It’s really easy to fall into the trap of looking to other people for permission. We do it in all sorts of different circumstances — whether it’s our health, our wealth or our love life — and it’s something us ladies seem particularly prone to. Sometimes we want that external reassurance on big things, sometimes it’s for trivial things, but whatever the size of the permission slip you’re seeking, one thing’s for sure: it’s a stinky habit to fall into. By looking outside of yourself for that rubber stamp of approval, you’re voluntarily choosing to give away your power and live your life according to someone else’s rules…
Not exactly the most enlightened way to live, right?!
I noticed this recently with myself. I knew in my heart that I needed to pull back a little — to step back from work, to slow down, to give myself the time and space I was craving. Yet I felt like I couldn’t actually allow myself that space without someone else giving me permission. I found myself looking to my team, my friends, and my husband for reassurance, wanting them to say ‘It’s okay, Melissa! You can take some time off!’. I was seeking permission from other people, when all I really had to do was grant it to myself.
So why was I so convinced I needed someone else to affirm my decision and say it was okay? Why was I seeking external permission?
The answer is actually surprisingly simple: because in that moment, I didn’t trust myself.
Trust has been a hot topic that has come up for me a lot lately. I’ve always had a lot of trust in myself, but at the start of this year (when my best friend passed over) my world got shaken up and as a result, I lost a little trust… Trust in life, in the Universe, in myself… in everything, really. I felt defeated (still do at times), flat, and found myself wondering what the point of everything was.
So I knew I needed to do a little work on this. (And if I had any doubt, every single angel card I have pulled since then has had the word ‘trust’ plastered all over it — go figure!) I also knew I needed to give myself permission to just be, something that I, as a type A go-getter, struggle with daily.
Living in a society where it is ingrained in us to seek outside approval, it takes a little unlearning to really reprogram this Mean Girl belief. It takes time and commitment, but it’s a challenge I am wholeheartedly dedicated to, and I hope you are too.
So how do we give ourselves full permission to live our truth and to just be our radiant goddess self? Again, it’s a simple enough answer (though not always easy to follow through on) — we have to have our own back.
But after years (maybe even decades) of second-guessing yourself and looking to others for approval and permission, how the heck do we do that?!
We place both our hands over our precious heart and repeat ‘You’ve got this, sister’. You need to feel with every fibre of your being that you have your own back no matter what. I know this might sound silly but it really works. Whenever I feel like I’m seeking acceptance or approval outside of myself, I now place my hands over my heart and say, ‘You’ve got this, beautiful’. Give this a go next time you feel yourself seeking approval from outside of yourself.
You can use this principle to empower others as well. For example, in the MA office, my aim is to inspire my team to make their own decisions. I want to inspire them to not always look to me for the answers, and I don’t want them to be second-guessing their own intuition and expertise. Which is why I consciously choose to lead by example. I want to empower and inspire them to take ownership and to feel confident in their decisions, whatever they may be. Otherwise they will never grow, and never fully thrive in their own unique zone of genius. The same applies when it comes to your kids, partner, friends, clients, family… anyone for that matter. You want to empower them? Inspire them to make their own decisions and to back themselves 150%. You support them by not only inspiring them, but by then letting them know that the outcome is irrelevant as long as they have their own back.
I know how deeply embedded this need for permission can be, so I want to look at two more specific examples here that I see recurring again and again in the women I work with and the beauties who come to my Goddess Group sessions…
First up is food…
Years ago, I used to look for permission to eat certain things. I needed someone else to tell me it was okay to eat the chocolate brownie I was hankering after. In those moments, if it was my truth, it would have been soooo much simpler to just give myself full permission to eat the goddamn brownie with nothing but love in my heart, and peace in my belly. (A little side note: Never eat the brownie if you have guilt, stress or anxiety circulating your body. In order to correctly digest your food and assimilate the nutrients you need to be in a calm and relaxed state.) Instead, what would usually happen would be that I’d completely flip out over the conflict raging inside me — I’d want the brownie, but I wouldn’t let myself have the brownie, and I’d want my then-boyfriend to tell me it was okay to eat it, but he’d be completely oblivious to the Mean Girl dialogue blaring in my ears and couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t just eat whatever the hell I wanted to eat… Phew! Can you see how tiring it all gets?
The dress rehearsal is over, your time is NOW!
All because we don’t trust our own bodies enough to tell us what they want, and then give them full permission to follow that instinct…
The other big area where we seem to want a big, giant permission slip is when it comes to following our dreams…
I see so many women looking for permission to follow their heart’s desires and chase after their dreams. But they get so bogged down in the Mean Girl chatter telling them that they HAVE to do things a certain way (like thinking they ‘have to’ go to uni, or study a particular subject, or take over the family business) that it literally feels rebellious — even irresponsible — to actually do what their heart wants them to do. Which is exactly why they’re so desperate to have someone else to tell them it’s okay…
If this sounds like you, then I am granting you full permission right now. Stop waiting for the green light, or for someone to say ‘Go for it’. Your time is now! You aren’t getting any younger, and if there is something that you have been bursting to do, create, start, launch or make, then trust me my sweet friend, you need to go do it! The dress rehearsal is over. The show has started. And it’s your time on the stage. You will never, ever get this moment back (or this one, or this one) ever, ever again. It’s gone forever! It’s in the past and now no longer exists. It’s just a figment of your imagination and now all that matters is this moment right here…
So beautiful, whether you find yourself looking for permission in your work, your career, your food choices, your health, your relationship, or anything else, the end result is always the same: by doing so, you’re dimming your own light and keeping yourself small.
And I know that’s not what any of us want.
So let’s all make a pact to have our own backs. Let’s all commit to giving ourselves permission to live our truth. To be our full-blown authentic goddess self. To shine our light so damn brightly, the world’s gonna need some freaking Ray-Bans to cope with our love-fuelled luminosity.
It’s a simple promise, but it has far-reaching ramifications. And when you commit to living this way, the most beautiful ripple effect occurs and you end up inspiring all the women around you to do the same. By you simply shining you give them permission and liberate them to do the same. It’s truly magnificent to watch!
So sweetheart, I want to hear from you. What do you need to give yourself permission for? What do you need to grant yourself right now? And are you ready to make this pact with yourself? Share with me in the comments below to really help hold yourself accountable.
Thank you so much for being here and sharing so openly and honestly in the comments below. Thousands of beautiful souls come here every single day and your comment might be the one thing that sparks massive inspiration in someone else’s life. So as always, share from your heart.