In a session with a client, I asked her to write herself a permission slip
‘You can write anything on there, it’s your permission slip. I give you full permission to write whatever you want on your permission slip.’ We laughed, over Skype. Kilometres apart, but we both understood what I was saying.
I wanted her to give herself permission to do less, to push less, to allow more ease and flow into her business and life. And since we’re usually the ones pushing ourselves so hard, we’re also usually the only ones who can slow the pace.
Sometimes we want to give ourselves permission to do something new, something different, in a calmer and more relaxed way, in a way that feels more “us”, more aligned with who we are or who we think we could be, or should be, or would be… yet when it comes down to it, we still push and force.
We still think we wouldn’t have to it “this way” (the way that creates tension, tightness and fatigue) if things were different, if we were “more” (smarter, better, faster, more focused), if only we seemed more competent (or felt it), if only we were more noticed and acknowledged.
But thinking like that doesn’t get us very far; it keeps us trapped in cycles of limited thinking, on the verge of burn out, always reeling in our perfectionism and feeling … stuck.
If you’re tired of pushing, give yourself permission to stop
If your ‘permission slip’ to do better is seeped in guilt, or camouflaged by perfectionism, you’re not really giving yourself permission to be your true self because you’re covering it up in shame, blame and exhaustion.
So that’s why I asked my client to write herself a permission slip; so that she could be all of those things in her business … today.
She could be aligned with who she is, and who she wants to be.
She could be aligned to where she wants her business to go, and how she wants to feel while she guides it there.
She could work just enough, and that would be okay.
She could feel more than competent today.
She could recognise herself, now, in this golden moment.
She emailed me a few days later: I wrote a permission slip for myself: “It’s okay to treat this as an exercise and not an assignment” – after all, I’m not being examined or marked for it.
Yes. Exactly. You’re not being examined or marked for your business, or your life.
Treat everyday as an exercise, as an experiment … with full permission to acknowledge and notice and validate yourself, today.