The only person we need approval from is ourselves. Yet from a young age we’ve been encouraged to defer to others. To ask permission from parents, teachers, supervisors and many more. It’s one thing to be asking permission at a young age; however as you gain experience your decision-making process develops. When various situations arise, it’s likely you know what decision to make or discover facts through researching which help you make the decision. In short, you are giving yourself permission to make a decision based upon your own experience, skills; and perhaps some research.
This, say psychologists is less about our aspirations and more about needing acceptance. And does nothing, they tell us, to help develop your decision-making processes.
Unfortunately, when you crowdsource decisions, the many responses you receive can begin to confuse you; cause you to make decisions which don’t always work for you; work for your life. In the end, these crowdsourced decisions may not be in your best interests, nor suitable for your life or career.
What it boils down to is:
You are, in fact, making decisions based upon what others know and what they believe; or what their subjective opinions are. Even what they may think is best for you. Which, in fact, may not always be personally right for you. You know what colors you like, furniture you prefer, where you want to live; what promotion or job you are best suited for. Why the need to crowdsource what tie or shoes you’ll purchase?
That said, those comments, statements and all that advice can begin to affect your happiness – your success. You may know what direction you should take, what you need in your life. Yet, what it comes down to is you have learned to defer to others; to let them decide how you should live your life. You’ve done this so long, you regularly need permission from them to move forward.
We live in a permission culture. And certainly, others may have more experience and valuable insights to share. “However, in a permission culture”, says Davis, “we require someone to authorize our agency. It assumes that we need the approval of people smarter, or more powerful than us in order to go forth and bring our most important ideas and dreams to life.”
5 Ways to Give Yourself Permission.
1) Give yourself permission to take a break from life or decision-making.
Whether you want to take a day off (or a few hours), join a yoga group, or go on vacation alone, give yourself permission to do so. Even if it’s just taking a walk in the park after a long day of caring for a family member; to take a break from work and walk around the building you work in; do it. You’ll discover it feels good to allow yourself permission to indulge in something – regardless how simple – which helps you relax, regroup, feel free and independent; even if only for a short time.
2) Give yourself permission to fail.
Fear of failure is what keeps people from succeeding; from living their best life possible. Failure brings lessons; can help you better prepare for the future; can show you what won’t work, perhaps even what will. Remember what Einstein said – “Failure is success in progress”.
3) Give yourself permission to be happy.
Celebrate your successes. Genuinely accept complements. Bask in those joyful moments and be your own cheerleader. Don’t put yourself down or ignore your successes in order to please others.
4) Give yourself permission to feel sad.
Not everything turns out the way planned as we all know. On the other hand, you may rise on any morning feeling sad. Use these occasions to explore and determine why you may be feeling this way. You’re human. And it’s inevitable you will have days on which situations will bring on sadness. No one is happy 24/7. Accept that and allow yourself to feel the emotion and move through it.
5) Give yourself permission to trust your instincts.
Henry Winkler, as ‘the Fonz’ on “Happy Days” said “Your mind – knows only some things. Your inner voice – your instinct – knows everything”.
Turns out he’s right.
Edward Deming, engineer and developer of the Deming Cycle, famously said –
Once you have done the research and have the facts for whatever it is you are working on, or hopeful to gain an answer to, consider whether it’s now time to make the final decision based upon your instincts.
“Personal accountability is foundational for success in advancing your endeavors”
says Jeffrey Davis M.A.
In short, when making a decision you are accepting responsibility; being accountable.