Pep talk: Give yourself permission to try

Waiting for a permission slip to do life, is like waiting for your Hogwarts letter.  It’s something you desperately wish you had, but something that isn’t going to happen.

It would be great if someone knocked on your door, told you that your plans are worthwhile and you’re the right person to execute them, but it doesn’t work that way.

And we both know that.

So then why are so many of us living like that? Like we’re waiting for a sign, waiting for the right moment, waiting to get everything right.

It’s not the right time, I’m too busy, I need to know more, I’m not an expert, I just need to invest in this one thing.

Sometimes this is true. Sometimes you do have too much going on in your life. Sometimes everything is too chaotic and it would be ridiculous to add more to the mix. Sometimes you do need invest in something (this was definitely true for Skype Recorder for my podcast). And sometimes you do need to learn more.

But sometimes they’re also just excuses. They’re ways of keeping within our comfort zones, ways of making us feel safe, but at the same time, keeping us level-headed, because, it’s going to happen. Right?

I’m going to be real.

The books I planned out in my head since I was about fifteen - they’ve never been written.

My podcast - it took a year longer than I thought to get started.

A lot of my creative plans - they’ve yet to see the light of day.

Why? Because I’ve been scared. My inner critic started to take over. All the usual shit started showing up:

I’m not good enough. What if no one takes any notice. Who am I to be doing this? I don’t know enough. They’re for other people, not for me. 

And I wanted validation. I wanted someone to tell me I was on the right path, and it would be wonderful. I wanted to not have to deal with the creative blocks, the resistance and the fear that it wouldn’t work out, or my work wouldn’t matter.

But here’s the thing. Your work does matter.

Your life matters. But it doesn’t matter if I think that, if Ryan Gosling thinks that or if your neighbour’s cat thinks that.

That doesn’t count for shit. What counts is that you believe that.

And that you’re able to give yourself your own permission slip. You’re the only one who has earned that right. And you’re the one that’s going to be most affected by it.

Because there are always going to be haters, nitpickers and naysayers. Just like there’s always going to be people doing similar shit to what you’re doing. And that fear and discomfort? That’s not going away either.

permission to try
permission to try

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother. It means you need to get creative. And start taking yourself seriously.

Let’s face it. How much time do you spend thinking about what you want to be doing? How much time do you spend worrying about what other people think, and what the reaction will be?

A lot of time, right?

So why not just use that time to just do it?

Why don’t we just use that time to create the things we want to create. Say the things we want to say. And just do the things we want to do.

Give yourself permission. 

Give yourself permission to try and succeed.

Give yourself permission to try and fail.

Just give yourself permission to stand up with your head tall and say:

"I fucking tried and do you know what, I learned something.I learned that I have courage, I have conviction, and I have something to say."