In our previous post, we touched on the notion of “permission” as the missing element in our blurred, unfocused lives. Its absence is a key reason why you might feel like you’re just a bystander watching your days go by on a big screen. Sure, you’ve successfully learned how to get through life, through the routine, through the day without breaking down and barely being present. But if someone asked you what your child was wearing on the way to school this morning, would you even remember? Probably not. You are physically present, but your mind, as always, is wandering elsewhere. Emotionally you’ve lost all connection. You’ve moved into a state of simply surviving.

And it just doesn’t feel right. You can feel something bubbling up inside of you, a sinking feeling in the pit of your belly that’s like a flashing yellow light on a sharp corner. Warning. Dangerous road ahead. That feeling is hard to deny or stuff away, because even when you attempt to numb it or ignore it, somehow it keeps coming back.

It’s that “not right” feeling you can’t seem to shake that has you here in this moment. Yet, what if that not right feeling could be reconstructed into something different, something powerful and engaging? What if it all came down to one simple thing: permission?

Maybe it’s permission to do something different. Permission to speak up and use your voice. Permission to say when you aren’t happy, or to tell someone who deliberately hurt you that it isn’t OK. Permission to feel off, and to get back on track. Permission to redefine your life. Permission to be who you want to be. Permission to live. Permission to change directions. Permission to not know the answers. Permission to quit. Permission to start. Permission to reinvent yourself. Permission to feel. Permission to sit in a place of uncertainty.

Permission is everywhere and in everything. It shows up constantly in our daily lives, in the avalanche of choices, decisions, dilemmas, ways of thinking, being and change that all require us to go one way or another. Permission may not be something you’ve understood or identified with, but you’ll soon see how it’s impacting all areas of your life. So open yourself to embracing it, to dumping what’s no longer working, and to taking care of yourself.

Forms of Permission

There are three forms of permission that most people encounter at some point in their lives. These are the permission to be, the permission to accept, and the permission to grow. Let’s talk a little bit more about each of those types of permission.

Permission to be is about honoring yourself, your decisions, your desires, and your own preferences for life. It’s about coming to a place of peace with who you are and what you believe. You may need to grieve, give yourself space to heal, or find some time alone. You may need to practice self-care, speak your truth, or honor your feelings. Permission to be is when we give ourselves what we need to be present with what is happening in our life and in tune with what’s right for us in the present—for each and every moment.

Permission to accept is about embracing what is happening around you when it is out of your control. We need to give ourselves permission to let go of the way we want things to look in our life, to abandon the way we want others to behave and react, and to drop it when we get attached to the outcome. Permission to accept shows up when we don’t complete a task exactly how we would have liked to. It’s about coming to terms with our reality and being able to move into a place of allowance with ourselves and others.

Permission to grow is when we are face to face with change, transition and movement in our life. Here we end relationships, go back to college, or take a stand for ourselves with someone. In permission to grow, we often need to acquire new skills, do something out of our comfort zone, and redefine who we are in the world. Permission to grow happens when we take an honest assessment of our life and realize something is no longer working.

Are you ready for Permission?

Feelings are the barometer that help you identify when you have come to a place with a permission fork in the road. When we are tuned in to our body, we receive the clues that signal the permission crossroads. Discomfort, anxiety, even excitement can be the sign that you need to step into a place of permission.

Permission Assessment / How do you know when you are ready for permission?

On a scale of 1 to 4, assess whether the statement is true for you or not.

1 – Disagree

2 – Somewhat disagree

3 – Somewhat agree

4 – Agree

  • You frequent replay the events of your past.   1 2 3 4
  • You often feel like you are doing what everyone else wants you to do, but ignoring what you desire.  1 2 3 4
  • You feel a sense of freedom in your life. 1 2 3 4
  • You often find that you occupy your time with commitments, television or other “busy” activities despite having a desire to reach a dream/goal. 1 2 3 4
  • You give yourself time to dream and think about what’s possible. 1  2 3 4
  • You celebrate your accomplishments and successes. 1 2 3 4
  • You recognize or acknowledge your failures. 1 2 3 4
  • You often use language such as, “I should” or “I can’t”.  1 2 3 4
  • You compare how you are living your life with how others are living their life.  1 2 3 4
  • You say no when you mean no and yes when you mean yes.  1 2 3 4
  • You made a decision within the last 60 days that was purely beneficial to you.  1 2 3 4
  • You often listen to your gut or intuition.  1 2 3 4
  • You spend time alone or in contemplation on a regular basis. 1 2 3 4
  • You often regret the decisions you make. 1 2 3 4
  • In the moment, you can be authentic with others & share how you are feeling.  1234
  • Bad things happen to you and you find you often have bad luck.  1 2 3 4
  • You try to control your life.  1 2 3 4
  • Other people often let you down.  1 2 3 4
  • You make decisions confidently and easily.  1 2 3 4
  • You often feel disappointed with life.  1 2 3 4

Total Score: __________________

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