My life changed the moment I gave myself permission to ask, “How much of my life am I going to be wasting if I stay in this job for another month?”

I had reached the point in my career where I was no longer growing, and I couldn’t tolerate heading into the office each day. And, that question–it changed my life.

Because, at a certain point I started viewing my stable job with a steady paycheck and benefits galore to be a risk.

That’s right, I said it–my comfortable job was a risk to my career–not an enhancement.

And once my mindset shifted, I was able to pick my head up and wonder, “How does the rest of the world who actually enjoys their job everyday get to that point?”

That mindset shift forced me to take action–and write my own permission slip that would allow me to take the reigns of my career.

Writing your own permission slip to do the things deep in your gut you know are right doesn’t just happen overnight. Since we were little kids, we’ve been trained to raise our hand and ask those with authority to tell us what to do (anyone remember that dang bathroom pass from elementary school?!).

None of us are alone in this type of behavior–actually, it’s one of the most frequent issues that we see as coaches. It’s up to us to give ourselves permission to move forward with our dreams.

But, how do we actually do that? How do we take that first step towards the right kind of fear?

Well, the good news is that we’ve come up with five simple steps to Write Your Permission Slip for anything in life.

In Podcast Episode 214, the gang’s back together (or Mark, Lisa and myself) to discuss our own experiences and struggles with this concept–and we landed on a couple of tricks that have lead to our success.

So, take a listen and read along below for the ways that you can build up the courage to take charge of your career…and write that dang permission slip.

Step 1: Acknowledge That Change Is Scary

Did you know there are two kinds of fear?

The first type of fear that we experience as human beings is the good kind of fear. It’s the kind of fear that tells you to run (quickly!) if you see a bear, or the fear that tells you to play dead if said bear is trying to eat you.

You should definitely listen to that fear–please, for all of our sakes!

But, the second type of fear while important, is not our friend. It’s the fear that comes immediately after you make a decision that deep in your gut you know is right.

It’s the feeling that accompanies the thought, “Oh no — did I really just do that?” after you decide to launch a side hustle, or quit your job. It’s the type of fear that makes us quit.

Because, the most difficult part of giving ourselves permission is having the courage to actually follow through. It’s fighting through that Fear No. 2 even though our intuition is telling us to surge ahead.

 

Step 2: Define Your Fears

The only way that we can begin to give ourselves permission is to acknowledge the fear, and lean right into it.

One of the most successful exercises to practice this comes from the suggestion of our career coach, Lisa Lewis (and her good friend, Tim Ferriss…well, don’t we wish).

In Tim Ferriss’s Ted Talk, he outlines an exercise that nips fear in the butt. Essentially, the idea is that we should be defining our fears instead of our goals. Crazy right?

But actually, when you practice “fear-setting” you help yourself visualize the worst case scenario–and see that it isn’t as bad as you might have thought. And, even if it is–well, then you have a plan on how to get through it.

Say your worst fear is that you quit your office job and can’t find a client for 3 months. By planning out exactly what your contingency plan would be if this scenario actually happened in real life ahead of time, you shed a light on it instead of having cobwebs hiding in the closet.

List of your worst case scenario

So, in order to practice “fear-setting” effectively, create a list of your top 5 Worst Case Scenarios. Don’t hold back. Be as honest and transparent as possible.

After you’ve listed out your fears, come up with a list of exactly what you might do in case that would happen. If you and those who are supporting you feel comfortable about those risks, then move on to Step Two.

Step 3: Physically Write Your Own Permission Slip (We’re Being Serious!)

Giving yourself permission for taking risks takes courage, because it’s a complete mindset shift. And sometimes, our minds are even more afraid about if things do work out…instead of if they don’t.

It seems backwards, but a lot of times it could be scary if that risky idea does work out. That unexpected success might mean that you need to hire a team, or gain so much wealth you can’t even relate to your old life.

Tough problems to have, I know.

But, we can’t discount the subconscious fear of reaching our fullest potential. This especially comes into play for women, who may feel like their identity is tied to others whom they care about.

