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permission

Have you ever noticed that sometimes there’s a particular idea or subject that enters into your life and you see signs of it everywhere?  You’ll be reading a book and there it is.  Watching a show on TV and that’s the topic of discussion.  Open a random email or read a blog and it pops up again.

Well, if you have, you know what I’m talking about.

For the past 2 weeks, that word has been “permission”.  I’m seeing that word in my inbox, on blogs, in the books I’m reading.

Because it’s showing up, I’m assuming this is the Universe’s way of telling me that it’s something I’m supposed to pay attention to.

OK.  It’s more than an assumption.  I know this is an issue in my life and I’m suspecting it might be holding you back to, so we’re going to talk about it today.

So what do I mean by “permission”? 

Permission is authorization.  It’s the notion that someone gives you their consent before you can take some kind of action.

We tend to think of permission as coming from outside ourselves.  At various times in our lives, we do need permission from our parents, spouse, kids, a boss, or the government, before we act.

But that’s not always true.  As adults, we don’t really need someone’s consent to do many of the things we do every day.

The truth is, at a certain point, no one can give us the permission we seek to do what we need to do, but ourselves.

So what’s the problem with permission?

Somewhere between childhood and adulthood we get conditioned to seek out permission before doing anything outside the norm however that is defined in our world, out of fear that someone will disapprove of what we’re doing.

If I come home to find my daughter playing in the mud, she’s quick to tell me that Daddy told her it was OK.  Over time, we start to need the reassurance that we get when someone tells us that it’s OK to do something.

This creates a false-sense of security.  “I can’t get in trouble.  I have permission.”

Unfortunately, in order to maintain this “security”, we’re left seeking out permission even when there’s no one to give it.  By the time we finally reach adulthood, this conditioning can lead to paralysis.

Instead of being the ultimate deciders of our path forward, we’d rather wait for someone to tell us that it’s OK to do this or pursue that.  We sit on our great ideas and don’t follow through.

No permission, no go.

Can you see where this could be an issue in your life?  I know that I can.

I’ll admit that I’ve been waiting for permission to do a lot of things in my business and my life, for someone to tell me that it’s OK to spend that money or go down that path.  Without permission, I doubt and second-guess myself.  Fear creeps in.

And for a long time, I let that fear paralyze me.

Well, I’m working hard to change that.  To be a successful solo, I need to give myself permission.  I am the only one making the choices and calling the shots.  There’s no one to wait for.  It’s just me (alone with my thoughts) and if I don’t, no one else will.

As author Chris Brogan writes in his new book, It’s Not About the Tights: An Owner’s Manual for Bravery,

“Permission is about accepting that you’re the one who will solve your challenges, and you are the right person for the task.”

I better be the right person for the task, because there’s no one else.  So I am giving myself permission to try.  I might succeed.  I might fail.  But I will try.

How about you?  Will you give it a shot?

You have my permission.  Now get moving!