Do you remember being a kid in elementary school and asking your teacher if you could go use the restroom?
“Can I go to the bathroom?” you said.
“I don’t know…can you?” Mrs. Hines would smirk, as you stood by her desk, about to pee your pants.
“Puh…puh…puhleassseee…may I use the bathroom?” you’d reply back, ready to make a beeline for the lou, regardless of what she responded.
“Yes you may,” she’d say, and you’d dart out the door.
From the point on…asking permission to do anything—even to use the restroom—became a battleground for you, or at least something that made you think twice, even brought up feelings of apprehension.
The Permission Monster began to creep up in the back of your mind when and if the thought of doing something out of your norm, or asking for permission from others, came up.
Heck, if something as small as a basic human need (needing to pee gosh darn it) was a big deal to ask permission to do…bigger things, like the following are certainly out of the question:
- Asking your boss for a raise after all the hard work and hours you’ve been putting in lately
- Eating a homemade cookie, just one chocolate chip cookie, made from your own mom’s loving hands during your visit home, gosh darn it
- Granting yourself permission to take a day off, or an hour off, from the rat race pace you’ve been keeping lately
- Taking a much-needed mom break for some R & R: A pedicure, a haircut, a massage, a walk with a friend at Townlake
- Possibly ‘failing’ at a new task, skill or endeavor
- Not having to go to the gym at 5:30 a.m. if you went to bed at midnight the night before, or log 3-5 miles in on your run today—because that’s what you do every day
- Ordering the steak or fish special, instead of the salad, dressing on the side please
- Scheduling ‘you’ time into your daily planner—an afternoon workout, a massage, creative space to write or reflect, a meet-up group, yoga class you’ve really wanted to try, nothing at all
- Eating the sweet potato, sushi with rice or piece of fruit instead of fighting so hard to b e ‘low carb’
- Not stepping on the scale every morning to make sure you’re ‘in check’
- Derailing from your strictly regimented schedule to be spontaneous
- Saying “no” when you really want to say “no” (Newsflash: you can!)
- Not be so hard on yourself
Need I go on?
We all need to give ourselves permission to…just live our lives (especially if you, like me, are your own worst critic).
This holiday weekend was an excellent reminder of that.
As is the case with most ‘unstructured’ weekends, ‘off time’ typically means ‘time to fill.’
Very quickly, a weekend or time with ‘not too much to do’ can quickly turn into a roller coaster, 0-60 mph if I let it.
Catch up on work, chores, write, meet clients…draft a book…build Rome…discover the cure to cancer…
I’m serious—I can get pretty driven with my time.
However, this weekend, unlike most, morphed into a more laissez-faire (“let it be”) agenda.
Work turned into…pool time…coffee date catch-up time…sleep in a little longer than 6 a.m. time…Lululemon expedition time…and you know what?
By simply granting myself permission to not stick to schedule or maximize my extra time for ‘work time’…I was invigorated (not ‘lazy’-as that Permission Monster may sometimes say), refreshed (not exhausted), recharged (not ‘a time waster’).
In what areas of your life can you grant yourself permission?
Or rather, what areas do you NEED to grant yourself permission?
Your challenge for today?
Just do it—in one area!
Post your story or experience to the comments!