Right now, what do you need to give yourself permission to be, do, have or give?
What do you hear whispering quietly within you, waiting and wanting you to bring to life?
If you would only give yourself permission, what do you really desire?
This post is a loving kick up the butt from me to give yourself permission. Don’t wait for a permission slip any longer – give it to yourself! This is your life and you only get one shot at it.
From an early age we’re taught by authoritative figures in our lives that we need permission – to eat, say, do, or go to the thing we’re wanting to. Boundaries and discipline are obviously important for children but if we’re not careful we can be slowly and steadily conditioned to rely on others for our decision making. We get used to asking for permission and it becomes so normal and natural to us that we lose trust in ourselves, we get good at deferring to others, doing the ‘right thing’ and consistently putting the needs of others above our own because we’re not consciously choosing for ourselves. We can end up with a book full of stories that we tell ourselves about who we are, what we can and can’t do, when in fact what’s really needed is 1) a decision, and 2) to give ourselves permission.
Why do we withhold permission from ourselves? It ultimately comes back to our belief system formed over the years that, often without being consciously aware of it, is ruling our life through our thoughts, feelings and actions. Here are some examples:
- Old story: You want to go to bed earlier but all you can see is stuff still to do, everywhere. When you were growing up your Mum always got all the stuff done before she went to bed and so whether you know it or not, you have a belief that you’re not good enough if you don’t. New story: You are good enough simply because you’re alive and uniquely you – give yourself permission to leave the stuff and go to bed when your body is telling you it needs rest.
- Old story: You want to buy that outfit that you love and will feel great but you better not because it feels too indulgent to spend money on you. You’ll make do with what you’ve got because that’s what your family has always done and the kids need new shoes. New story: You are worthy of feeling good now, life is about feeling good – give yourself permission to find joy in buying and wearing the outfit.
- Old story: You want to explore a business idea but feel like you can’t. It’s safer and more secure to stick with your job, just like everyone says. New story: Follow your heart’s desire – there is a reason you are receiving this idea! Give yourself permission to pursue exploring it and start small.
- Old story: You love to sew but you never get to it because there’s always work to be done. It’s so ingrained in you that the only way to get ahead in life is to work hard, and sitting doing something for enjoyment doesn’t get you anywhere and pay the bills. New story: Give yourself permission – start with 15 minutes a day and build the belief that it’s safe for you to do the things that light you up, simply because life is meant for joy and you have gifts to enjoy and offer the world!
- Old story: You desperately want a night away but feel too guilty to ask for it and put the plans in place to allow it for yourself. Your big sister never left her children for a night just to have time for herself so you dismiss the idea. New story: You are worthy of space and taking care of your own health and in fact if you don’t, you can’t be the best version of yourself – for you, or your family. Book the motel, make the plans, give yourself permission – you will be so much more fulfilled if you do!
There is a full lesson devoted to decision and permission in my Illuminate Coaching Program and ‘giving myself permission’ is one of the most common and biggest breakthroughs that the Mums I work with share in the program feedback.
You are worthy, you are always enough and you can give yourself permission without needing it from someone else. But it starts with making a decision for YOU, prioritising your needs and wants above all else.
To write my book The Art of Trying alongside a farm, business and mothering four children, I first had to make the committed decision to do it and ditch the ‘maybe one day’ attitude. There is something incredibly powerful about a committed decision and the way it transforms you! Then I had to give myself permission to actually sit down and write it. Because it wasn’t money-producing or business-related I had to really work on giving myself permission, which was difficult in the beginning due to my conditioning. I found it very challenging to prioritise writing over all the other things in my life that needed to be done! Because I love writing it felt luxurious to sit and write. I had to overcome so much fear, a lack of confidence and build the belief that I was worthy and could actually do it. Over time I did, and it was an incredible feeling!
In my experience, giving yourself permission is like strengthening a muscle. Start small and with time and repetition it gets easier. What I know to be true is that the more permission slips I write for myself the better life keeps getting! I have no doubt it will be like that for you too.
Really pause and ask yourself: Where is a lack of permission holding me back? Where can I give myself permission? Please share with me!
PS – For the first time since 2014 I am offering private 1:1 coaching calls via Zoom, on a one-off or regular basis. Find out more about my 1:1 clarity coaching calls here.