Give Yourself Permission

Nubby Twiglet | Give Yourself Permission

Give yourself permission to explore personal interests. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes a week, you deserve the chance to discover something new.

What do you love to do outside of work?

What makes you really happy?

Go do that.

Wait. Let’s back up for a second — I know that’s easier said than done. Pinterest and Instagram are full of inspirational messages, encouraging you to do what you love and to love what you do. But, what if you really don’t have any extra time? What if your life is so full that adding one more thing “just for fun” will make you topple over?

If you’re feeling frustrated because the one thing that you really want to explore keeps getting pushed to the back burner, I understand because I was in the same spot. Sitting behind a computer all day, every day made me want a creative release and I naturally gravitated towards piecing together still lifes (also sometimes known as flat lays). I loved the art of organization and grouping items by theme and color. It was a fun little exercise but technically, not part of my job.

When you work for yourself or freelance on the side, it’s hard to shut off. There’s always another client project and another side-hustle. Doing things “just for fun” starts to feel like a luxury. Or at least, that was my mindset. I soon fell into the trap of “there’s no time so I just won’t do it.” We all know that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy because there’s never going to be time unless you give yourself permission to carve it out.

Nubby Twiglet | Give Yourself Permission

Late last year, I finally gave myself permission and started a new project called Still Life Friday. Every Friday, I’d take 15 minutes to come up with a new composition and Instagram it. The progress was slow but steady. I created still lifes in my office on Friday nights before the sun went down. On cafe tables in Portland. On apartment balconies in Rome. On brightly tiled tables in Marrakech. On the floor of my spare room at home. Not every photo was perfectly lit, not every one a masterpiece. But instead of giving into perfection, I just kept going.

Now, we are halfway through the year and I have no intention of giving up. When I write out my weekly calendar, I automatically add “Still Life Friday” to my list. No excuses.

Today, I hope you’re reminded that having that one little thing you want to explore is okay and it doesn’t have to take over your life. Fitting it into your schedule in bite-sized pieces not only makes it more manageable but also more likely that you will follow through.

Want to join in the fun with me? Hashtag your still life compositions with #stilllifefriday so I can check them out!

Your turn: What hobby do you want to make time to try before the end of the year?

10 Responses to Give Yourself Permission

    • Shauna says:

      Thanks, love! I always have the most fun putting them together with YOU! One of my favorites was the one we did of your magazine inspo in Marrakech. <3

  1. Alice says:

    Your Still Life Friday is one of my favorite projects, I participated sometimes, but I try to forget about it. I should add the event to my calendar too, because it’s something I want to improve!

  2. Jessica says:

    I love the notion of not giving in to perfection. It reminds me of James Victore’s “Feck Perfuction” mantra.

    Lately, I’ve found myself not even attempting certain things for fear that they won’t be perfect. But, I’ve realized that if I never attempt things, they won’t have the opportunity to become perfect anyway. And, if that’s the case, I might as well give them a shot.

    • Shauna says:

      I’m totally in your boat right now. I’m kicking myself for all the things I’ve put off doing for the last year (and even longer) because I felt like I needed a block of time to make things perfect instead of just diving in. It’s hard to undo the perfectionism…but it feels good to just get started on something for a change. It’s the only sure-fire way to move forward and improve!

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  5. Nic says:

    I think I’ve been trapped in the notion that doing things just for myself is less valid somehow than doing something for someone else, or something I’m getting paid for. Or being put off by the idea that if other people are doing it, then they’re probably doing it better so I shouldn’t bother.
    Wrong! Perfectly timed post, thanks Shauna!

  6. Kiri says:

    I took up aerial circus again at the beginning of the year – partly to get fitter, but mostly because being up on my trapeze in black mess and spandex is the most awesome way I can think of to spend a Saturday afternoon.

    It’s magical – doesn’t matter how terrible my mood is I always feel better after.

    I’ve just made time for a second class a week, so nice to have some time to myself doing something that makes me feel amazing.

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