Have you ever avoided taking up a new hobby, because you were concerned about what your friends and family might think if they found out? Or perhaps you’ve wanted to put your hand up for an opportunity at work, but decided not to out of embarrassment? Often, we avoid doing the things we want to, because we’re waiting for the people around us to give us permission.
But the thing is, we’re going to be waiting a very long time — because that day never comes. There’s no envelope that arrives in the mail, cordially inviting you to chase your dreams. There’s no engraved trophy that deems you worthy of living the life you want to. Put simply, nobody is ever going to give you permission to be yourself. That’s why you need to give yourself permission.
By doing this one simple action, it will flick a switch in your mind. You’ll finally have the courage to be your most authentic, vulnerable self and live a life that fulfills your purpose. In social scientist Brené Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection, she describes what happens when she finally decided to give herself permission. “Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it’s a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands,” she says.
This permission exercise can be applied to just about anything — whether it’s giving yourself permission to be creative, make mistakes or even just be happy. For Brené Brown, it was giving herself permission to be ‘uncool’. During an Oprah appearance, she describes how people often ask her why she always wears jeans or a denim jacket. She explains that it’s because she needs pockets to carry her ‘permission to be uncool’ slips. “You have permission to be excited when you meet Oprah. You have permission to be giddy. You have permission to laugh. You have permission to ask for a picture. You have permission to be completely uncool,” she says. In doing so, she’s allowing herself to live her truth by being her authentic self.
How to give yourself permission
How you go about giving yourself permission is entirely up to you. Personally, I keep a blackboard next to my bed that says ‘giving yourself permission.’ That way, I’m reminded upon waking every day to give myself permission to live my life exactly as I want to.
Another great way to do it is by using our permission slip pads. You can — and should — fill out as many as you like, for each thing you’d like to give yourself permission for. The sky is the limit! Whether you carry them around like Brené or simply keep them in a spot you’ll see them every day (for example, on your mirror), they’ll serve as a daily reminder to love thyself exactly as you are.
*Kare Psychology permission pads coming soon*