Rejection, trauma, lack of self-worth and confidence are just a few of many experiences that many people have which causes them to minimize themselves and silence their voice. A lot of things we experience in our childhood shape who and what we become. No one should ever make themselves feel uncomfortable to make others feel comfortable. TAKE UP SPACE! What does this look like? It looks like knowing you are worth filling the gaps in your life that you have been afraid to occupy. It looks like allowing yourself to be seen and heard. It looks like expressing your feelings, thoughts, and ideals with conviction and truth. It looks like being courageous and confident in your abilities despite the stigmas and doubts that others may have placed upon you. It looks like BEING YOU, UNAPOLOGETTICALLY. TAKE UP SPACE!

The more you walk into self-awareness and self-actualization the easier taking up space becomes. If you are someone who has lived a life of shrinking or minimalizing yourself due to the fear of negative responses you may be wondering, “how do I take up space.” Here’s how:

  1. Create a list of needs and wants and do not waiver in your desires
  2. Make an effort to be aware of your triggers, thoughts, and feelings when in certain environments or around certain people.
  3. SET BOUNDARIES!!! Let your yes be yes and your no be no! Setting boundaries is a true act of self-love and those who respect and or love you will respect your boundaries. This will require clarity, consistency, and courage. “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
  4. Develop skills of assertiveness. Often times people misconstrue assertiveness with aggressiveness; it’s quite the opposite. This is a valuable skill to have as it involves confidently expressing your thoughts, feelings, and ideals in a respectful, yet clear manner. Great communicators are often assertive and able to handle conflict with ease.
  5. Find different ways to express yourself. Journaling, drawing, listening to music or any other form of creative free-flowing expression are all ways to effectively express yourself. You don’t have to be an “expert” at any of the above to tap into your creative energy. If it affords you a therapeutic outlet, DO IT!
  6. Take up physical space. This may look like exercising, stretching, running errands or simply just going out to your favorite bookstore or restaurant. It’s not hard getting entangled in sedentary routines. You owe it to yourself to get out and move around.

If taking up space seems cumbersome or overwhelming, don’t find it strange. It may take time, repetition and affirming yourself to find comfort in being able to do so. Talk with your therapist about the challenges you may have surrounding shrinking or finding your confidence to be able to take up space; talking with a trusted individual to help you find the inner strength, self-determination, and confidence may be helpful. You deserve to be seen and heard…TAKE UP SPACE!