I was reading a blog post not too long ago and something struck me. The writer talked about the idea that we wait for permission to do the things we want to do. She said it was something so many of us do and wanted to know why?

You get to decide what your life looks like, who's in it and what you're willing to sacrifice for it. So why do we wait for permission?
That really resonated with me. It reminded me that sometimes we sit around and wait for permission to do any and every thing. I’m not even sure we know that we’re waiting. It can be disguised as so many other things. Overall though let’s just call it what it is : procrastination. Any excuse to pump the brakes on the things we say we want really is just procrastination in a pretty dress. Nobody is new to it. We’ve all put things off at some point. I started to wonder why though. How many times are we reminded that life is short but we still press pause on our real dreams?

To get past this, we need to focus on something simple like remembering who’s in control: YOU. You get to decide what your life looks like, who’s in it and what you’re willing to sacrifice for it. With that in mind, here are a few reasons I’ve come up with about why we wait for permission in the first place.

For some reason, we feel the need to be an expert before we start. How does that even make sense? No one starts out rocking it no matter what “it” is. We all have to start somewhere. So why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best – right from the beginning. It’s unrealistic and self-defeating.

Big dreams always come with a big “things to do” list. Overwhelming, anyone? That’s another spot we get hung up on. We can’t decide on a first step. To make it easier, I tend to break things down. No matter how big the goal/dream, break it down to the smallest bit until I get to something that’s less “what the eff?” and more “I can do this!”

You get to decide what your life looks like, who's in it and what you're willing to sacrifice for it. So why do we wait for permission?
Fear of failure is a beast. I think we’ve all had that fear at some point. The thing is failure is really only a lesson on what not to do the next time. Still, we doubt ourselves, we doubt our abilities and then to top it all off, we even tell ourselves “I’m too old”. The question is according to who? Who are you listening to that tells you you’re too old to be, have, do whatever you want? Let that be a decision you make for yourself. But remember, there are 80 year old body builders. Anything is possible!

Another hurdle we have to cross is when we’ve convinced ourselves that what we want is too hard. There’s a long road from where we are now to where we want to be. It feels overwhelming and there’s way too many steps. We wonder if it’s really worth all the effort. So we fall back because this is just too much. Think about anything you’ve accomplished and remember where you had to start and how far you came. If you did it then, you can do it again.

When it comes down to whose permission you really need – the answer always begins and ends with you. You don’t need the stamp of approval of anyone else to start a business, write that book you’ve always talked about or take the vacation of your dreams. If you feel like you need someone to tell you that you’re good enough, smart enough, young enough or just plain enough – you be that person. Tell yourself how awesome you are. Even if you don’t believe it at first, you will. Then walk in that. Walk right on into what you really want. Permission granted – by you.

2 comments on “Why we wait for permission and how to stop”

  1. How true is this and thank you for putting down where I could read and reflect on it. I think its also guilt which keeps us from doign something and we keep looking at someone’s approval to do something we feel is too good for us or too much for us to do!

  2. Great post. This is so true! And the funny thing about waiting to be an expert is that sometimes you don’t even become an expert until you jump right in!

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