I Give You Permission

If I came up to you in the street and said, “I give you permission to change“, you’d think I’d just got hit repeatedly in my sanity bits by the goofy gang with their bonkers sticks.

You’d smile awkwardly, edge away slowly, and think I was some kind of care in the community project gone horribly wrong.

You wouldn’t listen to me, just as you don’t listen to yourself when it comes to granting yourself permission.

Your expectations about what you should or shouldn’t do and can or can’t do force you down a specific road, and you don’t even think of giving yourself permission to change direction, go about things differently or build your own damn road.

Expectations preclude choice; permission precedes choice

Not only do you have expectations about your own behaviour, you also have expectations about what other people think you should do, and if these assumptions and expectations remain unchallenged they’ll be a perfect predictor for what will happen in your life from this point on.

Assumption + expectation = default predictable action

But with permission to get rid of how you think things should be, the things you think you should do, the things you think others should do and the things you think others think you should do (keeping up?), you not only fling open the doors to let the air in, you blow the bloody roof off and invite the clouds and stars in for a party.

Thinking ^ permission = consistent, meaningful, confident action

Your thinking, when combined with the power of self-granted permission, creates deliberate, consistent, meaningful and confident action.

Perhaps though, you just don’t feel as though you can give yourself permission to change, start or create.  You kinda know what’s in your way or where you want to go, but there’s something similar to the 5 thoughts below that’s stopping you from giving yourself permission:

I don’t know how things will turn out and that’s flippin’ scary
I don’t think I’m up to it or can see it through
I don’t want to rock the boat or let people down
I’m not confident that I’ll know what to do when it gets down to it
I don’t want to deal with what happens, whether it works out or not

I’ve had those thoughts too, and still have them.

They’re a fiction

Confidence is not the absence of those thoughts, it’s making a choice that matters in the presence of those thoughts.

So if it’s hard for you to give yourself permission to change, to start or to create, let me do it for you.


Take that as the prompt you need.

What are you going to do now?

  • Great inspiration for the morning Steve.

    It is weird that we have great ideas and want to do things, but wait to read an online article before we do. Someone else has to give us permission.

  • Too right, Steve. I’ve been reading a lot about permission on the interwebs lately. There seem to be a lot of folks deciding to just go for it already and quit stressing what other people will think/say/do. At the end of the day, does it really matter what said others do? It’s our life, not theirs. They won’t feel the pain of our unfulfilled dreams, so why should they get to determine which ones we chase to find our bliss?

    I’m definitely embracing giving myself permission to want the things I want and do them exactly how I want. Oh yes. 🙂

    • That’s the spirit! I think it’s more than just stressing about what other people will think/say/do, although that’s a significant part of it for sure. It’s people who feel guilty or shameful about a particular course of action, believing that they’re a “bad person” or “not good enough” if they make a particular decision.

      It’s BS of course. As you and I know all too well.

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