How can I be a successful mother and businesswoman and be there for my community and get the Christmas cards out on time?

Your own potential could seem daunting.

So, get a piece of paper and write down all of your limiting beliefs. What thoughts or mindsets are holding you back from achieving your dreams?

Physical description of your permission slip

Limiting beliefs aren’t just what you’re scared of on the surface, but they’re the ideas that have kept you in this comfortable space for as long as you’ve been there.

Maybe it’s that other people need you. Or maybe it’s this idea that you’ve create a name for yourself, a persona that you don’t think you can give up. Maybe a brand or a job title is how you define yourself to others – and you can’t understand who you’d be without it.

By writing down these limiting beliefs, you can start to understand what is holding you back without even realizing it.

This activity is one that you’ll have to come back to from time to time. Because, as your potential grows, so does your fear of risking it all. Giving yourself permission to move ahead doesn’t get easier as time goes on, you just get better at listening to that inner voice.

Step 4: Find Your Tribe – The People Who Will Support You No Matter What

Doing things alone–anything really–sucks.

Especially when you’re doing something risky, your mind can be your own worst enemy.

During this podcast episode, Mark talks about the importance of having a band of supporters when he made the jump from a stable job to working for himself.

Oftentimes, asking for permission is rooted in fear. It’s our way of protecting ourselves from getting skinned knees–from making mistakes that we might regret. If other people tell us to do it, then it’s not really our problem, is it?

And, while it’s important to be conscious of this mindset, it’s also extremely important to have people around you who will pick you up when times get rough. Because, trust me–they will.

So, make a list of your tribe, the people who will support you no matter what. Certain people might have specific roles–maybe your partner will always make you feel better no matter what, or a friend with an extremely critical mindset can help poke holes in your theory.

Making it clear who your tribe is will help you call on them when times get rough.  And, if you choose the right supporters, they will enable you to give yourself permission, instead of asking for it.

Step 5: Before You Take The Leap, Experiment With Small Scale Scenarios That Must Happen

The last and final step in Writing Your Own Permission slip is practice, practice, practice.

As I said earlier, this mindset shift doesn’t just happen overnight. I remember when I first started public speaking, I would get extremely nervous. I was constantly asking if this was the right thing to do (it was). So, I set up a couple of practice scenarios that I couldn’t back out of, so I could practice giving myself permission in a low stakes environment.

For example, in the early days I had publicly told people that I would be leaning an online webinar. Although I had a few weeks to prepare, I realized that there was no way I could back out. I had to write that permission slip–people were counting on me.

The worst case scenario then was to not show up.

So, I did it. And, I realized that it wasn’t half as bad as I thought.

Setting up those little experiments was an extremely helpful way for me to prove to myself that it was more risky for me not to follow through, than to just do it. I realized that Fear No. 2 wasn’t something I should be afraid of.

So, to recap here are the four steps on how to Write Your Own Permission Slip:

  1. Acknowledge the fear – write out every worst case scenario and how you might handle it
  2. Write your own permission slip – look all of your limiting factors in the eye (reputation, relationships, etc) and tune in to your inner voice
  3. Find a your tribe – this group will enable you to give yourself permission–not ask for it
  4. Practice, practice, practice – give yourself opportunities that have to take place in order to see that it’s more risky not to give yourself permission than it is.

Need help in getting to that next level, and taking action to Write That Permission Slip? Send us a note – we’re always happy to help!

Transcript from Episode

If you’re ready to create and live a life that is unapologetically you check out our Ultimate Guide to Using Your Strengths to Get Hired. Find your signature strengths to do what you love, do what you are good at, and bring value to your clients, customers, and/or organization. happentoyourcareer.com/strengthsguide

 

Scott: Welcome back to the Happen to Your Career podcast. We are breaking new ground here, because we have not just one but two of our past guests on the episode at the same time. We have two of my favorite people on the face of the earth as it turns out in one place, digitally, right here to talk about a topic I get excited about, taking permission. More on that to come. I’m so glad you both could be here. Welcome back Mr. Mark Sieverkropp, how are you? And Lisa Lewis back on the HTYC podcast.

