Give yourself permission without asking for approval.
I left a very well paid job that I loved.
Others advised me to wait ... told me I would change my mind ...said I needed firmer plans to move onto... advised me to rethink...suggested I would hate my decision...told me I couldn't because THEY didn't understand why I was doing it. Many felt cheated that I hadn't talked it through with them before formally handing in my notice. Three people in my professional world congratulated me for taking a risk, told me how empowering it was and said they were excited to find out about my new journey.
That was over two years ago.
Since then I have learnt, and continue to learn, skills for being a director of my own business. Building websites, building circles of influence, conducting social media to be authentic and meaningful, self promotion, a whole new work life balance, branding, networking, invoicing, accounting but to name a few. I am so proud of what I have achieved and even more proud that I gave myself permission without asking for approval.
Most people that had an opinion about my decision don't stay in touch unless I contact them first. THERE IT IS! I could have changed my mind because of the strong opinions. I could have allowed their doubt to influence my strength. I could have turned tail and stayed - but the reason I didn't need their approval is because I already knew that their comments were more about them and less about me.
When people 'change' maybe positive habits, lifestyles, jobs, partners etc it holds a mirror up to the people around them. They reflect on their own position and it can become raw, self doubting and unsettling. As a result, they want you to stay just as you are! I call these people the ankle grabbers, they hold onto your ankle for just long enough to stop you getting ahead of where they are. I don't believe that this is always done maliciously nor always with jealousy but if you ask for the approval of others you may be getting their mirror rather than what is best for you.
I love being the director of Plan A Dynamic Consulting Ltd. I am still a motivational leader who places kindness as my top priority. I have exponentially grown my circle of influence and I have had the most incredible experiences in the past two years. I stand shoulder to shoulder with a "High Vibes" group; a group of female entrepreneurs who are strong, supporting and relationship driven. My latest achievement, delivering my TEDx talk 'Don't Dilute Yourself' on the stage of TEDxSouthampton, is a life goal that seems surreal to have achieved.
So what is my mirror for you? Why is this blog more relevant for you than me sharing part of my life story? Because I think it is fascinating how uncertainty or doubt (no matter how small) can manifest itself. You have an idea, a thought, you've heard something motivational that you would like to try ... so do it ! You do not need the approval of others. At most, tell them what you want to achieve but don't ask their permission. It is liberating to not have to justify every thought or action or decision. It frees up time, something we all claim to not have enough of. It drives motivation because your thoughts can manifest themselves without the fog and doubt of others. It is empowering because you put yourself back into your own driving seat. If I'm honest, most of the decisions we check with others are not huge or life changing, and yet still we ask.
I have calendared regular days in my working month for me to do with as I choose. Not working from home days, they are different and essential to keep my business fresh and creative. Today was a ME day and I drank tea, read my book, had my nails done (photo above!) and wrote in my learning journal the thought paths that I wanted to reflect on. This blog is a result of that last activity. I don't have to justify any of my day with anyone :) It feels great because I am released from judgement, guilt, doubt, opinion and negativity. I have had a thoroughly great day doing what I choose.
How often do you do that? If you need permission - I give it to you, until forever!
We all search for purpose and then when we may have found a little step towards it, we check it out with everyone around us. Stop that right now! Spend the next two weeks not asking for approval to get a coffee, send an email, have a night out, have a second glass of wine, look at the job ads - JUST DO IT, you have my permission!
If this blog resonates with you, my TEDx talk may be an idea worth listening to and spreading. If it helps you to champion yourself then I would be delighted and well done to you. Here is the link;