Too much of life is spent waiting. Waiting for the right circumstances, for the right people, for signs that we’re on the right path, for permission to do, be and have what we want in life.
We need to stop waiting to live.
Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
If you want to live a great life, a life that reflects your deepest values and desires, you need to give yourself permission to do what you must to do to make that happen.
Does that surprise you?
Most of us don’t even realize how much time we invest in waiting for permission (validation, approval, a sign from above, etc.), but we’ve all done it at one time or another. Our need for permission can take many different forms. The obvious need is for permission either in the form of validation or approval from others. But we also invest a lot of time waiting for permission in the form of circumstances as though they are signs the Universe has given us a green light to finally do something.
- We wait for inspiration to take action.
- We wait for a sign we’re on the right path.
- We wait for the right time, circumstances or resources to appear.
- We wait for approval from others to make time for ourselves.
- We wait for signs on what to do next in our life.
When we wait for permission we place our future in the hands of circumstances, fate and the whims of other people. Of course, there are some pretty compelling pay-offs for waiting for permission. It frees us from accountability because we can say that we do know what we want, we’re just patiently waiting for the “right” time or opportunity. Sometimes, waiting for permission also frees us from the discomfort of actually doing the work.
We writers are notorious for waiting. We wait for inspiration and when it doesn’t come we call it “writer’s block”, we wait for someone to tell us what to do to get our writing into the hands of readers, and we even wait for permission to call ourselves “writers” or “authors”. Many will wait for years without ever actually publishing anything and justify it to themselves and others by referring to themselves as “aspiring” writers/authors.
I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.
Reaching for dreams and goals isn’t the only area we wait for permission.
Women, in particular, tend to wait for permission to make themselves a priority in their own lives, and the usual excuses include lack of time, guilt, the fear of appearing selfish, and lack of support. And so they wait for others to encourage them to take care of themselves or pursue personal interests, and when they don’t get that permission they assume it’s a result of lack of approval or just not meant to be.
A friend of mine once told me she’d given up on her dream of going back to school to get her degree, and when I asked why she said that it just wouldn’t work out with her husband. This shocked me since I had actually been friends with her husband before they were married and I’d always thought of him as being especially kind and supportive, so I asked her what he said when she talked to him about her dream.
“Oh, I’ve never actually talked to him about it,” she said, “I just know he’d hate my spending so much time away from home taking classes.”
Sadly, this scenario is all too common. We spend precious days, weeks and years of our lives waiting for permission that will never come because others have no idea that we are waiting for their approval and support since we’ve never actually told them what we want and need!
It’s Time to Give Yourself Permission
The bottom line is there are two ways to live.
Take life as it comes, assuming that the unfulfilling job, and the people who don’t take you seriously or support your dreams, are just the way life is as you sit back and wait for the winds of change to either take you in a better direction or for someone to give you permission to do what you really want to with your life.
You can stop waiting and give yourself permission to start asking for what you want and need to create a life you love.
It begins with a decision.
You have to decide what you want and be honest with yourself about how much time and effort you are willing to invest in creating that reality. You have to decide to build trust in yourself and be prepared to live with the consequences of your beliefs and actions. And then you have to decide to take the first step and keep on going.
A year from now you’ll wish you had started TODAY.
Whatever it is you are waiting for it’s time to name it, claim it, and own it. No one is ever going to swoop in and declare “Yes, I officially give you permission to (fill in the blank). Go now, be happy and live the life of your dreams!” Stop seeking to live up to other people’s expectations, and listen to your head, your feelings, and your heart. Be willing to take risks and to try what interests you. Don’t give up too early – and don’t assume you’ll fail. Give yourself permission to always be you, to be genuine with others, and to carve out your own path.
It’s your time now. Stop waiting, the only permission you need is YOURS.