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  • Gladys Agwai

YOU DO NOT NEED PERMISSION TO BREATHE

"The only permission, the only validation, and the only opinion that matters in our quest for greatness is our own." -Steve Maraboli




Most people live in a permission seeking culture with a constant need for reassurance, second guessing almost every decision, and asking everyone and anyone for their opinion. Have you allowed yourself to be governed by the opinions of others? As adults, you must remember that not every decision needs a stamp of approval. You ask, “Do you think this is too expensive.” before buying an item of clothing. “Do you think this comes across as rude” before sending a text. “Would they mind if I did not attend this event” before saying no. “Is it alright to rest since I am sick” before you stop

working. “What do you think about my proposal” before you submit. It is a habit that breeds inconsistency and indecision. If you are a chronic permission-seeker relying on others to endorse your opinions, you lose your connection to your own inner knowing in the process. You no longer hear your own inner wisdom of feel your gut instinct – your intuition. You do not always need a permission slip to carry as an insurance policy to be yourself. Your idea does not have to be signed off by a group of friends and family before you allow yourself to follow-through on your idea.


Imagine if it did not matter what other people think of you. How would your behaviors change?

How do you become empowered to think for yourself and then follow-through?


• Understand your underlying intentions when you seek permissionpush back, self doubt). Are you wanting a sounding board or echo chamber?


• Notice when you seek reassurance and reflect whether it was or is necessary. Find your confidence in your choices and decisions.

• Take up something new without discussing it with anyone in advance. I signed up with a community center with a pool and exercise classes and started going without telling anyone or asking what anyone thought about it. I am loving it.

• Watch your language when starting sentences – sorry but, would it be okay if. Use more assured statements that start with I am, or I will.

• Know that no one should know you better than you know yourself. State firmly “I give myself permission to be me.”


When you asked permission or sought to be reassured, were you told it was impossible or too expensive, you are too old or young, you will never be accepted, it would take too long, or it is silly. Did you agree with them and chose not to pursue and remain stuck in your comfort zone? Do you want to leave this earth with unfulfilled dreams and untapped talent because you were waiting to be given permission to do what you really want to do? Most times when you seek permission from others, they are telling you what they would or would not do. As leaders of your organization or household, your responsibility is to steer people toward the right path and take initiative. To do that you must create an environment where mistakes are allowed, and permission is not required for all decisions. Critical thinking must be expected and taught. They should ask themselves, “Is it right for all parties aligning to ethics, morals, and core values? Will they be accountable? Stop asking permission all the time because:


• It is your life – Live it!

• Time waits for no one – Do it!

• Not everyone has your best interests at heart – Achieve it anyway!

• You make the rules for your life – Break them!

• You have power over your life – See, Seize, and Use it!

• You alone will suffer the consequences – Choose wisely!


Instead of seeking permission from others, get the clarity and right mindset you need, be disciplined to do the right things consistently, and a willingness to take uncomfortable action for your life. It will require giving yourself permission to dream, love someone or do something different, to walk away from something you were once committed to, recommit, or to just say no. Be empowered in knowing that you are the only one responsible and accountable for your life. You own it! No one else’s permission is required to live your life. What will you give yourself permission to do?


“I give myself permission to feel. I give myself permission to do. I give myself permission to not.”


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