 

Mark: I don’t want to jump to conclusions Lisa but he didn’t ask how you were. I’m just saying.

 

Lisa: He and I talk a bit more frequently than you do. I love putting the band back together of the original gangster HTYC podcast dynamic duo here.

 

Mark: That is right back in the saddle.

 

Scott: Back in the saddle and a little context before we hit the record button Mark was kind enough to pull out a cowboy hat and great me and we have a random HTYC fun fact, there is an episode something with western music and easter eggs and we will put it in the show notes.

Mark: It wasn’t even western music but I thought it sounded like it.

 

Scott: Yeah

 

Lisa: Speaking of the wild west.

 

Scott: Speaking of the wild west, yes what about it?

 

Lisa: The idea of putting the band back together for this episode was because Scott and I have been noticing in our email boxes we were seeing interesting trends pop up. We get tons of email every day asking all manner of questions but you started to notice a secret confession in some of the emails and trends in the questions. What were you noticing?

 

Scott: It was super interesting because we do get a lot of questions and we’ve been trying to answer them in different forms and bringing on guests and whatever else but as we put it together on a list we noticed an interesting trend. A lot of the questions when you go deeper are people asking permission to do things. Like how do I know if it’s okay to quit my job, or okay to start a side hustle or business, when should I do this at what point is it okay and when can I make it happen. A lot of those questions. If we break them down and say what is the I should or when is it okay. Many of us have the tendency to wait on permission from someone else. It’s an interesting phenomenon and as we’ve worked with a lot of people we’ve had to help a lot of people and ourselves get over that waiting on permission as it turns out, as you wait very little happens. Is that fair to say?

 

Mark: I think just to begin with I’m going to blanket give everyone permission. You have permission to make the change. Thank you and good night.

 

Scott: Right now you have permission, our work is done here.

 

Mark: But you are right it’s crazy. I think we will talk about why we think it is but i think it’s a cultural thing.

 

Scott: In what way?

 

Mark: Let me give you an example, my daughter is 9 and she comes home from school and we have this conversation every day. I think I’ve vented to you before.  Dad can I take my shoes off, can I go to the bathroom, can I get something to eat? Brooklyn just do it. You don’t need my permission for everything. If you want to go play in a busy street please ask me first but you don’t have to ask for these things. We are trained in school and society that there are authority figures and we have to let someone else tell us what to do. From this small age and I never noticed it, it’s probably worse, I feel like my dad and everything is worse now than when I was a kid back in the day, but that is how our society is set up and our school system that you sit in your chair and wait to be called on and ask to go to the bathroom and ask if you can do this. I get it from an organizational standpoint. I don’t envy my daughters teacher if all the kids could do whatever they wanted. But when it comes to life that is not how things work. If you try to do it that way you will run into all sorts of frustrations and nothing will happen,. It’s a cultural thing and the way we’ve been trained. Someone else is in charge of us. If you look at successful people they are the ones that decide that they are in charge of themselves and they are going to make the decision best for them. That is the interesting thing that people ask you and you can’t tell them. You don’t know their situation. They know it and can say now is the time I need to do this, I’m going to get a new job, or get something to eat, or take my shoes off.

 

Scott: That is interesting because you are right. We can create great outlines and good general advice but ultimately people have to decide for themselves. Lisa I’m curious your perspective. How did we get to where we are waiting for someone else without realizing we are for permission. How does this happen?

 

Lisa: Mark hit the nail on the head. There are some social norms and behaviors incredibly helpful and adapted to us at different moments of our career and lives. Especially through the school system and early in your career there are a lot of times when you are required to ask for permission and need someone to grant you authority. There comes a moment in our life when we realize we are the captains of our own ships and can make whatever decision we need to make. I think Mark you said something interesting in a flip way about if your daughter wanted to play in a busy street you’d want her to ask your permission. I think that underlies the challenge adults have when asking is it okay to start a business, is it the right time, can I even do this. In a lot of ways putting our way out there and exposing yourself to risk makes you feel like that little girl playing in the busy street. Seeking out helpful information from  mentors, coaching, resources from people who have done it before to learn from their mistakes and fasttrack yourself while then using that seeking of information as a procrastination device from going into the arena and stepping into the street and playing human frogger with the intent of successfully getting across to the other side and opening a new horizon of possibility to yourself.

