Be Happy. Give Yourself Permission To Be Who You Are.

Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in Personal Development | 33 comments

I can’t force happiness, nor can I create it by discipline. Happiness comes from within. Happiness must be nurtured to grow within me.

Often when I consider making a positive change in my life, I think about sacrifice, discipline, and hard work. What if all I really need to do is give myself permission to make choices that enrich my life?

Permission is acceptance.

Granting myself permission allows me to be who I am right now, and acknowledge who I want to be. It doesn’t require me to give up something, it encourages me to give something positive to myself.

I don’t need to be perfect to give myself permission to be happy, it’s not a reward a gain only when I’ve achieved results. Giving myself permission to be happy today accepts me as I am in this moment.

I want to share a personal story. My beloved dog Kaylo has a terminal illness and I’ve been fighting my feelings of grief. I’ve been telling myself that I shouldn’t be sad because I need to focus on making the most of the time he has left. I was trying to force myself to be happy by logic and will and it wasn’t working.

When I gave myself permission to grieve, I felt such relief. Part of me still felt sad, and yet I felt a little happier, too. Accepting my grieving as a normal and appropriate response freed me from struggling against the grief. Acceptance for my grief allowed me to feel happiness for the happy things in my life.

Permission is empowerment.

Giving myself permission allows me to shift my mindset from what I think I should do, to choosing what is right for me.

I make greater progress when I stop thinking I can’t feel good about myself until I become the person I want to be. Giving myself permission to be happy gives me the opportunity to make positive choices for myself right now.

I thought I couldn’t grieve until after we said goodbye to Kaylo, and when I gave myself permission to grieve I could chose to let go of my worry and fear. I can’t be anxious, fearful, and happy at the same time so I made a positive choice which to let go for my health and well-being.

Asking for permission works, too.

There are times I “should” myself to the point that giving myself permission to make positive choices, and be happy seems impossible. I find myself trapped by my idea of who I think I should be. When this happens, I call a trusted friend and ask them for permission to take care of myself. Everyone needs help from time to time, and an impartial perspective can be just what I need to make progress.

I was so entrenched in struggle against my grief over Kaylo’s illness I wasn’t able to give myself permission to grieve until a friend suggested I simply feel my feelings. Suddenly I could give permission to myself feel grief, and the grief didn’t seem so big anymore.

Giving yourself permission to be you nurtures positive choices and greater happiness.

Whatever you’re struggling with, consider giving yourself permission to be who you are today, and permission to make at least one positive choice for your health and happiness today. Try not to think about where you think you should be, or even where you want to be. Be where you are and work from there.

Resist the idea that positive change comes from sacrifice and discipline. You may find it easier to make positive choices and nurture happiness by empowering your choices instead of limiting them. You’ll be happier, too.

If you’re struggling and need help, ask for it. Words of acceptance and encouragement can come from someone else, too.

I love your comments! Have you ever given yourself permission to be who you are in this moment? How did it feel? What would you like to give yourself permission to do/be/say today?

wedding photo by sara lazio


  1. Hi Chrysta,

    Oh I love the message here! I think you said so much in this sentence here: Be where you are and work from there.

    This is the point of authenticity and truly the only place where we can be and make any sort of lasting changes in life. I love what you’re sharing here, Chrysta.

    Shine on, sister!


    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Cat!

      It is my experience that fighting against myself never gets me where I want to be, and that’s why I must always start with acceptance. Lasting change can only come when I accept myself as I am today. Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t want to grow and learn, only that I must start from the starting point. A realistic and honest assessment of self-value is needed for me to grow.

      Have a grateful day!


      • Hi Chrysta,

        I agree with you about fighting oneself. I think many people do not realize how much they do that because it’s so automatic. It seems to drive many people’s behaviours in life. Thanks to these bicameral minds!!

        So glad you’re working from the singular point of authenticity! It makes a huge difference!

        Cat 😉

  2. I enjoyed your article. I liked what you wrote “Resist the idea that positive change comes from sacrifice and discipline. You may find it easier to make positive choices and nurture happiness by empowering your choices instead of limiting them”. Sometimes the even the positive changes have to have sacrifices to achieve your outcome.
    I too have to give myself permission to be ok where I am at. Sometimes I want it all but when I really think about it, I already have the most important piece, that’s just being me.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, De! I appreciate you stopping by!

