If You Want to Be Successful, Stop Asking for Permission
The most successful people have one thing in common. They don't ask for permission. Instead, they act.
What are your personal goals? What kind of things do you want to achieve in your life? Maybe you want to quit your job. Or, perhaps you want to start a company because you feel you're worth more than your resume.
People want to make changes on many aspects of their life. But why do so few people choose to do something about it?
We are born to feel good.
So why do so many of us find ourselves stuck in a rut? Why do so many of us accept relationship issues, physical discomfort or financial instability as the norm? Were we born to be disappointed and then die? Absolutely not.
So why do so many of us think that “good enough” is an acceptable substitute for abundance in any and every area of our life?
There are two habits we form as we grow that cause us to settle for less than we deserve: quieting our instincts and asking permission to be happy.
Quieting our instincts to react when something doesn’t go our way is a learned behavior that we develop as we grow. Our well-intentioned parents teach us that life is unfair and that things will not always go our way. They reason that this lesson will allow us flexibility when we encounter life’s disappointments— so when the letdowns do hit, they don’t hit as hard. Our parents teach us that life is unfair because that has been their experience, because they have also been taught as such.
But there’s a problem with the theory about life being unfair, and it lies in the fact that your life unfolds in the way you believe it will, not the way you want it to.
That said, if you consider your life up to this point to be the culmination of unfair circumstances, it has been because the basis of your belief system is rooted in the idea that life is unfair.
The good news is that you can change that belief beginning now. It’s as simple as dismissing the thought of unfairness and replacing it with the following thought: Life is an even playing field, and I have as much time in a day as anyone else to make the most of it.
Don’t want something and then immediately assume it won’t pan out for you on the idea that “that’s just the way life is.” Screw that. Keep a rubber band on your wrist and snap yourself any time you catch yourself entertaining a victim mentality.
Stop quieting your instincts to speak up or take action when life is propelling you down a path that doesn’t suit your highest desires.
You don’t have to lie down and take a beating. Stand up. You’re a creator, not a victim.
Get into the habit of seeing yourself as such and you will see profound changes in every area of your life.
Create the life you want. Don’t accept one you’ve been given.
Now that you’re empowered, we can tackle the second learned habit that prevents us from allowing unbounded happiness: asking permission to feel good.
Every time we have conflicting thoughts about something that brings us joy, we are asking something or someone “out there” for validation.
Let’s say you go to Starbucks, and you think a Caramel Frappuccino with all the extra whip and sugar on top is just about the best thing you have ever tasted. You’re in line, and right before you’re about to order, you catch sight of the caloric count of the drink. You remember a Cosmo article you read about how guys only like skinny girls, and you start to second-guess your decision to buy the Frappuccino. “Maybe I should just get a black coffee instead,” you think, even though you really don’t like black coffee and probably wouldn’t have made the trip if you’d known you’d have this inner conflict once you got here. “Whatever,” your mind continues. “I’ll just be good and get the coffee instead.” The next thing you know, you’re walking out of the coffee shop with a drink you don’t even want with three dollars less in your pocket, all to cater to an idea that’s “out there,” an idea that wasn’t even yours to begin with.
We do this kind of thing all the time. We do it when someone compliments us and we feel an immediate need to dilute his or her admiration. We do it when we have a great idea and then worry that the idea is going to make us look a certain way to our family and friends.
To find true happiness, you have to stop worrying about how the things that make you feel good will make you look.
You have to stop worrying about how you’re going to look to the rest of the world because the world’s perception of you isn’t any of your business.
Do what you want. Say no. Do what makes you feel whole. Forgive the people who have hurt you, even if no one else understands why. Drink the damn Frappuccino.
You’re liberated when you realize you can do anything you want to do. You can— all that’s stopping you is everyone else’s ego stepping in and telling you what you should do instead. Once you begin to live from this perspective, you will find yourself liberated.
"Stop asking for permission."
I have worked with many clients seeking change, here is a sampling of some of the decisions they made without asking for permission.
· Dropping out of college
· Deciding they were committed to working for themselves
· Starting an online “fill in the blank” company (with no experience in online business)
· Developing an “fill in the blank” product and setting up a franchising business (with no prior experience in franchising)
I'm sharing these examples to show how inexperienced they were when they began each of these ventures, but also fearless!
For some, when they made these decisions, the people closest to them did NOT give them their unconditional blessing. A few were told they were making a mistake. Others were told they were flat out crazy.
Mostly this is what they heard when they talked about their ideas.
"(Insert name here), please think this through. You don't have the experience to take on these projects. Why don't you go work somewhere with job security, health insurance, and take good care of your family."
By talking to people, most realized early in life that not everyone shared their view of the world. However, by sticking to their gut, they were able to overcome the naysayers and choose the life they always wanted.
But if they had been worried about getting permission to act, they never would have moved forward.
Look, maybe you have no interest in entrepreneurship, or could care less about starting your own company. That's fine.
But I know there are goals you have in life. I know there are things you want to accomplish that feel out of reach. You surely desire things that require a set of knowledge and skills you have yet to attain.
But please don't give up on your dreams, because here's the truth:
· Who you are today does not determine the person you will become.
· You can learn nearly any skills you need to be successful in a new industry, job, or profession.
· Your dreams are yours alone - and believe me, they're worth pursuing.
· You don't need anyone's permission to chase and achieve your dreams.
So the next time you have an idea that you think is great, one that’s inspired and comes from a place of genuine interest (not because you think it’s going to make you money or make you popular) don’t second guess yourself. Roll with it. You don’t need anyone else’s permission. Maybe it seems like you could never be the one to be a successful fashion blogger, or restaurateur, or talk show host, or the next singer songwriter to blow up, but…
…Why couldn’t it be you?
Fear kills more dreams than failure ever does.
Remember that our natural instinct is to roll with the feelings of joy, not because you expect or need something to happen but because it feels good here and now. If we can create joy in our present moment, we can be free of the weight of waiting for something to happen that will bring it to us.
We are here to give our best to the world. So stop asking for permission and take a step in the direction of your dream. For the only way to figure out the steps necessary is to start with a single step.
But let me warn you, choosing your own path can be fulfilling in the most transformational of ways. Once you start living the life you want, it might change how you look at the world forever.
All any of us are waiting for is happiness, anyway. It’s already right here.
Check out the Career Exploration Series – Reconnecting with your Inner GPS at www.upwithjr.com. It is a course specially designed to help you remember why and how you are unique and awesome, and also provide guidance on how to utilize your unique skill set in a new and powerful way.