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Give Yourself the Permission to Live

Transitioning from childhood to adulthood came with tell-tale experiences for me. So I document the lessons.

Of the first things I observed growing up was the ease with which hurts festered in the adult world. Contrary to the oneness and openness found within the children’s space, the adult world seems encumbered with deceits, slander, wrong motives…hidden agendas from the charade of insecurities to deliberate selfish moves; adults seem to hurt one another without the naive discretion of a child.

These were not things I was schooled on in preparation for adulthood. As such, adaptation became necessary to survival. Along the line, I learned some things quickly: “Adaptation in Life Battles”.

Needless to say, learning the ropes brought me great relief. But when I look away from myself to the world around me, I see a teeming world of adults who are afraid to live.

Theodore Roosevelt on a soft easy life

Amongst the many reasons is the fear of failure and criticism given the very process of living comes with slips, falls, clumsiness, and errors.

While this is not exempt from the children’s world, the free spirit of the child makes it of less consequence. But in the world of adults, it is an entirely complicated process.

I wish we all had the right environment to learn: an environment that allows for mistakes and retakes, where wrong acts are condemned and not the person; an environment that allows one to come out of his shell by trying without fear, an environment of guidance and correction rather than slander and shaming.

However, in reality, we often see the opposite. Understandably it exists for so many reasons, yet, you must give yourself the permission to live. You must be true to you – being all you have been called to be. You must give yourself the permission to attempt certain things not for folly but in the sincerity of a nudging/a conviction about it while being open to learning and correction.

Instinctively, we know certain things about ourselves and our assignments on earth. It may be raw and vague but it is not entirely novel to us. This is because purpose isn’t something handed at the point of discovery; it is a process that begun at birth. It is often interwoven in one’s experiences and the stirrings of your heart. But you will not know it if you never tried out anything for the fear of failure and criticism.

I do not know if there are efforts without mistakes, but I found my assignment from making many mistakes – just my story by the way.

One silly thing I did that led me directly to it was speaking out against something which I felt so much dissatisfaction about but in a setting that made it wrong. Gratefully, there was a good man beside me who saw a light in my flop. After addressing the issue appropriately, he instructed me to go pray and ask God about my purpose. A question I had asked countless times in the past yet, as though it was waiting for me – this time I got a direct answer.

However, it came from a . attempt, not because I wanted to be stupid but because I did not know any better, yet giving expression to something coming out of me.

Imagine if I held back at that time for the fear of being judged… Really, what do you have to lose by letting down your guard? Come to terms with the fact that learning comes with mistakes. And if you are going to learn or do anything significant, you must be willing to observe quite alright, but try out things much more.

You cannot afford to be held bound by the fear of failure. It is what it is – a mistake requiring a retake. There is nothing like a stupid mistake. If you knew better, you would have avoided it. Now you can learn from it and keep going trying again or brood over it and remain stuck right there.

Given some mistakes are costly, there is the admonition to seek right counsel from the right sources. So we seek guidance always and we exercise faith. The proof of faith is action on a handful of information/instructions often without certainty. After prayers, you must have some faith in God and let go of the weight of fear/unnecessary expectations to be able to act with a handful of guidance.

If you are scared of criticism, the truth is it is inevitable no matter what end of the rope you stand. It is natural for humans to judge what they do not understand: either you are doing something new they do not understand or you are living less and they do not understand why you can’t do better.

So if you will take my stance on this: I would rather be judged trying and trying again than in living less with uttermost dissatisfaction and fear.

May I leave you with this quote I got from a movie:

The brave may not live the longest, but the timid do not live at all.

Along the line, it was also said:

Fear comes to all. However, courage is simply realizing that some things are more important than fear.

You want to leave fear alone and move on to life. What do you say to this?

Theodore Roosevelt’s quote – The Man in the arena

Loved this post? See also: I Lived Once

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Sophia Eledu

Hi, I'm Sophia Eledu, a happy writer and founder of LTBreviews. When I'm not blogging, I might be found copyediting or savoring some good books.

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