I mentioned in one of my previous blogposts that I listen to podcasts quite often. The other day, while listening to one of Oprah Winfrey’s podcast conversations with Iyanla Vanzant, one phrase I heard in their discussion struck me – “give yourself permission.”
Remember when you were a youngster in school and you had to get a permission slip signed by your parents to go on a field trip? It was important to ask permission in this way for many reasons; but essentially it boiled down to, as a kid, you had to ask one adult that was wholly responsible for you to let another adult that was partially responsible for you for permission to go somewhere. If you didn’t have a signed permission slip, you couldn’t go. Or, as an adult, you may have to ask permission to take vacation time from work.
My initial reaction to the phrase give yourself permission was that it really doesn’t make sense. Permission is usually authorization granted to you by someone else, right? Why should I have to ask for permission from myself…for myself? But as their conversation continued, the light came on in my head – sometimes we do have to give ourselves permission.
Here are 10 things we need to give ourselves permission to do:
- Forgive yourself for your mistakes
- Have a good time
- Carve out time for rest and vacation
- Say no
- Leave a relationship, job, church (you name it) that no longer serves you
- Be happy
- Buy yourself something nice
- Trust your inner voice
- Love yourself for who you are, right where you are
- Honor what you need even if it means disappointing someone else
And here’s a bonus one: Admit that you’re not okay and you need help.
There are many more I can think of and maybe you can too. The bottom line is – sometimes we let guilt, shame, fear, lies somebody told us about ourselves, mistakes, un-forgiveness of others, failures, false starts, lack of confidence… you get the idea … stop us from living our best lives. When we don’t let go of the negative feelings we have, or the desire to punish ourselves for mistakes of the past, yada yada – we can’t move on in life. It’s time to let go, my dears, and give yourself permission to stop merely existing – and live life like it’s golden – because it is.