Ugh I know, I know. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Remember my 2018 word of the year? Confidence is not my strong suit just yet, but I’m really working on it. Part of that is continuing this blog without the gut-wrenching fear of hitting publish.
But anyway, thanks for your patience and sticking around! Let’s dive in.
Lately, I’ve been reminding myself that I have as much right to Occupy my space as anyone else in this world. What in the world are you talking about, and how does this relate to self-care, Chelsea? I’ve had a lot of conversations about this lately so bear with me. I promise it makes sense.
I used to have a tough time at the Grocery Store. I don’t mean finding the best prices or making sure I brought my coupons. No. I would have panic attacks, I couldn’t make any decisions, and I forgot a lot of stuff because I just wanted to leave. I felt like I was in everyone’s way; like I took up too much space when all I really wanted was that little box of cereal on the top shelf (I wanted other hints too, but that was the most important).
Before we could get through the store, I was in the bathroom throwing up from yet another Grocery Store Panic Attack (yes, I’m giving it a name). It was brutal.
That wasn’t the only time I would have a GSPA. I was afraid to be in large crowds (like the time we went to Time Square ); I wouldn’t want to take the “good seat” in meetings because someone more important should sit there; and I surely didn’t want to be the center of attention when I went out with my friends (because that’s selfish, right?). I’ve always tried to take up as little space as possible and not be in anyone’s way.
It’s taken me six years to realize that I have the right to occupy my space. I don’t have to move because someone else wants to sit there. I don’t have to speed on the highway to prevent someone from getting upset with me going to speed limit (seriously, chill with the road rage). I don’t have to say “excuse me” 500 times when I’m walking the overcrowded sidewalks of Time Square.
I had to realize that they were in my way, not the other way around! I had every right to be there just like everyone else.
Why does this matter?
Every parent wants their child to know how important and significant they are in this world. We don’t want them feeling small and insignificant, having to apologize for their existence. That’s essentially what we do when acting that way. We’re telling the world I’m sorry for being a big inconvenience by wanting to be around.
In my quest for self-love and to set the example of self-love for my daughter, I have to respect myself enough to own my space unapologetically.
How does a woman claim her space without being a jerk?
1. JUST DO IT | Don’t question yourself. Don’t ask for permission to go after what you want. Don’t allow your lack of confidence or low self-esteem to hold you back. Say yes to things you wouldn’t typically do and just go for it.
2. BE UNAPOLOGETIC | Women apologize way too much. Stop it. You can be polite without putting yourself down and minimizing your value. I’m sooo sorry to bother you, but... is no longer an acceptable introduction.
3. GET IN YOUR HEAD | We are often the loudest, most critical voice in our heads. Change that by speaking positive thoughts to yourself. If you find that you’re thinking negatively, immediately remind yourself of something positive. What you think, you believe so start thinking good thoughts and believe in your value and worth.
4. SPEAK UP | If something’s not right or you feel wronged, speak up! You are allowed to (respectfully) call someone out and have a mistake corrected for you. Show your children that it’s okay to speak up for yourself when you need to instead of worrying about everyone else’s feelings or reactions. You don’t have to sit by uncomfortably watching other people have their way.
5. WRITE IT DOWN | You know those journals I’m always harping about? Yea, use them! Write down your affirmations, write what’s good in the world, and write down situations you encountered where you used one of these methods. Writing will help you visualize your progress and reflect on any setbacks that you had.
6. MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE | Sometimes you have to put yourself and your needs first. You don’t have to make yourself uncomfortable to make sure everyone else is comfortable. You deserve to be happy too. Stop sitting in the back of the room trying to not be in the way. You deserve a seat at the table as much as everyone else around (literally and figuratively).
You deserve that promotion! You’re allowed to start that business! You absolutely should write your amazing blog! Be your biggest advocate for the things you want and the space you want to occupy.
I’m not saying you should go out and be an a**hole to everyone you encounter, but you don’t have to diminish your value and always put yourself last. We were all given space that is solely for us. Whether it’s in the grocery store or the office, it’s yours. Don’t be afraid to take charge and own it! You don’t have to feel bad for it either.
My affirmations that inspired this post
My blog allows me to claim a space that is meant for me.
I have the right to occupy any space I am in.
I am adding value to others in this space.
I am important, valuable, and worthy.
My daughter will learn how to claim her space by my example.
I will treat myself with kindness and respect.
What are your affirmations to overcome your fear of claiming space?