when you feel locked up

I have spent much of my life seeking praise for my actions. Though I knew I was doing a good job, it wasn’t until those around me verbalized it that I truly felt successful. This external validation has been dangerous because what I was really asking for is the validation that I was, truly, good enough. I would venture to guess that in some way your story is similar to mine. Though the details may be different, through seeking validation we ask others to argue with the lies that we tell ourselves daily – that we aren’t good enough, as I did. Or maybe it is you aren’t smart enough, or pretty enough. Maybe you think you don’t deserve the good that is happening around you. But these are all lies and learning to break through these lies is the first step to start living a more peaceful life.

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Throughout my journey, there are a few things that have helped. Give them a try. The one thing I will tell you, though, is that it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience. Patience in yourself, forgiveness when you fall short, and a smile when you can’t do anything else.

  1. Give yourself permission to find your truth. What I mean by this is that if you don’t give yourself to permission to be you – the true you that exists deep below all the pain, lies and fear – you can’t even begin to start.
  2. Be open to tears. Tears aren’t bad. If you have read my previous posts, you will know that I actually love tears. If you find yourself practicing yoga on a regular basis, many of the poses open up and release stuff from your past and you might just find yourself sobbing. I actually had this happen just this past weekend. Goddess pose, some awesome breath, and the tears started flowing. Embrace this. Be grateful for this. You will feel lighter for it!
  3. Identify the lies. If you truly think about it, and meditate on it, you will know the lies. They are the little voices in your head that when you hear them you feel worse about yourself. They never build up, they only break down.
  4. Do not – I repeat – DO NOT justify the lies. These are lies in themselves.
  5. Identify your truth. This might not be something earth shattering or something that changes the course of your life, but it will give you ammunition against the lies.
  6. Surround yourself with truth. Put them on sticky notes and post on your mirror, in your car or next to your bed. Every time you see it, repeat it. For me, there are some lies that are so deeply rooted into me that though I have identified them, they still seem true. It will take time for me to change and eliminate these from my life. I may not ever be able to. But I can focus on truths.
  7. What’s in the past is done. Leave it there.
  8. I will always come back to this. Our breath brings us life. Deep breaths can keep us from spiraling, or at least take the edge off of the spiral. When you feel the lies starting to take over, stop, breath, refer to point 6.

My hope for you today, and every day, is that you Be You. Fearlessly.

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