Often, the only thing standing between you and a better, healthier, more abundant life is simply giving yourself a permission slip to be who you truly are meant to be.
But, that can be difficult because we live in a culture where we are programmed from birth to ask “authority figures” for permission for everything. For example, you may have had to ask your parents for permission to eat a snack if you were hungry between meals.
Or worse, your feeding schedule as an infant might have been dictated by some outdated “schedule” based on obsolete research on the emptying time of an infant’s stomach rather than your own hunger.
As you got older, maybe you needed to ask permission to use your own money to buy something for yourself. Perhaps you even had to ask a teacher to be permitted to use the bathroom in school, and maybe you were told that you could not go until you finished your assignment! I once met with my daughters’ first grade teacher when I found out that this practice was being instituted. (Emphasis on “institution!”)
Not long ago on my radio show, Flourish, I covered the topic “Give Yourself a Permission Slip.” However, on the day I was originally scheduled to do the show, I overslept! Clearly it was time for me to give myself a permission slip to rest that day. When we rescheduled the show, it was a huge success. (LISTEN HERE.) So, I want share with all of you how you can give yourself a permission slip whenever you need.
Why You Need to Give Yourself a Permission Slip Regularly
Most people don’t realize that a culture of asking permission creates one where many people’s self-worth is attached to their ability to receive permission. So, it is not uncommon for many people to carry these patterns through adulthood. The patterns I am talking about often show up in your marriage, your work, and your relationships.
For example, maybe you refrain from buying yourself a new pair of shoes because you are afraid that your husband may disapprove. Or, maybe you are so busy finishing something for your boss that you don’t use the bathroom until your bladder is almost bursting.
Of course, the most common situation I hear from women is that they feel guilty for resting after they have had a baby. They do the laundry, make dinner, clean the house, and entertain family members!
The first thing I want you to do is to remember that you are here on this planet in your physical body for a purpose. And it’s impossible to be who you are truly meant to be if you are always looking to others for permission.
The only way you can even begin to fulfill your purpose and be who you are meant to be is to give yourself permission to live for the things you love. Giving yourself permission to use the bathroom when you need to, or to buy yourself a fabulous pair of shoes begins to shift your energy toward self-empowerment.
Of course, living for what you love means that you also need to give yourself permission to let go of worrying what other people may think of you. When you let go of the need for approval you can begin to live your life’s purpose.
How to Give Yourself a Permission Slip
Giving yourself permission to be yourself is a process. It starts with small permissions such as giving yourself permission to rest when you are tired or sick, or giving yourself permission to ask for help when you need it. When you practice these smaller permissions on a regular basis, it becomes easier to give yourself permission to be your true self.
Here’s how you can give yourself a permission slip:
1. Turn Your Super Traits On Yourself.
If you struggle with giving yourself permission, you probably have a super trait that results in you putting others first just because you’re so darn good at making things work for them. For example, maybe you are super responsible and take care of everyone’s needs at work and home before you take care of yourself and your own needs. This is at the heart of burnout. The best thing you can do is give yourself permission to apply that super trait to yourself and give yourself a permission slip to prioritize self-care.
2. Learn to Trust Yourself.
When you give yourself permission, you are trusting yourself to make choices. There is an all-knowing consciousness inside you, at all moments, guiding you toward your highest good. This includes what medical tests or procedures are best for you. Please don’t forget this. The more you can connect with this guidance, and the more you listen to it, the easier it will be to give yourself permission.
3. Let Go of Your Need for Approval.
When you seek external permission from others, you are allowing yourself to be judged. As long as you need the approval of others, you will remain disempowered. Once you stop seeking external approval your ability to give yourself a permission slip when you need one increases greatly.
4. Call On Your Guides.
There are many ways you can call on Divine guidance. Tosha Silver’s Change Me prayers are one simple way. You simply ask the Divine to change you into someone who, in this case, knows what she needs and gets that need met without asking permission. Here’s an example: “Divine Beloved, please change me into someone who easily knows my needs and feels comfortable with getting them met.” You can also use Robert Fritchie’s Divine Love petitions. For more information go to his website, The World Service Institute.
5. Feel Your Emotions.
When you want to give yourself a permission slip, it helps to allow yourself to feel the emotions associated with whatever you are seeking permission to do. For example, if you are seeking permission to rest, you may need to feel the guilt associated with resting while your family members may want something from you. Remember that your emotions are the connection between your physical body and your spirit. Feeling these emotions is essential to connecting with your higher self and your purpose.
6. Love and Cherish Yourself.
Matt Kahn’s approach works wonders here. Place your hand on your heart and say “I love You. You’re precious. You’re beautiful. I forgive you. I truly love you.” Do this exercise every day as often as you need. Watch Matt’s You Tube video “The End of Victimhood” or learn more at his website, http://www.truedivinenature.com about how to raise your vibration even when you are around negative people.
Meditation can help you connect to that higher part of yourself who knows your true worth. This can help you release your need for external permission.
8. Stop saying “I have to.”
When you let go of “I have to” and replace it with “I want to,” you free up tremendous energy to do what you love and be who you are meant to be.
9. Practice Permission Daily.
At first, it might feel quite uncomfortable – or even selfish — to give yourself permission daily, but the more you practice, the easier it will be. Start by making a list of everything that you would do if you gave yourself permission. Another way to make this list is to write down everything you wish others would do for you—which you always end up doing for them! Slowly work through your list. You can do this with a friend and then compare notes. Eventually you will be able to give yourself permission to be free from anything that does not support you – including a job or a toxic relationship.
10 Permission Slips You Could Give Yourself Today
Here are 10 permission slips I recommend you give yourself every day.
- Rest when you need to. If you are tired, give yourself permission to sleep. The dishes, the laundry, and the work you didn’t finish today will still be waiting for you tomorrow.
- Feel joy every day. Paint, sing, dance, play music, and have sex if you so desire.
- Let go of toxic relationships. Toxic people drain you. Work on creating relationships with people who support you as you are.
- Love your body. Stop comparing yourself to the air brushed models in the media. Dress the way you want. Do your hair the way you like it. If this is difficult, do mirror work and tell your body how much you love it.
- Trust your intuition. Step out of your comfort zone and go for whatever feels right – maybe it is a new career path, a new health or fitness program, or simply speaking up when you feel the need.
- Simplify your life. Focus on what truly matters to you. Don’t let yourself get derailed by drama.
- Forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a process. Find time every day to practice forgiveness.
- Say “yes.” Saying “yes” to yourself is empowering. Say “yes” to whatever you want in your life, and say “no” to whatever you don’t want.
- Feel the guilt. Realize that it the guilt you are feeling is probably just cultural programming. Thank it for sharing and release it.
- Be yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. You don’t have to fit any cultural mold.
How have you given yourself a permission slip? Please leave your comments for me in the comments section below.