 

I want to through the question back to you Scott. When people are considering a big, bold, exciting thing like this that they feel they need permission because there is a lot of risk and fear associated, how can you, what can you say to someone that feels like that little girl asking to play in the street because it feels questionable, dangerous, unsafe, might not turn out the way you want, might have scraped knees and stubbed toes? How do you think about the self empowerment of writing your own permission slip and see it assessing the risk appropriately?

 

Scott: This is interesting for me because as Mark was talking about his daughter I was thinking about my 3 kids and one thing we do that I’m not sure is helping. I’m getting parental advice on my podcast, a two for one. One of the things we do is will instead of having them ask for something have them let us know and communicate what it is and it gives us the dialogue to say can you not do that right now. Our son last night was like I’m going over to the neighbors house to play and we could say actually we are having dinner in 15 minutes so could you wait until after that. But on the other side they have iPods and they have become such a sore spot like the digital equivalent of playing in the street that we say no one can use the iPods unless you ask. I’m not sure that is the right way, doesn’t matter right or wrong, but I’m not sure its the message I want to deliver to my kids as I’m thinking about it now. Here is the reason and what I was thinking, at some point in every one of these playing in the street situations you have to evolve from where you are at to go into that dangerous situation and like you said Mark nobody can tell you to do that. You have to be able to practice taking action of your own volition knowing that you are going to get skinned knees. Here is another example, two of my kids are in tae kwon do and like to spar.

 

Mark: Just practicing dad. Throw him down the stairs.

 

Scott: That is what we resorted to at first. No sparring unless you are at tae kwon do but decided that wasn’t the right message it became when you do this we want you to understand you are going to get hurt. I promise it will happen. Just depending on how long you spar someone is going to get hurt. That is a different mentality but if we dig into some of the psychology or tendencies our minds are wired to avoid things we might regret or might hurt us. We might regret playing frogger in the street. We have a tendency to avoid those things. If we wait on permission it’s a way of protecting ourselves. If we aren’t saying it or forcing ourselves it’s not our fault and responsibility and won’t regret it. We are protecting ourselves psychologically. The weird things for high achievers because we like to have a lot of control we are giving up control in exchange for protecting ourselves from what we might regret in the future. That causes us to ask for permission in the first place.

 

Mark: I wonder how much, and I don’t want to be the one that is its society and economies fault and President Trump is the reason I can’t do this but I wonder how much of it’s because we have a misconstrued view of what risk is. I think many people when talking about switching jobs or going out on their own look at it as risky. I’m not going to have a consistent paycheck or benefits. I’ve had this argument with my grandpa five million times when I started to work for myself. I look back and the risky thing for me was being where I was. I didn’t like what I was doing and there was no room for growth. That was the most risky thing I could do. We hear so many people say this. You think it’s so safe working for someone but what if your boss has a bad day one day and fires you. That’s a pretty risky situation to be in but for me working for myself, if I have a major client I work with and something happened I could find another client or do something else. I have room to adjust. When people are worried about that, what will help to give permission is to sit and say is it really that risky more so than what I’m doing now. Writing the pros and cons and being honest that everything has risk. Sitting there doing nothing has risk. A lot of times something that helps us realize it’s okay to make the next step or decide is if we realize it is not as safe where you are as you think. We are comfortable and used to it but there is a big difference between that and being safe. Recognizing that distinction is important to give yourself permission.

 

Scott: Lisa?

 

Mark: Don’t raise your hand, we are talking about giving permission. Just jump in. Geesh.

 

Scott: We are on video and Lisa just raised her hand.

