Tag Archives: risk

Give Up on Getting Permission

Some years I find certain topics seem to come to the forefront of my life, and this year the theme seems to be permission. That glorious feeling, when someone, something, or even the big universe seems to say, “YES! Go for it!” When others are in agreement for what you are wanting to achieve in your heart of heart, if you have the ears to hear it and the heart to receive it, it can feel like the best “Yes” of your life.

Sometimes we get that support, that outside permission. I have some amazing girlfriends who rally around me when I am winding threads of feeling and idea into new places. I have family who love me. I have a number of amazing role models out there who show me that I do have a voice worth sharing, and that I deserve the things I want for myself.

Yet sometimes we can’t get permission. Maybe some people are telling you “Yes,” but it’s not the “Yes” you are ready to receive. Maybe you’re waiting for that one person to give you permission… Your mother, your father, your sibling, your best friend, your significant other. Maybe you’re waiting for a sign… Yet, when you see one, it never seems strong enough to give you the go ahead. And you ponder the “How?” and it always seems to elude you.

And then you realize, finally… Sometimes you just need to give yourself permission. Make the leap. Jump into the deep end. Get something moving. No matter if you get permission or flack for doing it. Because ultimately, no one can tell you what is right for you. You have to learn to trust yourself enough, and value yourself enough, to say “Yes,” to you.

It may look crazy to everyone else. After a year including a spontaneous divorce, an invigorating summer full of madcap exploration when I most needed to save my money, and a number of experimental thoughts and projects, I can say that it in all likelihood you will look crazy to everyone else. I’ve grown closer with some friends as I grieved the loss of my marriage and embraced a new me-focused life, and I have seen some fade in the midst of the sometimes difficult to understand or even seemingly unwise (but for me at the time, totally necessary) decisions I made. I have learned that what seems unwise does not have to be wrong. I can look at myself with compassion and realize that it just took a few bold, heart-on-my-sleeve moves to snap me out of my stupor and bring me back to myself. Next time I hope I’ll find a more peaceful way… A way in which I give myself permission sooner, before I lose myself in a cloud of confusion, awaiting that outside “Yes,” that should have come from within.

No one can say but you whether it is time to make that leap into permission, or if you still have some inner and outer work to do for you to feel fully supported. We all have different ebbs and flows, and different needs. There are kinds of security that nurture and support and kinds of security that undermine your passion and drive. If it is security (or insecurity) holding you back, then only you can evaluate your condition and needs, in the privacy of your own heart.

At the end of the day, we realize… No one else gave us the permission. We were ready to act on it because we had finally given it to ourselves.

If we give up on getting permission, we become free to know our own heart and make our own decisions, and become the best advocates for personal permission that we could ever be, through our own lit-from-within example.

What do you need to give yourself permission for, and when will you be ready to give it?


Sharlto Copley’s monologue in this Nedbank commercial inspires us to go for it:

Seven Reasons Not to Create

There are lots of reasons why you shouldn’t create something, but only one good reason why you should. What are your reasons? What is your answer to the ultimate question regarding your creation?

I know a lot of artists and writers who struggle with motivation, allowing all their fears to hold them back from starting on something they are passionate to create. I’ve been one of them. The biggest problem I see for people is that they allow their inner critic to run the show. They editorialize before they even have something concrete for the inner editor to respond to.

There are lots of reasons people generally have for not making something. These are the top seven I usually hear.

  • It’s been done.
  • I don’t know how to start.
  • The project is too big for me.
  • There’s no market for it.
  • I can’t make a living at it.
  • I might not succeed.
  • I might realize I don’t like it.

My counterarguments:

  • Everything may have been done, but no one has done it like you would do it.
  • Something may be a huge project, but the only step that you should focus on is the next step.
  • There’s never a market for anything until someone makes it.
  • You can always make a living at something while you are doing what you love.
  • Not trying at all is a perfect way not to succeed. Besides, success is relative. Most “successful” people have “failed” more than they have “succeeded”.
  • You are completely, 100% free to change your mind about anything. And if you go into something without commitment fears, you are much more likely to see all of the things you love about it (or be able to be honest with yourself about what isn’t working).

Ultimately, there is only one thing you need to ask yourself when you are considering making something.

Do you really care about it? Do you really want to do it? Does it satisfy a yearning in your soul to pursue it?

That’s it. If the answer is yes, get started, do the first thing, and then the second thing, and then the third. You will probably realize as you do it that you have a new way to do it, that starting is actually quite simple, that it isn’t as big as you thought, that you just hadn’t met your market, and you have all the money you need for where you are at right now with your creation. If you are having fun, your parameters for success will be much different, and you will be well set up to succeed admirably.

You don’t need any justification, clarification, or explanation other than, “Yes, I want to do this.” That’s it. You have absolute freedom of choice in your own life, and all that the world needs from you is to be true to yourself.

Start with the premise that life is your ally, and that your only job is to show up and be yourself. Get out of your own way and you’ll be amazed what comes out of you, and what shows up to come to your aid. For goodness sake, have fun!