Giving Yourself Permission

| by Kimberly C. Paul |

Why is it that we feel we need permission to follow our heart’s desire?  It’s a question that seems to always derail me throughout my life.  I just turned 44 a couple of weeks ago and I still struggle with giving myself permission. Do you?

I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a fairly strict household.  As I child, I needed permission to fart if you want the honest truth.  It was all about permission.  If I close my eyes, I can recall the long walk down the upstairs hallway to my parent’s bedroom, the churning of my stomach wanting badly the answer to my question to fall in my favor.  It was a high school party with no parents. I don’t have to tell you the answer to the above request.  It was always, “No”, or “Are the parents going to be at home?”

I’ve been researching the 16th century for a novel.  I’ve been struggling lately to just get into a groove.  When you live at the beach, work a demanding full-time job that pays the bills, the last thing I want to do is struggle at the one thing I want to do.  Yet, I do.  So many individuals have come up to me or emailed me with encouraging words, but some say,  “I wish I had your life.”  What is not apparent is the struggle that comes with the discipline of honoring one’s craft.  Everyone gets fascinated with the possible outcome, impressed with the disciple, and often frustrated with the lack of engagement as the characters in my novel take over a large portion of my life.

I realized today, that my parent’s permission has not been needed in a long time.  It is I that hold the permission back from my own self these days. Why is that?  As a woman, I have choices that my grandmother did not have and especially my great-grandmother.  I have choices at my finger tips. Yet, so many times I’ve chosen the short gratification path rather then investing in honing my greatest love: producing a story and giving birth to it.

Why do we need to give ourselves permission? Permission is important because it gives us the freedom to pursue our quest, our heart’s desire, what only we alone can accomplish.

So, I give myself permission knowing it comes with FEAR, STRUGGLE, SELF-DOUBT, FAILURE, CRITICISM AND MOST LIKELY SOME OTHER HORRIBLE THINGS THAT I CAN’T IMAGINE AT THIS POINT IN TIME. Yet, even knowing that this quest comes with all of these possible pit falls, the story still must be born.

I was just thinking that maybe those reading this might need permission, too.  So, I give it to you.  What is your quest?  But, mostly importantly, what are you waiting for?  All it takes is one courageous step to begin.  I hope you take it…and if you need a little nudge, I’m here for you, because I know for a fact, they’ll be some days I’ll need a definite push!

I leave you with this quote today.  My good friend Brene Brown via Erin Tetterton introduced it to me many years ago:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

by Theodore Roosevelt

Whether you use today to engage in your quest or not… whatever you do, do it DARING GREATLY!

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