 

Lisa: There is something to be said about gender norms in respect to permission and we’ll get to that but one thing you are getting at Mark is risk is so much more holistic. People look at it through financial risk and what is my income trajectory. If I stay in this job I can predict that to the penny but if I change it becomes unclear. One Of the things to think about is the psychological and emotional risk. What if you stay in the same position for another year? Where is your fulfillment and sense of aliveness. The way we spend our days is how we spend our live. Would your future self thank you for staying where you are because its afforded you amazing highs, growths, and ability to expand to live into everything available to you? When you think about it that way it can be pretty motivational. Life is long and for so many of us blessed life is long but it’s also short and if you are continually short changing yourself out of your dreams by not giving yourself permission and leaning into what excites and scares you where are you going to be in five years and what is the world going to miss out on because you aren’t allowing yourself to explore what gets you fired up or makes you so passionate and emotional engaged. Thinking of risk that way can be a game changer for some people.

 

Scott: That was heavy in a lot of different ways especially laying guilt into you. What are you denying the world.

 

Mark: The country can lose the war.

 

Scott: That is what prompted me initially way back when to start this company. That same line of thinking. I was in a job, I have a friend that still works with the company. He practically owns it a VP or president. I could still be there and probably not enjoying it, maybe had a heart attack, because it wasn’t the right fit for me even if it was for him. Not wanting to tolerate it and viewing it as a risk of how much of my life am I going to be wasting if I stay here another month. That prompted me to find out what does the rest of the world do that likes their job. The interesting thing about what both of you said is that even though we talked about how our minds tend to guide us a way from risk, regret, and potential injury, human frogger or otherwise, we have a ton of research that supports that actually anything you are looking at those big decisions, its the polar opposite. When you are on the other side of that decision that you stayed or not taken the action you regret it. If you have taken the action very few people regret it. Its polar opposite and counter intuitive from what we think.

 

Mark: I think part of it is, do you know Mastin Kipp, who that is? He is, I heard him speak at Jeff Walker’s event about fulfilling your potential. One thing he said recently is there are two kinds of fear, good fear and bad fear. The fear the bear is going to kill you when you are in front of it camping is a good fear and you should run. We should embrace good fear. He said something important I think will help people, I’m paraphrasing, if something is an intuitive yes but it scares you that is what you should do. People get so caught up in the scare that comes afterward that they ignore the intuitive yes. There are so many times in my life where something felt right and I said that is what I need to do but immediately after it was what if, what if, what if. Someone needs to tell me it’s okay, what if I do this, what if my family doesn’t get supported. I knew immediately, and people miss this, in that moment we will know what is right and give ourselves permission but we back off and say but what if I need my boss to tell me it’s okay and my family to tell me it’s okay. I’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to your family because I’m a big advocate of listening to my wife because nothing goes well if I don’t. You can tell her I said that. It’s important to realize that and to recognize that intuitive yes and realize that if there is an intuitive yes followed by fear it’s a good fear,it’s not a bad thing, just an I don’t know how this is going to work out and that is okay. We talked about that way back in the day that you don’t always know what the next ten steps are going to be in your career but you do know the next two or one and if you are okay with that then it starts to fall into place. As long as you see the intuitive yes and recognize it. That is important and helps you give yourself permission. We miss that and don’t recognize it for what it is.

 

Lisa: I think that when you are talking about the idea of permission we are talking about fear. The permission is the proxy we are using as a protection from dealing with deeper fears and what ifs. Some of those fears are in the good fear like I don’t want to send my family into financial ruin or my son has a health condition and needs great health insurance to take care of all his needs versus the ones that are more about bucking social norms or conventions or maybe the fear of identity you crafted to get where you are now and having to shift and change and abandon that identity to get where you want to go. One of my favorite exercises to wrestle with those fears and sort them into the inessential versus essential is with Tim Ferriss’ Ted Talk. He has a great fear mapping exercise to help people envision the worst case scenario and all the things I would do if it happened and the psychological safety that can give you that you have thought about it and the contingency plans in place if it happened. That is a helpful thing because the likelihood that it will go to the worst case scenario, that you will put your family in  financial ruin, and lose healthcare insurance is small, not zero, but pretty small. But if you’ve thought about it and talked it through with yourself, spouse, soul and feel comfortable and confident you can deal with it. It makes the permission piece easier.

