I almost got myself in a tizz this week. You see it was Tuesday already and I hadn’t written my weekly Blog. I was travelling this week and going to be away from my usual routine, plus had committed to staying away from my computer and phone as much as possible. So the pull of a ‘deadline’ was even more. I was annoyed at myself because it’s a commitment I’ve made. A standard. And if I couldn’t even stick to that it must mean I’m not good enough.
Funny how we get to ‘not good enough’ so quickly right?! I might be simplifying the process right now, however it really does happen that fast, albeit subconsciously. Without even realising why just yet, I was already in a tizz. I could feel myself getting anxious. Signs for me: Overly snappy with my boyfriend. Not sticking to one task. Running around doing lots at the same time but not really getting anything done. Not breathing properly (only breathing to my chest and not all the way through to my belly, so it’s like I feel stuck in my chest). And, pains in my stomach.
It happens quickly at times. And I have to really slow things down. Stop myself literally in my tracks and ask: Hey, what’s going on right now?
Given I’ve been asking some of these questions for a while now I’m actually quite fast at recognising the root cause of the symptoms when I actually pause to stop. What’s allowed me to get to the pause in the first place has been a journey of truly understanding that I am the creator of my own rules. I get to call the shots. To stop requires giving myself permission to do just that. And over the years the more I’ve giving myself permission to do so, the quicker I’ve been able to unravel the stress I’ve started to get myself into. The quicker I’ve been able to identify too what’s at the root cause of it all.
Which is why what I most want you to take away from today’s post: Permission.
Permission starts with you. We have this crazy way of creating all these rules that we don’t even realise we’re doing. Like my rule about not being a good enough person if I can’t get a Blog post out on time. Too often what happens is we create the rule in a split second and then forget about it. Yet what’s going on when we get in a ‘tizz’ is really that the rule is at the root cause of the tizz. And yet what we think is happening is that we’re feeling anxious, or that we suck because we’re not being productive, or that we’re not good enough because we couldn’t get all that stuff done.
Without giving ourselves permission to pause—to bring those hidden rules out into the spotlight. To reassess what’s working for us and what’s not—we’re essentially causing ourselves to consistently and constantly get into a tizz. That tizz can multiple. And before we know it we’re heading for burn out town.
Brene Brown has this beautiful anecdote about writing herself a ‘permission slip’ when she realised she was going into her shutdown mode (my version is a ‘tizz’). That she identified she wasn’t allowing herself to be all of her, to be fun, and have fun in that particular moment. Ever since she’s literally written herself out a note – a permission slip – as a reminder of what it is that’s totally okay in that moment, what it is she most needs.
And I’ve adopted the practice ever since I first heard her speak about this.
What I love most about the permission slip is that it brings out all those hidden rules, all the underlying causes of our frustrations and gets us to take an honest step forward. It gets us to question what it is we need and what it is that’s holding us back.
It doesn’t have to be complicated.
It really can be simple.
Next time you feel yourself getting into your own version of a ‘tizz’, how could a permission slip support you?
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