I love the tag line on Troy Worman’s blog Orbit Now: Don’t wait for permission to succeed.
Because truly, how often are we really, sometimes secretly, waiting for someone else to tell us what to do? Life is complicated; it would help if it came with a manual. It’s a key point I stress in coaching: that clients are the ones with the answers, not me. My job as the coach is to help them succeed – success being what the client defines it as.
"Don’t wait for permission to succeed": it reminds me of the children’s game, "Mother, May I?" Maybe you remember this one too:
One person is the "mother", and stands with his/her back to the other players, who are lined up across from her/him. The other players make requests of the "mother": "Mother, may I take 3 giant steps?" The "mother" can then reply yes, no or counter ("You can take 1 baby step."). If a player forgets to ask permission ("can I take 2 scissor steps?"), they go back to the starting line. Whoever reaches the "mother" first and tags him/her, wins.
(Egads, is this what we teach children about life overall, and specifically parenthood?)
"May I please succeed?" It seems ridiculous, but how often do we do this? And who are we really asking for this permission? Life won’t tell us whether we can or should take baby steps or giant steps.
As Troy says, what if we didn’t wait to ask permission? What if we don’t even need permission to succeed? Even if we somehow "fail" (and failure is measured only by our perceptions), we certainly won’t be going back to the "starting line" of life. Only we can give ourselves permission to succeed.
What are you waiting for?
What permission can you grant yourself today?
Good thought Hanna…waiting on others to give us permission to succeed. It is our thinking (the way we think, how we think, what we think about ourselves) that oftentimes is the biggest barrier to our own success.
I like the little poem that reads: “Winners think like others don’t and do the things that losers won’t.”
Max Leibman says
I’m currently trying to get my team in the nonprofit I work with to get it through their heads that they don’t have to wait for orders, or even permission. Heck, they don’t have to worry about repirsals, even if they probably should have asked–I’m of the “reward excellent failures/punish mediocre successes” mindset. The ones who play it totally safe aren’t going anywhere.
Hanna Cooper says
Tim, Max –
Thanks for adding your voices here!
Getting into the mindset of success, and what is possible – rather than what isn’t – yes, indeed. You’ve hit on what I planned on posting next – so off to post!