 

Mark: I’ve done that too and found that I always think I know what the worst case is. But when you do the process you realize you were nowhere near the worst case scenario. That what I’m really worried about is not even close to the worst. I can handle this. It’s a great suggestion. We forget and get tunnel vision about a bad outcome and so much of what we do as a bad outcome is informed by what we’ve had happen in our lives or seen happen to someone we know that we don’t realize it’s really not that bad or the end of the world. Once you do that exercise you realize it could be way worse. The worse case scenario is really a small possibility when I see the thing I’m thinking about is such a small possibility. We were talking before about my friend Susie Moore’s new book, What If It Does Work Out. We worry so much about what happens  if it doesn’t work out and I can’t support my family but we never ask what if it does work out or go well. What if it’s amazing. What if I make more money or have more time for my family or love what I’m doing. You have to go to that side too. If you are only looking at what could happen on the bad side you are aren’t giving yourself a fair representation of what is going to happen and that makes it harder to give yourself permission when all you are looking at is what could go wrong. You have to look at what could go right. Realize there is just as much opportunity for it to go right as wrong. We never think about that.

 

Lisa: I would say some people think about what could go wrong and there could be a lot of scary shit over there too. What if things go right and you realize you need to hire a team and you make so much money and changes that the people you used to associate with don’t feel like family, friends, and home anymore. There is a beautiful quote from Mary Ann Williamson, that is something like its not our darkness, weakness or insecurities that scare us but our light and possibility for greatness inside of us.

 

Mark: The part that we are powerful beyond belief, that is part of that quote too.

 

Scott: I love that everyone here can finish each other’s quotes. That cracks me up. We’ve talked about what can you do about this situation. If you find there is an area of your life, career or anything where you are waiting for permission. And start looking at that and the verbiage you are using is it okay to do this, can I or should I do this. When those are the prereqs of the question that will follow its a good indication you are waiting on permission at least a little. We talked about the fear mapping exercise which is great but what else can people do to stop waiting on permission where they don’t need to?

 

Mark: What has helped me is realizing there is one person in the world that has my best interest in mind which is me. You hear this with big companies all the time. People get mad because a company laid someone off but that companies responsibility is to their shareholders. It’s not to you as an employee, I’m sorry I know that hurts a lot of people’s feelings, but it’s true. The same thing happens when you are getting this position of should I, can I or is it okay. You have to realize the only person looking out for you completely is you. That extends to if you are a parent the only one looking out for your family is you. Everyone has their own agenda. Your boss is looking out for himself and his position in the company. Your parents care about you but at some point as you get older are looking after themselves and the decisions they encourage you to make are based on how they think it will reflect on them or affect them. That is not a bad thing. Its an innate ability and feeling we have but once you realize you are the only person solely concerned with what is best for you you realize you are the only person giving yourself permission and unbiased permission. I think that is the most important part. People will give you permission informed on what is best for them. That is how we look at things. Everyone Isn’t selfish and terrible but it’s the way we are. That has helped me. Only I can make the decision best for me. My boss can’t make it my parents can’t make it. Scott you can’t make it as a career coach. Only I can make the decision best for me. Once you realize it you have to be the one to take responsibility. No one else can make you happy or tell you to do the things you want to do. You are the only one 100% invested in what is best for you and making you happy.

 

Scott: That is super interesting. I was thinking about the coaching perspective. I’ve spent a lot of money on coaches over the year and we have a business where a big portion of what we do is provide coaching and you are right. We cannot make that decision for anyone we help. We can only help make it easier to make their own decisions but that is a big distinction. Interesting and good point. What do you think Lisa? How else can we make this easier and enable ourselves to stop waiting on permission and give ourselves permission?

