Give Yourself Permission

Cynthia Herron Motivation 7 Comments

Image Credit: Naguo Lisin/PhotopinCC

Image Credit: Naguo Lisin/PhotopinCC

I think all of us can pinpoint times in life that are punctuated by craziness.

Job stress, illness, and unforeseen events are just a few examples of what can happen in a heartbeat. And if we’re already exhausted, it doesn’t take much to topple our walls of resolve.

The farther I go in the writing process, I realize just how critical self-care is. Giving ourselves permission to step away and take breaks occasionally is crucial.

I’ve written for 20+ years and seriously pursued publication for about the past three. If you’ve followed me here for a while, you know I had to put my writing career on hold for various reasons. (You can catch up with parts of my story here, here, and here.)

Besides working on various writing projects, I’ve blogged for about three years, too. In fact, I reached my 450th blog post milestone with my previous post.

Over the years, I’ve worked despite my daddy’s aneurysm, my mama’s open heart surgery, and during additional heartache and adversity.

I’ve stayed up late and given up sleep. I’ve denied myself simple pleasures.

I’ve plowed through rejections and overcome writer’s block.

At times, I’ve cried and railed and given into fear. And then– I’ve rallied again.

The point is: I’m not a wimp.

I’m used to work and hard stuff and all the in-betweens. I don’t expect a medal– it is what it is.

Writers’ lives are unique. There is no one-size-fits-all for the creative lot of us, but I think there are a few things that are universal when it comes to our craft.

I do have to say, within the past few months (even weeks), I’ve taken a new stance on some things.

I’m not sure what lit this fire except to say that maybe it’s a nudge from the Lord.

Recently, I decided to just give myself permission.

  • Permission to take more breaks.
  • Permission to step back from my computer occasionally.
  • Permission to enjoy life outside of the four walls of my office.
  • And this biggie–permission to pop in and out of my social media networks on more allotted time frames. (This is hard because I adore interacting with folks.)

And as I’ve said before, I don’t do every social media outlet known to man. That’s great if you do.

I’ve found that what works best for me is being active in those areas that I genuinely like and feel I can handle. (Ohhh, the lure of Pinterest is so strong! Right now, however, I know my limit and I’m putting that one on that back burner.)

I’ve attempted to give myself permission before and I thought I did a pretty good job. It’s funny, though, how old habits tend to creep in and steal your intent and motivation.

When I read this post by Ruthie Dean, it was somewhat of a lightning bolt moment for me. Ruthie summed up beautifully things I’ve considered.

Many of you are experiencing hardship today.

You may be afraid that if you give yourself permission to step back, take time away, or turn off the noise for a while, your mission will get lost in the shuffle.

Not true.

God’s got your back.

Here’s what I want you to know:

Dazzling Debbies and Dynamic Dans are here to stay. You can’t change them or be them. Acknowledge their…er…attributes, but give yourself permission to develop your own.

You’ll feel better!


What do you need to give yourself permission to do?

Blessings Always,

Comments 7

  1. Jennifer Zarifeh Major

    I need permission to let go of my desire to take the world by storm.
    I have to remember to be IN the journey, not beside it. To not get swallowed whole by ambition, and just chill. Then, of course, when I do take time away and come back to my writing, I’m all “that was fun! DO IT AGAIN!!”

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    Cynthia Herron

    Jennifer, I’m so much wiser than I was even a just a few years ago. When I jumped back into the writing world I nearly exhausted myself by doing too much, too soon. I’ve never been one to keep up with the Joneses, but I tend to set my own bar particularly high. I loved what Ruthie Dean said in her blog post about self-care being so important.

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  4. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Self-care is kind of a weird concept for me, because I was so thoroughly inculcated in the ethos that I was an asset to be utilized – and expended – as necessity demanded, that it’s hard to imagine life was ever different.

    I tend to push to the point of exhaustion (and sometimes to the point of passing out), and then rest until the first moment I can get up again. To make the process ‘easier’ I purposely eschew comfort – aside from sitting on a hard chair at the computer, my seat is the floor for nearly everything. What’s a recliner??

    I don’t recommend this. It makes for a restricted view of life, with much of the flavor of Tacitus’ centurion – the one who “was all the more relentless because he had endured it himself”. Not fun to live with, I’m sure.

    I suppose it works for me. At this point I’m content with that.

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    Cynthia Herron

    Andrew, I tend to push myself relentlessly, so I understand your reasoning to a degree. Now–about “eschewing comfort”– you know what I’m going to say about “making the process easier,” right–that way, you don’t have to set yourself up for disappointment and further hardship/difficulty? =)

    Okay, I’ll stop. But… I won’t give up encouraging you to think outside those lines!

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