I think I’ve been waiting for someone to say it’s ok for most of my life. …
One of my mentors, Dan Meredith recently made a video about “you don’t need permission’ in it he spoke about the what ifs and how they don’t really matter either because you don’t need to ask for permission for anything … not your life choices, relationship choices, business or work decisions … that’s not how it works.
I wrote about my take on fear of success vs fear of failure in this earlier post, go check it out. Dan spoke about fear of success and how really you just need to give it a go and get out of your comfort zone … that is if you want to move forwards and create the future you want.
It made me think about Matthew - my fiancé. Growing up with a severe stammer form the age of 6 that lead to bullying throughout most of his life. What I admire most about him is that he never let it stop him … he got focused and kept it simple.
He was bullied at school, taunted, made to say ‘pepperoni pizza' over and over again …not easy with a stammer! At 15 he started training like his heroes Bruce Lee and Rocky …. endless pushups, crunches, squats and he gained muscle … the bullying reduced but his confidence was lost.
He chose a profession that meant he didn’t have to speak .. a professional artists model… as he puts it “I take my clothes off and pose naked for artists to draw me” and now he’s one of the most in demand models in London’s top art schools.
Then he was determined to find his voice so he took part in a TV show with Gareth Gates featuring the Maguire programme - designed to help stammerers develop the ability to speak to people more easily, with more confidence … he used to go out and speak to 50-100 strangers per day! Nothing elaborate just simple things to do the reps and put the work in and it helped.
People say I have done a lot for Matthew - I’ve helped him overcome his stammer so it’s hardly there at all now. He’s one of the best networkers I know - he can work a room way better than me and everybody who meets him loves him. I’ve shown him a world he didn’t know existed, I’ve listened to him, helped him to share his voice and I love him for who he is.
The truth is that as much as I’ve done for him he teaches me something every day … when he is focused on something he wants, he is a master at getting out his comfort zone and yes just sometimes he hides away.
Dan and Matthew are very different people, VERY DIFFERENT! One thing they have in common is they are determined and focused and do what others wouldn’t to achieve what they want.
I’ve been waiting for permission all my life, the focus has changed and so has what I’m looking for. I’ve had great success, a number of people asked me how come I’m not older than I am because I should to have done what I’ve done. Believe me I’ve had to be determined, focused and driven to achieve what I’ve achieved there was no other way!
Still deep down I was looking for permission, approval, a nod to say I was ‘doing it right’, that I was accepted, that I was liked, valued, approved of.
Have you ever felt like that? Like you’re living your life according to other people’s judgement?
It’s nice to be liked but it’s more important to be true, to be you.
Truth is, I’ve come to realise that really the only person that can give me permission, approval, acceptance is me!
How about you?
Where in your life are you looking for approval?
Where are you waiting for permission?
What do you want to know you’re doing right before you make the leap and do what you really want?
It’s time for things to change, for me it’s time to stop kidding myself and get sharing, writing, speaking, doing what I do best. Maybe its time for you too. So here’s the questions I’ll be asking myself over the next few days … maybe you’d like to join me and ask yourself too …
If it was all simply down to me (because really it is) what would I do differently?
If I was free to choose what I do, say, feel what would I choose?
If I had singular focus on achieving one thing I really want what would that be?
Steve Jobs famously woke up every day and asked himself “if this was my last day on earth wold I choose to do what I’m about to do?" If the answer was no for too many days in a row he changed something … not waited for permission just changed something!
So final questions …
If today was your last day on earth would you wait for permission?
Would you choose what you do now?
Or would you choose you and do something different?
Want to play along?
Pop your answers in the comments below and I’ll add mine … let’s do this together because together is always better.