Permission: What is it - why do we women seem to need it - how do you give it to yourself?
My dad has been saying for years that his daughters (and my mother) drive him nuts with our need to poll people on what we should/should not do. Usually these polls are not about life-altering decisions yet for the myriad decisions that life requires of us (e.g., the best way of fixing or replacing, say, the motor on the boat). I counter with a quip that Keith J. Cunningham (author of Keys to the Vault) gave me in his “4 Day MBA” course: “My ability to execute on a decision is directly proportional to how many divergent opinions I can hold in my head.”
The thing is, my dad isn’t wrong. We as women usually have a stronger need for permission than men; it just seems to be the way our brains work. Not only do we evidently have a larger communication center than men, we are also programmed by society to be more highly aware of social interactions and body cues. Add to that, somewhere along the road to being a grown-up, we often develop a prevalent, deep-rooted need to be liked, and we are setting ourselves up for pain and disappointment.
I have become fascinated with the whole permission piece and how it affects our lives - and the pleasure of permission!
My book Babe In Total Control of Herself (affectionately known as B.I.T.C.H) is about encouraging, prodding, and advocating so that you become clear on what works for you and then helping you to step up to YOU—for YOU.
My job as coach and mentor is to stir the pot. I ask the tough questions: Do you know what you really want? Do you know what gives you pleasure? Who are you expecting to give you permission to live your life your way? Have you considered a new mindset that could set you off on a new path?
Here are some simple first steps that can generate big rewards:
Start giving yourself permission to seek out life’s small pleasures, whether it is a 15-minute walk with the dog at dawn while your teenagers sort themselves out before school, flirting with your doorman or the cab driver on the way to the office, having coffee with a friend, or anything else that gives you that little burst of joy. Pleasure comes in so many forms! Mine is my meditation CD from the Abraham-Hicks series. For many of my Sister Goddesses(TM) from the Mama Gena courses, it might be cranking up the music for a 10-minute dance break.
True pleasure has no guilt associated with it. You don’t need permission to include it in your life. It has nothing to do with being selfish and it has few negative consequences. Its purpose is to generate lightness and joy. Often when we are in our pleasure and feeling pleasure we light up not only our lives yet the lives of everyone we come in contact with.
Pleasure is your birthright, not a dirty little secret!