 

Lisa: I wanted to say a little thing about different gender social norms that people may not realize that are clouding their ability to see what they are asking for permission from or for. From what I’ve noticed from coaching work is especially with women there is some sort of heteronormative behaviors that women start to internalize from a young age about men often being the ones who are the aggressors, askers, and go get it. Women often are painted into this corner of waiting and have someone seek you out and come to you and you aren’t the initiator, if you have an awareness of that might be an operating assumption working inside your mind or heart as you are thinking of possibilities that might exist you might see lots of places where you’ve been sitting and waiting and wondering where you can grab the reins and take control and one baby step of initiation closer to seeing if whatever possibility or idea you’ve been thinking about for months or years could be a fun reality for you. Little things like that can be so pervasive in how we think of ourselves in society.

 

The other one challenging for women is in typical gender norms, heteronormative male female gender roles especially with family. Women think of themselves of having to be something for other people, a mom, a caregiver, a devoted spouse, xyz things and your identity is yoked to the roles you play for other people. Mark, the point you made that you are the only one looking out for your best interests and you have to step up to the plate can be painful and challenging for women to hear and figure out how to internalize in your own behavior, decisions, etc because there is so much of social norms about being a women and what it means to be a good woman putting liberal are quotes around “good”. That has to do with not honoring what you want and thinking about what other people want and need as being more important than your wants and needs. If your spidey senses are tingling thinking there can be even one percent of truth in that in the way you are thinking about yourself in your career, happiness, and other areas like your relationship, health, dynamic with your family and friends and you could try on that new belief of I’ve gotta be the one championing me. My happiness and fulfillment matter, I can be a better mother, sister, friend, if I’m fully stepping into my joy and truth in how I make decisions it can be revolutionary and exciting. Still scary but empowering and exciting. I’m curious to hear from you guys if you see the gender norms playing a role on the other side?

 

Scott: Yes. I was thinking about that as you were talking from two lenses. One, I was thinking, dredging up times in my life where I’ve perpetuated that accidently as a man and thinking about it from the otherside too as a father raising a young woman. I have a ten year old and Mark you have a daughter too. I think that are some tendencies that I have seen for myself as a man from different places to be more willing to take permission but I’m dissecting it in my head. What are your thoughts Mark?

 

Mark: I agree there is some, heteronormative, when you said that I blacked out, what does that mean. I think there are on both sides. One thing I wanted to say quick, this is the part of the show where a guy tells a woman what she is thinking, which always goes over well, I see that so many times I think the key element if you are feeling that way is the word and. You can be these things and. You can be a great mom, wife, and you can be successful professionally and do what you want to do and make yourself happy as well. One big part is remembering that. You can do both. The other thing is I see that it really is more difficult in that sense for my daughter. I think that asking for permission she is worried about making sure everyone is happy. Everyone is comfortable with what they are doing. I see it in her that she wants to make sure everyone is happy and okay and that is a good thing but the challenge is balancing the good parts and realizing when you can take it too far and that starts being a detriment to who you are. That is a unique challenge but there are norms on the other side too.

 

I think there are some challenges guys have that are different. Whether that is, I have a tendency of giving myself too much permission, but really running roughshod over my family’s feelings as I give myself permission. I’m the master of my ship and in charge and this is what is best for me but my wife is thinking but what about the family and your kids. It can go far to the otherside. Which ties into the other challenges women have. They see taking permission as that. If I give myself permission I have to be a jerk and not care about anyone else’s feelings and I’m going to do what I’m going to do and that’s all that matters. That isn’t what we mean. You can be sweet and nice and still give yourself permission. You can take care of people and give yourself permission. On the other side, as a guy you can give yourself permission without being a jerk, still take care of your family and be a good person. We see those stereotypes of people who have given themselves permission and we say I don’t want to be that way and it holds us back. You don’t have to be that person and be a complete jerk. It doesn’t mean, it’s the guy that is 45 years old and ditches his family to chase his dreams. That is the dumbest thing and not what we are talking about. Society and movies show that that is what it means but it isn’t. Scott so much fo what you teach is you can have your cake and eat it too. You can be happy in more than one area and be successful without jeopardizing your relationships and do all these things. We are talking about solutions and gotten back into the solutions but you have to realize that giving permission for you might be different than me and different for Scott or Lisa. We are all different.

