You Have Your Permission

“When you have a good idea and you’ve tried it and know it’s going to work, go ahead and do it – because it is much easier to apologize later than to get permission.” ~ Grace Hopper

“Mother may I…?” “Simon says…” Do either of these expressions ring a bell? Perhaps from childhood games? Are you waiting for someone, anyone, to give you permission to succeed? While you may not think you are waiting for permission, when you need the approval or validation of another person to take a risk or allow your capabilities to be used, you are waiting for external permission.

Unfortunately, society often teaches that other people, especially authority figures, are always a better judge of what we are doing, have done, and can do. We don’t trust ourselves, especially the skills, abilities, and experiences making up our capabilities. If we trusted ourselves more we would know that as individuals we are the best judge of our capabilities and we are the only ones who can give ourselves permission to risk and succeed.

I don’t know about you but I’m not too thrilled about letting someone else determine my success and surely don’t want them to determine my failures. The key to self-belief and consistent success is always the point at which and the amount of internal permission we give ourselves. This permission to make mistakes and even fail, frees us to find the limits of our learning and experience. The permission to fail is the permission to succeed.

Regarding your permission:

  1. You have a right to assert yourself, even if it may inconvenience others.
  2. You are under no obligation to say yes, simply because you are asked.
  3. You deserve to succeed. You deserve to live your dream. You deserve to be recognized for what your abilities are able to produce. Three words: Just get started! On your terms.

20 thoughts on “You Have Your Permission

  1. Good advice Eric, For too many years I said Yes when I should have said No as I took on far too much in my once upon a time work load.. I think we are seeking often the approval of others as we seek to succeed.. A nervous breakdown taught me lots of lessons.. Learning to say No was one of them.. Its strange how often we do not give ourselves permission to seek that which makes us Happy as we often put our Dreams on the back burner… When we should be pursuing them..
    As always Eric your words of wisdom are well on the mark..
    Love and Blessings

    • Thank you, Sue. I clearly hear and agree with you. Why do people choose to expend time and energy on others agendas when pursuing their own would be so much easier and rewarding. Crazy, isn’t it? Glad you have learned the power and your right to say ‘no.’ Onward, with confidence, clarity and personal choice!

  2. “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” is a daily motto over here– most of my progress, at least career wise, has been made by this approach. You never want to give someone the chance to think about telling you no 😉

  3. Well, I know you don’t need my comment to say “YOU’RE GOOD!” but YOU ARE! This is a terrific posting.

  4. Great post Eric. I try not to be too individualistic. I would often consult with those I trust. There are times that I value external in put from others, but it is always me making the decision and taking responsibility for it.

    • We think and act pretty much alike, Don. Part of my processing, which I value, is seeking alternative views/opinions. But in the end, choice and decisions are exclusively mine. Thanks for sharing your kind perspective.

  5. This is so true, and reflects myself in many ways. I have always felt that it was important to listen to people who allegedly knew what was best for me. Often to the point where they stifled any beliefs I held dear to achieve more for myself knowing I could improve but had to be advised and held back if the timing wasn’t right according to those in authority!
    Now thankfully that is all behind me! Today I am my own person…well at least i think i am?
    Best check with the wife first though eh? Ha ha

    • There have been and will still be occasions when we encourage or allow others to overwhelm our beliefs and thus, choices and abilty to answer to ourselves. And those ‘authority’ figures (even family members)… they can be tough to dodge. 🙂 Glad you thought to first check with the wife.

  6. I really needed to read this yesterday Eric. Just wanted to let you know it spoke to me. Great advice and a needed reminder that asserting ourselves does not mean we are being selfish. Appreciate this.

  7. If we are honest with ourselves, Brian, I believe we can and ought to stand our ground/maintain our boundaries, even if it seems or feels we are being selfish. In most cases we’re simply being right – right in our minds and eyes. I’m glad that the post had a timely message for you. Your comment is very much appreciated.

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