      In the world of personal development I kept reading about sacrifice and this caused me to recognize how I am instantly turned off to any change with sacrifice attached to it. The word sacrifice makes me think of what I’m giving up instead of what I might gain by making a positive choice. Resisting the idea of sacrifice helps me focus on what I will do, not what I won’t do. This practice is very empowering for me as I believe it can be for others.

      As much as I am constantly seeking growth and improvement, I cannot be happy with the me I want to be if I’m not happy with me I am today. This was such an important realization for me, and I’m happy to hear it was for you, too!

      Thanks for joining the conversation! Have a grateful day!


  3. Hi Chrysta,

    How enlightening! I see that I don’t give myself permission very often at all. I’m going to process this today to become more aware of when I’m trying to force something.

    I’m sorry about Kaylo. I think giving yourself permission to grieve gives you some peace, which Kaylo can feel and be comforted by.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Peggy!

      I love the idea of giving myself permission, because too often I try to will myself to be different instead of meeting myself where I’m at, and accepting myself as I am today. I find that giving myself permission to be who I am today helps me make greater progress than trying to force myself to be different, anyway!

      I appreciate your kind words about Kaylo. It’s a difficult situation, and I am learning to handle it with grace and compassion for myself as much as for Kaylo.

      Thank you for joining the conversation today! I would love to know how giving yourself permission worked out for you.

      Have a grateful day!


  4. Hi Chrysta,

    It’s my first time here. I met you on Adrienne’s blog. I am not new online, but kind of new in the bloggers community and I am trying to build online relationships.

    Sometimes it’s very hard for some of us to give ourselves permission. When I read those words I don’t think so much of myself, but of my mother. All her life she never give herself “permission” to be or feel what she really wanted because of the way she was brought up.

    It’s a concept she learned a bit about later in life when I started studying the laws of the universe. I tried to teach her what I was learning about this concept and more.

    Thanks for this great post :)

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Sylviane!

      There is something about the idea of giving ourselves permission that is so powerful, don’t you agree? We place unrealistic expectations on ourselves and others, and society places unrealistic expectations on us, too. Giving ourselves permission to be who we are in this moment is empowering. It takes away the judgment and allows us to be honest and open with ourselves instead of disapproving and struggling.

      Many of us struggled as your mother did, trying to fit some mold that I suspect few truly did. I am happy to read your mom learned more about giving herself permission later in her life, as it is a beautiful lesson at any age. And I’m even happier to read it is an idea you have already embraced!

      I’m grateful you stopped by from Adrienne’s blog and joined in the conversation! I look forward to checking out your blog.


      • Thanks for your nice reply, Chrysta. I always come back to blogs I leave comments on, especially when it’s the first time, to see if I’m there and things :)

        Yes, please, come by my place sometimes. My blog on personal development is kinda comment thirsty still, so I don’t always know what my posts are worth. Having sincere feedbacks is really great.

        See you around :)

  5. Hi Chrysta,
    it’s not essential to be perfect for being happy. that is the inner feeling. that can’t be gain by external forces….
    Giving myself permission to be happy today accepts me as I am in this moment. nice one, love it!!!!!!!

    • Thank you for your awesome comment, Prakash!

      I agree being happy has nothing to do with being perfect- it really is simply about being. Not judging, worrying, fearing, or trying to change who I am- just accepting who I am. There is always room for growth, but if I am not at peace with myself, I cannot be happy.

      Have a grateful day!


      • Hmmmmm Chrysta, peace is the key component of our happiness. Have a great day too…..

  6. What a wonderful post Chrysta. I’m often asked why am I so happy and I always share with them that it starts from within you. I guess it’s harder for me to explain so you did such a wonderful job here.

    I understand the grief you are dealing with right now with Kaylo’s illness. It’s like having a child and wanting to remain strong for them but we end up being an emotional basket case because we held it all in.

    Kaylo feels what you’re feeling and wants you to just be you no matter what he’s going through. I happen to know a few things about this and maybe one day I’ll share this with you. But my heart also goes out to you as you do through this with him. He definitely knows he’s loved.

    The next time I’m asked how it is I’m so happy, I’m just going to send them over here. You’ve just done a much better job that I could.

    Thanks for sharing this with us and what you are going through right now. We’ll all keep you and Kaylo in our prayers.


    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Adrienne! This is why you are an engagement superstar! :)

      When I am struggling against myself, I cannot be happy. I must accept myself as I am to really be happy, and this is hard for me and, I expect, many of us. That’s why giving myself permission to be myself is a wonderfully simple way to find a little happiness. It won’t solve all my problems, of course, but the truth is I don’t solve many problems when I don’t first accept things as they are. When I see them only as I do or do not want them to be, effective solutions are difficult to see.

