Remember when you were a kid? You had to have your parent’s permission to take field trips, miss school, etc. You had to ask permission to speak, go to the bathroom…you even needed permission slips to walk down the halls when classes were in session.
(I actually got busted for writing fake permission slips in junior high! Well, the teachers never figured out it was me, but one of my friends did get in trouble for the fake slip. I spelled Tuesday wrong…I never was very good at spelling…)
Our childhoods were a time when we really didn’t have control over very much of our lives, certainly not in school. And unless we were allowed to make some decisions for ourselves at home, we were never given the tools to have agency over our lives.
And now as adults, we are still waiting for permission to express our power, our creativity, and our voices. Look at how many women stayed quiet for so long before the women’s movement began? It took many brave women to come forward and share their experiences regardless of whether they were “permitted” to do so. And their bravery started a movement that has only just begun.
So, what are you afraid will happen if you speak up and claim your power? For me, the answer has always been, “I don’t want to offend anyone.” That has kept me quiet and safe time after time.
What about you? Are you afraid of losing love? Feeling embarrassed? Triggering anger in others? These are all valid fears and very common.
No one is suggesting we lie to ourselves and say we’re not afraid. Because, we are. And sometimes with very good reason.
So instead, let’s try having a different perspective on those fears. Add a few words…
For example, “I don’t want to offend anyone” becomes, “I’m willing to stifle my power so I don’t offend anyone.”
Fear of embarrassment? I’m willing to squander my talents so I don’t feel embarrassed or embarrass anyone else.”
Fear of losing love? “I’m willing to play it safe and dim my inner light so I don’t lose the ones I love.”
How does that feel? If you’re like me, that feels icky and makes me a little angry. My response is, “Screw that! I’m not keeping my mouth shut just so others aren’t offended!”
Where else do you need permission? Are you avoiding exploring your abilities to paint, or sing, or dance? Are you waiting for permission to take a day off for self care? Are you waiting for permission to love and appreciate yourself right now as you are?
I’ll ask you again…What are you afraid of? What do you think will happen if you own that you are lovable just as you are? Are you afraid people will laugh at you or make fun of you? Are you afraid you’ll go to the other extreme and become conceited with an inflated ego?
Rephrase your fears. “I am willing to deny my lovability so that people don’t think I’m conceited”. Ouch.
And, riddle me this, Batman…Who do you think is going to give you this permission in the first place?
You know the answer to that…YOU. No one else is sitting around waiting to give you permission to shine. It’s up to YOU.
So here it is, your own permission slip to be exactly who you want to be and do exactly what you want to do. You have full permission to be your most powerful, creative, lovable self.
I, _____________________________, am giving permission to
_________________________ and ____________________.
I suggest you make copies, fill one out every day, and post it where you will see it often. Permission slips are a powerful symbol from our childhood. Taking this action every day will have a profound effect on your life and give you the courage to take action despite your fears.
No more waiting for permission. It’s time to start claiming your power. Now.
Breaking beliefs from our past can be challenging for many of us. If this feels triggering for you and you want some support with it, get in touch and we’ll work on this together.
And as always, retweet, repost, and forward to your friends.