This is a phrase we hear a lot of use; “Take up Space.”
Things take up space, people take up space, our busy mind takes up space. What does “take up space” mean to you? Earlier this evening I was invited as a guest speaker on a podcast show hosted by two amazing women. Their podcast “Take up Space” will be launching on June 1st. I was asked to speak about what it means to “Take up Space” and how I take up my space.
Before I talk about what it means, let’s talk about what it doesn’t mean.
Take up space doesn’t mean we enter a room and find a comfortable corner and blend in and not to be seen. Take up space doesn’t mean that when you have a strong opinion about certain issues or subject, you bite your tongue and don’t speak up. Take up space does not mean that when your rights are being violated, you silent yourself to avoid retaliation. Many people in this world, especially those who suffer from low confidence and low self-esteem, have the unhealthy belief that they “don’t have the right to take up space” in this world.
They walk through life trying to be a little of a disturbance as possible. Never speaking their minds. Never doing things they want to do. Never dressing as they want. Never really living their lives because they are too afraid of upsetting other people, or being judged for being themselves. It’s amazing to me that some people are hesitant to even do something as common and innocuous as a sneeze because they don’t want to take up space. They don’t want to disturb others. A lot of people are too afraid to claim the space they rightfully deserve. They are too busy trying to stay out of the way. You know, there are people that have others run into them, and they are the ones apologizing. So, someone runs into you, and you’re the one saying sorry? Why not just apologize for your existence at that point?
Here is what “take up space” means to me.
It means that you value yourself and you recognize your own existence. You have every right to be in that space, you deserve every right to be in that space. When your rights are being violated or compromise, you take up space and speak up. Be that movement of change. Be the change.
It also means that when you enter a room, you make sure you are not being placed into the corner of that room. Show up with your kindness, show up with your generosity, show up with your vulnerability by sharing your story to people and be genuine, be authentic. When you give yourself out, you will get feedbacks; some may be positive and some may be negative. Some people may like you and some people may not like you. Remember that phrase “You can’t make everyone happy”? And that’s ok too! Because if you’re living life the way you personally see fit, then you’re going to have to know when to ignore other people, and that making yourself happy doesn’t always mean making everyone around you happy. You can’t change how others see the world but you can change how you see the world.
Take up space means taking ownership of being you, unapologetically.
Whether it’s the physical space or emotional space, taking it and owning it.
Each of us has been given a personality, a life, a light, and a destination to achieve. When we squash our authentic selves, we are not allowing ourselves to take up space we rightfully deserve. I have practiced being quiet and small so that I don’t give rooms for others to judge me. It has never been successful. It feels small and unbalanced. When I walk into a room with my head held high, a genuine smile on my face as I make eye contact with everyone regardless what body I am in, how crooked my legs look that is when I know I am in my true presence and know that I am taking up the space I deserve.