Always waiting for someone else to give you permission?
I was coaching a client the other day and she said to me:
“It was a bit of a scary thing to give myself permission to do that (referring to a big decision she’d made) and at the same time it was a relief coming from someone else, letting me know it’s okay to do that. I was searching and wanting permission from someone else because I was struggling to do it myself.”
After the session wrapped up, I sat with what she said for a bit as her words really stuck with me, because…
What she shared with me is not uncommon.
As women, deep down we know what we want – or at least, have some idea – and yet it’s such a struggle to give ourselves permission to go for it – whatever it is.
to do something for ourselves or put ourselves first.
to work less hours or leave the office at a reasonable hour.
to stop working on a project because it doesn’t feel good anymore.
to go for that big beautiful dream to: start a business, join that group, invest in that course or program, live somewhere else.
to ask for help, to work with a coach, therapist or healer.
to say ‘no’ to others in order to say ‘yes’ to ourselves (I know this is a biggie for us).
to ask for: help around the house, more time, patience, space; for forgiveness, clarity, the truth.
to be unapologetically YOU.
Why is it that we struggle so much when it comes to giving ourselves permission, especially as women? I say ‘as women’ because men (and yep, that’s a generalisation) don’t experience this battle with themselves, or at least not nearly as much as women.
Men want something? They go for it.
Men have a need? They make sure it’s met.
Men make a mistake? They don’t dwell on it or not try again.
Men have an idea. They take action.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting women don’t also do these things or go after what they want – BUT it’s often a much more gruelling and painful process if we do, typically because we’re waiting for someone else to give us permission and tell us that what we want is okay.
And if we’re lucky someone will give us that permission, but it’s a slippery slope to wait for someone else to give us that permission, instead of giving it to ourselves, because nobody else knows what we want as much as we do, or how much it means to us if we do or don’t do something that’s tugging at our heartstrings.
It’s absolutely okay if we need that nudge from someone else to say, ‘it’s okay to do that.’ – and sometimes that might be all someone needs.
Take my client for example. When we started working together, there was a big thing she wanted to address and achieve through her coaching series and yet over time, when we stripped away the fears, silenced her inner mean girl, dosed her up with loads of self-love and confidence, and equipped her with practical tools, she had a huge realisation and what she thought she wanted to achieve, was actually the opposite; she was just waiting for permission that it was ok to do that.
Deep down she knew what she needed to do (don’t we all?) and yet she needed someone to hold space for her, listen to her – and really hear her – have someone ask her the right questions, hold her lovingly accountable and guide her to take inspired action in a non-judgemental and compassionate way.
My role as a life coach isn’t to tell someone what to do, to force them into making decisions, rehash the past or dig up unnecessary memories; it is to empower them to arrive at and make decisions for themselves, to guide them towards taking action that is directly linked with what they want to achieve in their relationships, career or business, health, spirituality and inner self; to move them forward and towards becoming more self-aware and self-actualised and to live their best life.
‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.’
– Benjamin Franklin
Women are powerful.
Women are strong, smart, capable, resilient – far more than we give ourselves credit for.
Our intellectual abilities exceed what our little ego mind tells us.
Our intuition and learning to tap into it can become a powerful guide and driving force in our lives.
The rise of the feminine is stronger than ever.
And I’m here to help you rise!
Now I’d love to hear from you: what is one way or one area in your life where you are going to gift yourself permission, starting today? Let’s declare ’em ladies…
Photo credit: Fi Mims Photography