      Thank you, too, for your kind words about Kaylo. I have lost beloved pets before, but Kaylo is the first dog I am loosing, and the first pet I am watching struggle with a terminal illness.

      His quality of life considered good by his vet and pet hospice, but he is clearly deteriorating and that’s the hard part- knowing what’s coming. But the truth is I know only what’s coming in the end, not what it will look and feel like until then. This is the reason I find comfort in giving myself permission to feel whatever I’m feeling.

      I don’t have it all figured out. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Whatever I’m feeling is okay- this is a hard situation- and I am free to be a little happier when I can accept that I’m sad, as strange as that sounds!

      Thank you for joining the conversation. Have a grateful day!


      • I understand what you mean about loosing Kaylo. I’ve lost pets in the past too but Blake, my Cocker Spaniel, was my first pet that I watched dwindle before my eyes too and had to make that hard decision to put him down.

        He did live to be 19 years old and the vet as well as everyone kept telling me what wonderful care I took of him but Chrysta, it doesn’t make it any easier when you are loosing this precious child that you raised from a puppy.

        When I moved into this condo, Blake was with me so coming home to an empty house without him was horrible. You definitely have to give yourself permission to grieve even before his final hour because even though you know you’re doing what’s best for him, it’s a really hard road to travel.

        My heart goes out to you both! ♥

  7. i will give my self the permission to be happy from now one
    thank you for the wonderful post Chrysta

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Farouk! I hope you do give yourself permission to be happy and let me know how it goes for you!


  8. Hi Chrysta,

    Firstly I am so sorry sorry to hear about Kaylo. Some years ago I went through a similar experience with a Cocker Spaniel of mine who died of Cancer. It was probably one of the hardest bereavements I have been through mostly because I tend to connect with animals on a much deeper level than I do with human beings. My thoughts are with you.

    On the subject of giving myself permission, I totally resonated with your post. Recently my Dad passed on. We had been estranged for 20 years.

    I felt no grief in the usual sense but for a while I did fight not feeling guilty and doing so made me feel most unhappy.

    When I gave myself permission to feel guilty I also allowed myself the opportunity to process the guilt, to learn more about myself and transform which is why I loved your words:

    “Giving myself permission to be happy gives me the opportunity to make positive choices for myself right now.”


    • Thank you for your thoughtful and compassionate comment, Marcus.

      Kaylo is the first dog I am loosing, and it is much harder than I ever imagined it would be. Like you, I have a deep connection to animals. Someone recently mentioned that a dog-human bond is different from a cat or other animal. Though I love all animals, I felt this observation rang true for me. Dogs are far more dependent on their owners, and my bond with Kaylo is very special and unique.

      I was estranged from my mother for almost 9 years. My mom was living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit and I was shaken by the idea that she could die before I reconciled with her. I started to prepare myself to take care of me so I might reach out to my mother and make some peace with her. I will never have the relationship I want to have with her and her mental illness will always create difficulty and hurt in her life. Eventually I was able to accept her as she is, and accept that she might never get better. Now I am at peace with myself and her illness, and I am better able to create and maintain healthy boundaries for myself without being completely estranged from her. Acceptance is a wonderful practice that allows me to be happier with life.

      I’m sorry to hear about your loss of your father. Whatever feelings we feel when our life changes so permanently, it’s always a process and a challenge. I’m glad you were able to accept your guilt and move on from it, instead of struggle and unhappiness.

      I greatly appreciate you sharing such a personal story with me.


  9. Hi Chrysta,

    I really liked your post!

    You said the following:

    ‘Giving myself permission to be happy today accepts me as I am in this moment.’

    Indeed, this is a profound truth, and can be so emotionally liberating.

    We don’t need to keep on ‘trying to becoming more’ in order to accept ourselves.

    The ‘trying to become more’ mentality has a big flaw in it. The issue is, that once we have ‘become’, we will then want to become something else and on and on.

    Hence, we never really give ourselves permission to be just who we are, and be content with this, because we always want to be something else!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Hiten!

      I love how you have further clarified the idea of accepting ourselves as we are. While I am an advocate for self-improvement and growth, I also believe that I am a worthwhile, valuable, and lovable person just as I am today. Just as we all are! Making progress is good for my soul, but in order to make real progress I must first believe where I am right now is good enough for right now.

      Thanks for joining the conversation! I love what you shared!!


