Am I Waiting For Permission?

Wednesday 3 May 2017

Hey Everyone, how are you? 

How was your bank holiday? I've had some really lovely weekends lately, and I have 3 more weekends away planned this month, which I can't wait for. That does however mean that I'll probably only be blogging once or twice a week for the foreseeable future, and I won't make promises about which day's they will be! So, while I won't apologise for life being exciting and busy at the moment (because I know you don't expect me to) here's a heads up that posts you might normally see on a Monday may instead pop up late on a Wednesday afternoon instead. Like this one...

Last week I shared 5 big dreams I had and soon after I hit the publish button I realised that the reason some of these dreams look so big is because instead of being far off mountains they are pretty sizeable hills not so far away. That is to say, that most of my BIG dreams were things that really, I should be able to achieve in the not so distant future.

And yet, I'm not dashing towards them, relieved that the hill isn't as steep as I thought it was. Instead I'm stood at the foot of it, looking up, ignoring the sign posts and wondering if I should set up camp for a while.


Part of it, I guess is because I can be really lazy, or at least I have a tendency to stay where things are comfortable. Part of it of course, is that I'm scared. My dreams may only be hills, but there is always the possibility of falling down the, of never making it to the top, of getting half way up only to come back down limping and embarrased. Sure those things are making my tent look pretty cosy but the main thing stopping me from pulling up my walking socks and getting on with it?

I'm waiting for permission.

I'm waiting for a park ranger to come along and check all my equipment is ready, and maybe give me some sort of test to make sure I'm capable of climbing this hill. I'm waiting for somebody to come along and tell me that I can do it. Not only in a motivational way but, to actually give me some sort of certificate or license that say's I'm allowed to be climbing that hill.

And guess what? The reason I can't find that park ranger anywhere, is because I am THE only ranger looking after my dream hill. 

The only person who can give me permission to go for it, is me. And in truth I don't even need that.

A few months ago I was at an event for work listening to some pretty impressive people talk about running big theatre festivals, and one director who was sat on the pannel told a story about how his festival became named "the biggest theatre festival in the world."

There was no application process, there was no board to be met, no lengthy discussion with theatre ambassadors around the world. Nobody came along and gave them this title. They just decided it sounded good on a poster and figured that it was quite possible their festival qualified for that title.

Now maybe that is misleading, and maybe somebody might have checked up on them, and maybe they could have got in trouble. The point of the story wasn't whether or not they were the biggest festival, it was that they didn't need to ask permission to call themselves that.

They just went for it.

Maybe we're all conditioned to look around for the grown up in the room and ask if it is ok to do this. Are we ok to apply for this job, or will somebody take offence at how underqualified we may or may not be? Are we ok to wear this dark lipstick? Would it be alright if I did this? Does anyone mind if I go here?

When in reality, most of the time then only person we need to seek permission from is ourselves.

Sure we might give ourself permission to do something that turns out to have consequences we didn't realise. Maybe we give ourselves permission to climb a hill that we aren't ready for, or somebody calls us out on not being the biggest theatre festival in the world. 

But life, and growing up, and evolving, isn't about asking for permission it's about taking responsibility for what happens when you give yourself it.

If you sit around and wait for somebody to give you permission to go after your dreams, then sure maybe you can blame any failure you might have on them, but you'd also have to credit them for any success you might have.

So if you're waiting for permission to do something, ask if you really need it? And who from? Because I'm not advocating breaking the law, or trespassing, but I'm guessing the person really holding you back from something is you.

So check your own kit, take your tent down, limber up and climb your mountain x
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