I wanted to try something a bit different with you this week, and make this blog post more interactive. Instead of providing an educational resource in the form of an article, I have put together a reflective piece to give you the opportunity for some personal development.
Making yourself small is a learned response, and often starts in our early years. If you struggle with asserting yourself, and taking up space in rooms that you deserve to be in, consider these questions as valuable tools for your journey.
When (and with who) did I first learn that my thoughts and feelings were not valid?
Validation is an important part of feeling capable of taking up space to be seen and heard. Take time to consider when you've recently been invalidated by yourself and/or others.
What role does keeping myself small play in my life?
Although counter-intuitive, we may reinforce behaviour that teaches us to sit back and not speak up for what we need and desire. What function does this play in your life? Does hanging back have any benefit right now? Think about this with curiosity and not judgement. Just reflect.
Who are the people in my life who encourage me to be my whole self?
Think about those people who uplift you when you need it the most, and challenge you to show up for your goals and dreams. How engaged are you in maintaining those relationships and building that into your world?
What triggers me to feel unsafe when I need to express myself?
Knowing the triggers that get in the way of allowing you to expand and take up space instead of shrinking away can be helpful to prevent setbacks on this journey.
What does successfully taking up space look like in my life?
Be as descriptive and imaginative as possible. Dream about what it looks and feels like to take up space and assert yourself and your ideas with intention.
Let me know in the comments if you liked the more interactive and reflective approach. Enjoy spending some time in reflection.