  10. Hey Chrysta!

    I like the concept of giving ourselves permission. Haven’t thought about things that way! I think sometimes when we are down and are upset over something, we tend to have this frame of mind that changing now will be wrong or something that will be shunned and that we just have to be as we are now. That permission is important! I loved the concept you discuss here! I actually am speechless! (My mom would love to see me like that! 😉 )

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Hajra!

      Wow. I can’t believe you are speechless. I feel accomplished. 😉

      I find the idea of giving myself permission empowering because I am actively acknowledging where I am and where I want to be. It’s not simply an idea- I have lots of those- it’s taking an idea and making a conscious decision about the idea.

      Accepting myself as I am gives me the opportunity to work with what I’ve got instead of thinking only of where I want to be. And sometimes where I am is a perfectly wonderful place, even if I aspire to more.

      Thanks for joining the conversation!


  11. Awesome message that really works, Chrysta.

    For years I lived my life in secret. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “living in the closet” or “Down low”. Well, that was totally me. I grew up amongst a very religious family, and for them I tried my best to hide who I knew I was created to be. All that I would end up doing in life was to protect myself and those I loved from others finding out about something I felt, I couldn’t change.

    It was not the best life and I felt I was lying not only to the world, but more importantly to myself. I joined the Navy when I was 19 to get away from hiding. Only to find myself 3 years later having to face the military’s “Don’t ask Don’t Tell” policy.

    That policy was the needle that broke the camels back for me. I gave myself permission to be who I was and not fear what anyone thought about it. I gave myself permission to accept myself, whether others accepted me or not. I would end up going to my Commanding Officer and doing exactly what I was told not to do, and that was informing them of who I am.

    Since I worked directly with my CO, he commended me in secret (of course) for standing up for myself and doing what I thought was right for me. And it’s for that reason I think I was given an honorable discharge even though I was discharged early.

    So yes, giving ourselves permission can also give us confidence to accept who we are. And there are some instances we gain more respect for giving ourselves that type of permission. I really miss my career as a Navy Sailor, but I feel so much better knowing that I am being true to myself. I also from that day forward have given myself permission to be happy with who I am.

    Like you said, (and I loved how you said it, BTW)”Giving myself permission to be happy gives me the opportunity to make positive choices for myself right now.” That’s SO very true.

    I loved this liberating message, and thank you so much for sharing this with us. :)

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Deeone! I enjoyed reading your coming out, or being yourself, story. :) Congratulations on being you! You are a beautiful and inspiring person, and I appreciate you exactly as you are.

      Creating positive change in our lives depends upon first accepting ourselves, our feelings, and our experience as we are in this moment. True happiness comes from being happy with who we are, even just in some small way, and not from fame, fortune, weight loss, etc. Giving myself permission to be who I am allows me to find confidence within me, and be aware what is and isn’t working in my life. At least this is how it’s worked for me!

      Thanks for joining the conversation! Have a grateful day!


    • After reading your comment; I just realized how crappy my comment is! 😉

      I love the way you have so much to share and relate with others! You are awesome Deeone :)

      • Don’t be too hard on yourself, Hajra, after all you were speechless. And Deeone is the KING of comments, as we all know! 😉


  12. Wow…such powerful insight! Thanks for sharing, Chrysta. I’m so sorry for the situation you’re facing with your beloved pet. I am so grateful for the time you have with him and the way in which you’ve found to release the resistance you had experienced. Sending you warm thoughts of peace and love.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Steve! And thank you for acknowledging my grief. It’s a very challenging situation, and giving myself permission to feel whatever I am feeling in the moment allows me to recognize there’s great things in my life, too. Doesn’t it seem like whatever you try not to think about you actually think about more?

      I appreciate your support. Have a grateful day!


  13. Great post Chrysta. Sometimes it’s good to be results driven – other times not so much. I really like the idea of “giving yourself permission” (to do whatever).

    “should” – is surely one of the most overused words in the English language. It should be banned. Oops.

    Have a great weekend.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Hamish!

      I agree being results driven has it’s advantages, but usually I find I must allow myself to be where I am today to successfully achieve my desired results! I must accept where I am before I can move on to where I want to be.

      I would like to start a campaign to remove should from the English language! The punishment for “should”ing will be an act of self-love. Do you think it will catch on? 😉

      Have a grateful day!


      • Chrysta,

        That sounds like a good idea for a campaign. The punishment certainly fits the crime! :)

Leave a Comment