Leadership Matters

Created to help you become the leader everyone wants to work for.

Give Yourself Permission


As an executive coach, I find that one of the activities that is quite common is giving my clients permission. More accurately, I help them to give themselves permission.

The reality is, we all have everything we need to do what we need to do, though sometimes it's not readily apparent or visible. Helping someone to discover their inner genius is one of my happiest responsibilities.

Sometimes, asking the right questions can help a client discover what I can already see, because I have the advantage of being on the outside looking in. And that discovery can lead to the solution to a problem that has been vexing someone for quite some time. It is pure joy to be the enabler in these situations.

When someone says to me, "I don't know what to do," my usual answer is a soft "yes, you do know." They may not want to face it in the moment, or they may feel they lack the courage to do it, but they know.

Often, it's a process of reminding them about similar times, similar circumstances, when they had similar fears or hesitations, and they came through it. Taking them back to that moment of courage, that moment of faith, that moment of self-confidence can help them see the forest through the trees. Remembering a past success or failure - and re-applying the lessons from that success or failure -- can be a powerful path through the present scenario.

This is giving yourself permission. Permission to tap into your faith, your self-confidence and your courage and make the right choice at the right time. Permission to take the risk and know that you will survive it, just as you have in the past. Permission to step up and show up as your best self when the situation demands it.

We are all experiencing a lot of extraordinary demands on us right now. It's a difficult time. It's hard to know what to do for ourselves, our families, our friends, our organization, our communities. How can I help? People are asking. That's a good thing. Knowing that you want to help and not knowing how is part-way there. Being willing to put yourself out there and make mistakes is bold. And we need some bold right now. We need permission.

So, what is it that you need to give yourself permission to think, to feel or to do right now? When you tap into the best version of you, what do you see? How does that person think? How does that person feel? How does that person act? How does that person show up in the world? What type of example does she set? What behavior, what thinking, what attitude, what outlook does that person model for others? And, who are those others?

I often describe integrity as doing the right thing when no one is watching. What do you say to yourself about yourself when you are by yourself? That is self-image. What is your self-image right now? Are you living your truth? Are you in integrity with yourself? Are you acting in a way that is congruent with your professed values? What do you stand for? What's important to you? And how are you demonstrating that right now?

The world is in chaos. And, I see people I admire stepping up and taking a stand. But there are not enough of them. We need more leaders right now. I challenge you to be one of them. I challenge myself to be one of them. I believe that together, we can make a difference. And each of us can make a difference. We've all seen how the actions of one person can make a significant impact. There are many examples through history and many examples in our contemporary society, although we mostly focus on the negative impact.

Recently, I was reminded of why I do the work I do the way I do it. It's about making a positive difference in the lives of others, of having an impact. When someone tells me, often years later, that something I said or did provided a turning point or a valuable moment of introspection that changed the course of their life - or the way they saw themselves - I realize again that is my purpose. To help people see what they can't see so they can do what they must do or want to do. Because I am on the outside looking in and I have the most valuable perspective, along with the purest motivation.

If you would like to learn more about how I help my clients gain insight and perspective, I invite you to schedule a brief (15 minutes) call with me to share a challenge you are facing.  I promise to provide at least one actionable solution.  Here's a link to my calendar:  https://bit.ly/Cheryl15