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Ask forgiveness after the fact or seek permission first?

What or who are you waiting for?

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

No one likes to be disregarded in a decision. We don’t want people to go around us; somehow, that erodes our autonomy. It certainly doesn’t feel good when people take or use our things without asking; it’s rude and asking first in those circumstances certainly works. But what if you are waiting for permission and no one is giving it to you. Could it be that the person you are waiting for is YOU?

Side note: Authenticity is a focus these days and for good reason. Have you ever noticed that Authenticity, Author and Authority all look suspiciously similar? They share similar origins and share a parallel connection that aligns with being self-directed, genuine, and authoritative. YOU are the authority in your own life, and for as long as you surrender that role, you will always be waiting for permission…

Permission that may or may not come.

It’s fair to say women seem to have more of an issue with this one than men, but it can affect us all.

So, why does this happen?

In a word, it comes down to how you were domesticated. I know, we usually think about domestication with regard to how we train our pets. Right now, my beloved is trying to retrain my 5-year-old Ragdoll-Burmese cross. And, with mixed results. He’s been doing things ‘his way’ for some time now. Getting him to change his behaviour is hard.

News flash! You are NO different. YOU also were domesticated to be the kind of human you now are. Some of that training has been deliberately imposed upon us, and some of it we willingly accepted. If you’ve ever gone to say something, offer an opinion or point of view and stopped yourself, ask yourself why you would do that? How much of a difference could you speak up make to your life, career, hopes, and dreams?

So, why do you silence or sensor yourself?

The likely suspects are embarrassment or fear, but you might also have learned (or been trained) that you need to hold back. “Children are to be seen and not heard”. It’s an old way of thinking, I get it, and for some of us, if that is what we grew up with, it can still have a real impact on what we allow ourselves to say.

Yes, We allow ourselves to say. If we’ve internalised the training, it’s time to reclaim your voice and give yourself permission. The good news is you’re a lot smarter than my almost untrainable cat. It takes awareness, and it takes practice, and it also means stepping outside of your comfort zone. 

A word of caution. 

You are likely to experience a little pushback. You may even experience a lot of pushback. People have grown accustomed to how you are. They will expect you to continue to act as you always have, which might not go down so well.

Stick with it. You have something to say and a unique contribution to make. The only permission you need for that is the permission you give yourself. BE the authority in your life! The buck stops with you after all.

If you wait for someone else to give it to you, you may be waiting a very long time indeed.

What are you waiting for?

If you want a little help with this one, reach out. I’d love to hear from you.

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