What do you need to give yourself permission to do?

What do you need to give yourself permission to do?

I had not been enjoying what I was doing for work for 2 years. I’d felt a calling to do something else.

But I didn’t believe I could quit and listen to my heart. 

I was the CEO of the organisation and felt responsible to my co-founder Yohan,  my team and our customers.

So I silenced the voice inside me. I told myself it wasn’t real. I could do it later. That I just needed to keep on pushing on.

One day, I was sitting eating sushi with Yohan and he looked at me and said:

“I need to tell you something. I’m worried about sharing this with you, but it’s important.”

Uh oh. 

“I’m not enjoying what we’re doing anymore. My heart isn’t in it anymore. I need a change and to move on.”

At that exact moment, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders.

Yohan sharing how he felt gave me permission to accept how I was feeling. It gave me permission to share where my head and heart were at.

After two years of actively ignoring how I was feeling and shutting my inner voice down, I felt free to speak.

It’s crazy that you often wait for someone else to give you permission to be yourself and live your authentic self.

Brene Brown in Dare to Lead shares a wonderfully simple tool to change this that she calls ‘Permission Slips’.

Permission Slips

The idea behind permission slips is simple:

Each morning, or before a meeting, or event you are attending, write down ONE thing that you will give yourself permission to do, feel, or think. 

This could be to say no or to be open-minded and listen. To talk less. To ask for more time. To be happy.

Instead of waiting for the world around you to give you permission, you get to take the lead and give yourself permission.

This year, when I was setting my themes for the year I picked the word Focus and as part of this, I gave myself permission to say, ‘No’ in 2020. 

What do you need to give yourself permission to do, think or feel?

What feeling have you been ignoring? What inner voice have you been quietening? 

Write it down. Don’t wait for others to give you permission. 

Written by
Rowan Kunz
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