May 5, 2017

Permission Possible

We live in a culture where we are conditioned to operate in set standards and levels of permission. We wait for the weather forecaster to tell us what to wear outside, the grocery store checker to tell us when to swipe our card, and the road signs to direct our speed and direction.

Permission plays a healthy role in society. Can you image the world without it? Permission guides us within healthy parameters and keeps our lives and relationships safe. Permission is a good thing.

However, there’s a difference between permissions we heed for the sake of order, and waiting for permission because we’re afraid to take ownership of an important goal. The opposite of permission is procrastination, and it stems from our fear of failure. We procrastinate avoiding critical goals that could revolutionize our life and organizations. Here are a few reasons why we avoid the big, scary goals in our life:

  • We feel under-qualified.
  • We are ‘too busy’.
  • We’re afraid to ‘get serious’.
  • We are scared of failure.
  • We think someone else will do it for us.

Granting yourself permission is an unnatural thing, but you must do it to experience success. In what area of life are you waiting for permission to do something great?

First things first: Get in the driver’s seat.

If you’re still waiting on someone else to call the shots, you’ll never do the thing you’re afraid of and know what it’s like to experience success. Stop waiting and take the wheel. When we’re brave enough to do the thing we’re afraid of, we are going where others haven’t gone before. It can feel a little isolating and scary, but that’s where the beauty of a coaching relationship comes in. Accountability helps us do what we can’t achieve alone. Consider a Coachwell Executive Coach, a workout buddy, a friend who has been successful in the goal you are pursuing, and go for it! You have all the permission you need to do something great, despite your fear.

Be realistic about the obstacles.

No one set out to achieve great things believing that the journey would be smooth sailing! Think about mountaineers who climb high peaks like Mount Everest. They are constantly aware of and prepared for worst-case scenarios to happen, like falling rock, an untimely avalanche or a wave of high altitude sickness to set in. Do these things deter climbers from trying to reach the top? No, but they are prepared for each scenario, and ready to address the obstacles as they arise.

To reach a big hairy goal, we need a plan, and that plan involves creating a margin for error.  We should always account for things that will get in our path and try to stop us from getting there. Remember also that perfection is the enemy of progress. There’s this saying I’ve always believed in when it comes to work ethic: ‘Good enough’ and on time is better than ‘perfect’ and late. Don’t let your inner perfectionist take the reins. Stay in the driver’s seat and keep moving, even if you’re going slower than you want to go.

Accept that others will not always agree with your definition of success.

We get sidetracked from our goals when we begin to place too much value in other people’s opinions. Don’t let outside negative voices distract you. Define what success means for your goal and go for it! Stick to that definition of success, and don’t let peer pressure sway you from reaching it.

Listen to your trusted advisors but also trust your gut. You have permission to write that book. You have permission to turn down a job offer that you know isn’t right for you. You have permission to set boundaries with an unhealthy person in your life. You have permission to change a bad habit even while it may make other people uncomfortable in your life who are unwilling to change themselves.

We get off track when we try to cater to other people’s expectations instead of reaching for our own predetermined goals. It doesn’t matter what your goal is. Do what you know is best, access your trusted advisors and trust that you have all the permission you need.

Believe for more and get going!

Coach Greg