Who writes your permission slip?

I remember when I was in school the permission slip was the key to getting out of class (and occasionally escaping boredom!). Sometimes you got a doctor’s note, sometimes the counselor would help you sneak out of class, and a few times the principal would give you the pass. You needed that slip to do anything outside of sit in class and learn. Your parents, teachers, & administration “controlled” the slip, and therefore controlled a part of you.

For some reason, as we grew older, we continued to act like someone has a pen and holds our permission slip. As if we can’t do anything without obtaining their permission first. We sit in neutral, choosing not to chase a dream because we don’t know if we have the permission to. We stay in a job we hate and in an environment that stifles growth because we don’t feel like we have the permission and right to make a change. It’s as if we are unable to give ourselves permission to make a change.

Chris Brogan is a big proponent of giving yourself permission. He writes,

“Permission is about claiming your crown. You can choose what you want to do next. You can choose how you respond. You can decide that now is a great time to get strong.” (Seeking Permission).

In other words, why do we wait for someone else to give us permission to do something that only we can do?

  • Who are we waiting to approve our choice to pursue a goal?
  • Who signs off the paperwork to make a life change?
  • And who have we given power to do decide how we can and cannot live?

Chris once asked me – who gave me permission to start Compete? The answer was simple – me. I made the choice. I acted. I gave myself permission to succeed or fail in the pursuit of this goal. If I waited on someone else to give that permission, I would have never started. I would have constantly sought approval from others who don’t have the power to give me what I needed.

I’ll ask again, who writes your permission slip? If the answer isn’t you, you’ve given the pen to the wrong person.

I challenge you today to take it back. To claim your crown. And for you – and only you – to decide what to do next. It’s your life, Compete for it.

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