 

Scott: You can give yourself permission to give yourself permission in a way that works for you.

 

Mark: We give you permission to do that.

 

Lisa: You joke here but I think it makes a lot of sense. Whatever gender identity you identify with we all exist on this spectrum and there are times when giving ourselves permission could actively harm people in our lives we don’t realize and there are sometimes in our lives where it is so overdue or needed you want to do it immediatly right now but I think one thing it’s important to think about as we wrap up the idea is that what you are joking about giving yourself permission to give yourself permission is actually not a bad idea. There is a tool we can link up in the blog post to write out your own permission slip and parse through the limiting beliefs and fears are for you to free yourself and ask yourself the question, like that book, What if it does work out. What could be possible for me?

 

Scott: I love that idea and there is something weird and cathartic that is helpful when you are taking the time to consider something like this and what is stopping you from doing that and taking the time to crystalize it tinto writing and some of the commitment that goes with it. Huge fan of that and I have a tendency to think about all of this as it isn’t a one and done. It’s a continuous thing that you have to decide ongoing. Think of it in terms of how do you set up your life and environment to enable yourself on a regular time period to continuously give yourself permission. One great way is that permission slip exercise. You can go to happentoyourcareer.com/214 and we will have that linked up with other sources. You can build that environment of enabling by building a team of people that will support you in that. One thing that I think was interesting as we’ve talked to people who have gone through our programs is I literally had a whole team of people that could help me and give permission to move through challenges. You can do that for you and identify who you need. As you write the permission slip think of who you need in your life and intentionally set it up so they can help you continually give permission. One other thought that has worked for me is setting up smaller situations or experiments where you must go forward. You are forcing yourself to take permission if you will rather than give permission. For example, the first time I gave an online webinar format I was scared to death but I wasn’t going to do it unless we committed to the world several weeks in advance and chose a date and that enabled me by making the one commitment to give myself permission to do it. Anything else you want to add to this set of solutions or what can help people?

 

Mark: Two final thoughts for me, when you think about finding a team and people that is huge. When I was leaving my job there were so many people that thought I was crazy and it was so important and helpful to have you and your wife around. People who were happy and cheering me on. It’s scary. People around you are saying why would you do, that you are going to work with someone you haven’t met. Why would you leave this job it’s great? What’s wrong with you? It’s so important and can’t be understated to have people that when you have a tough day to go with and they are as excited as you. That is so unbelievably important. The other thing is we get so caught up when we think of giving yourself permission that we have to make a decision tomorrow. But just being intentional doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to do it tomorrow. There are constraints, maybe medical issues that mean you can’t make the decision right now and that’s okay but it’s being intentional. You aren’t saying I can’t but you are saying I’m not going to because I chose not to. That is giving yourself permission to. We aren’t saying if you don’t get a career change tomorrow you aren’t giving yourself permission or that if you do make a career change tomorrow you are giving yourself permission because it could go the other way and someone else could have pushed you into it. It really comes down to being intentional and making the decision and choosing to because it’s best for you regardless of what that decision is.

 

Scott: That is awesome. Lisa anything you want to add?

 

Lisa: I think if you are on the brink and were listening and curious about giving yourself permission you already know what you need to do. There is nothing better we could get out of this than do it and make it happen.

 

Scott: We are fans of making it happen as it turns out. If you want a whole team of people then write us and let us know what you are interested in taking permission on. We can absolutely figure out the best way to support you in doing that. Much like Mark talked about sometimes it is what makes or breaks it. Thank you both for making the time to be here and Lisa as you said in the beginning getting the gang back together. I so appreciate it.

 

Mark: It’s fun. Thank you.

 

Lisa: Always a pleasure. Thanks Scott.

 

If you’re ready to create and live a life that is unapologetically you check out our Ultimate Guide to Using Your Strengths to Get Hired. Find your signature strengths to do what you love, do what you are good at, and bring value to your clients, customers, and/or organization. happentoyourcareer.com/strengthsguide