I Hereby Grant You Permission To...

Do What Terrifies You!

Brené Brown introduced me to the concept of permission slips. Back when she went on Oprah for the first time she wrote herself a permission slip to be completely uncool- to laugh, to ask for a picture, and to be excited. 

Now I find myself constantly telling people, "Give yourself permission to...," and I fill in the blank with whatever that thing is that's keeping them stuck and preventing them from taking action.

I actually use this single piece of advice more often than I ever imagined. It's a staple whether you are a seasoned veteran about to appear on Oprah or you're just starting out. That's why it's that good.

Imagine you're just starting out, you know your business and a new life for yourself−filled with work that you love−depends on you putting yourself out there. But when you get to thinking about that you can feel your whole being closing in on itself, as if to self-protect. How will you ever make it happen?

There are loads of possible answers but there's only one that I know of that requires only a slip of paper, a pen, and your faith. 

So go out and write yourself a permission slip...

Afraid you'll make a fool of yourself by hitting send on that newsletter? You have my permission to do so, make a fool of yourself and hit send that is...though I doubt the former will actually be the case.

Worried you'll take the wrong path? It's better, and more effective, than taking no path at all. I give you permission to choose and to act even when you don't know where it will lead. 

What if I make a mistake? Well, what if you waste your life letting that thought hold you back and never make any? I give you permission to screw it up, be wrong, and have to start over. I'm pretty sure this is how we got lightbulbs by the way...Thomas Edison made tons of mistakes and then we had light, just sayin'.

But it's not perfect? Have you ever read my blogs? Has any one of them been without error? Not a one. I screw up my grammar, I swear, I shoot from the hip, and I don't sugar coat anything. I don't know how to do perfect, even when I try something invariably goes wrong. So I give myself the only permission that really matters:

I'm keeping it simple this week.

Your action step

Start giving yourself permission.

Whenever you notice that you're judging yourself, coming up with excuses, feeling fear or worry, obsessing over one thought or one detail, about to pullback instead of lean in−STOP, DROP, and write yourself a permission slip.

Stick it on your mirror or carry it around in your pocket. Let it be a reminder to you that you'd rather...

  • be bold than play it safe. 
  • be you and not fit in than be more pleasing to the masses and not connect with anyone. 
  • learn and grow from your mistakes than say you never made any. 

Let me know what you're giving yourself permission for this week in the comments. And I'd love to hear how doing so allowed something to shift in your world.