Last week I was a little out of sync, unfocused, and out of balance. You know that feeling, overthinking everything, analyzing anything, and generally finding ways to get in my own way.
Then, when I thought I was making progress, because I had come to some realizations and decisions, my mind turned to others.
“Now that I have this course of action, this decision, how does it sound?”
“I wonder what others will think? Will this work and does anyone else know a better way?”
And then it hit me. Why?
Why was I looking to bounce approval of a decision about my life off another person?
Yes, we sometimes need to talk something through with a trusted friend, family member, or co-worker, but when it comes down to the “yay” or “nay,” that should be totally on you.
At that moment, it was never clearer to me that there’s a point where a “life of indecision” meets a “moment of clarity” and that moment of clarity screams, “You don’t need permission to live your life! Stop asking for it!”
It should have hit me before based on all the bold moves I have made over the last two years, but that moment of doubt crept in and I’m so glad that clarity roared right back at it.
For so long I had made life decisions by committee and had gotten conditioned to doing so. I shocked myself by falling back into the old habit!
Let’s be honest, how many of us out there “clear” our decisions with someone else? Why do we do this?
Yes, money matters should be discussed with partners along with other decisions that could cause great disruption or pain, but the basic decisions about who we are and who we want to be should remain our own.
Think about it, does asking for permission give you freedom, or keep you in check? It’s a bit stifling now that you think about it.
Many of us have fallen into the trap of not moving forward without validation or approval from others for one of two reasons; 1. Lack of confidence, 2. Fear of disappointing others.
Lack of Confidence
Somewhere, at some point, something happened, or someone said something to you that stuck.
Maybe you didn’t play a sport well, didn’t do that great in school, got fired from a job, or have had failed relationships. Any or all of those situations may have just parked itself in your subconscious and when faced with them later in life, you need support and approval to attempt heading back into those waters.
I get it. You’ve heard about my past challenges with math.
What must come next is a reckoning with the situation. It’s in the past, it may have happened, but it’s done. It doesn’t define you. It’s not who you are. It took the wind out of your sails, but it didn’t sink the boat. It left you in dry dock, but you must sail again.
If you need approval from a parent, spouse, friend, or manager to move forward ask yourself why?
What was the situation that led to this need for approval. I can assure you that it’s way in the past and should have no bearing on your present or future. If it does, get a coach, see a therapist. You have to get out from under something like that. This type of thing leads to self-doubt and people-pleasing (which we will discuss in the next section), but there’s no reason to have to please here.
Please yourself first and others second. Look no further than your own heart for permission to just be you without restrictions or judgements.
Now what if the lack of confidence comes from shyness or lack of experience? That’s an opportunity for growth and something you can work on through the process of learning.
You may not know how to become an author, yet. But you don’t need anyone’s permission to take writing classes.
You may not have all the qualifications for that new job, yet. But you don’t need anyone’s approval to apply.
You may not be in the best physical shape, yet. But you don’t need anyone’s approval to start working out or join a gym.
See how that works? Yet gives you hope that it's coming with a little hope and effort from you. Anything that supports you, enhances you, brings you closer to the way you want to live, and feel is achievable through the process of learning and choosing to move forward based on your belief in you.
Fear of Disappointing Others
The next reason is always a bit touchy because it involves the ones we love, work with, look up to, or spend time with. This is our circle.
However, if you find that your circle is not supportive of your dreams and aspirations, it’s time to make some changes and decisions.
We want to make our parents, spouses, friends, and colleagues happy but when they limit us by their words, deeds, and expectations, it does more harm than good.
If you are aspiring to live a life of purpose, hope, progress, or success, you need to surround yourself with people who fit your future, not your past. If the people in your circle continue to bring up what they consider to be your past failings, or express disappointment with your lack of focus on them, it sends a strong message about who is more important in the relationship. It’s time to take stock.
When the need to stay in the “good graces” of these folks turns into people pleasing on your part, the damage has been done. In many cases you will give until it hurts (literally, figuratively, emotionally, and physically), and will reap little if anything for your efforts.
Not only are permissions not needed from this group, but boundaries should also be put in place to ensure you can move forward despite their objections. Keep in mind that the circle you’re in is the circle you’ve been following. Want a new world? Join a different circle.
Decide what you want and what works for you.
Work toward what you need to make it happen.
Surround yourself with resources that seek to support you, not hold you back.
Give yourself permission to live a life that works for you! You’ve earned it!
Are you seeking approval from others to live your own dreams? Are you working hard to please others in search of approval and validation? Book a complimentary consultation call to explore how we prioritize you to be Better4U and Better4All!
No permission needed!
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Take care and be well,