Back to the point: I am finally, fully committing to sharing all aspects of this journey. You have my word that I will no longer hold back in fear of what others may think or say. I will speak my truth, and I hope you will join me on this endeavor.
So what's the big secret discovery to finding your happiness?
Giving yourself permission to be happy.
It sounds so simple, but until someone actually TELLS you to give yourself permission, it can be hard to accept it yourself. A few weeks ago, my boyfriend (who is also my co-founder) and I met with a life coach who immediately sensed all of my self-doubt or uncertainty in what I was sharing. She told us that in her years of coaching and empowering others, the thing that she has always received the most positive and appreciative response was her simple statement that we need to give ourselves permission to be happy.
We all deserve to be happy. We genuinely believe that, and it's a large part of why we created Quarter for Your Crisis - to build a community of Millennials who are all looking to live their most fulfilling, intentional lives (aka: happiness).
Then, last week I started reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. In it she has a section titled "Your Permission Slip" where she writes:
"You do not need a permission slip from the principal's office to live a creative life. Or if you do worry that you need a permission slip - THERE, I just gave it to you. I just wrote it on the back of an old shopping list. Consider yourself fully accredited. Now go make something."
Now, you may not be thinking in terms of a "creative" life here, but I believe this idea rings true for all of us. You do not need a permission slip to live your best life.
So many of us worry that we are too young, or don't have the right degree, or don't have the right experience, or [insert excuse here] - when all we're really doing is getting in the way of our own happiness.
Give yourself permission to be happy.
For me, it took two completely unrelated and qualified sources gave me the EXACT SAME advice before I finally felt the shift in my mind. It's okay to want happiness. It's not selfish to want to live your best life. It's perfectly acceptable to want to live a more authentic, intentional life - actually, it's more than acceptable. I think it's vital - It's what we're all looking for at the end of the day: happiness. Or joy. Or fulfillment. Or whatever that word is for you, at the end of our days, we're looking to live the life God created us for.
Today, I want to pass along the permission slip to you.
We are all created for a purpose, and the only way to even begin our journey of fulfilling that purpose is to first give ourselves the permission to be happy.
This post was originally published on Quarter for Your Crisis, a community for Millennials who believe in the power of living intentionally.