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Give Yourself Permission

May 16, 2023

As a high performance leadership coach, I find that I often need to give 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 gifts is one of my happiest responsibilities.

Sometimes, just asking the right questions can help someone discover what I can already see, because I have the advantage of being on the outside looking in. And that discovery often leads to the solution they have been seeking for 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 do 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.

In recent years, we have all experienced some extraordinary demands. It's been difficult at times. And at those times, it’s hard to know what to do for ourselves, our families, our friends, our organization, our communities. People may ask “how can I help?” And you may not even know how to answer that question. Sometimes just knowing that you need help and want help is part the way there. Being willing to put yourself out there and be vulnerable takes courage. And you probably have that courage somewhere inside. You just need to give yourself permission to access it.

Right now, what is it that you need to give yourself permission to think, to feel or to do? 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?

Integrity is 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 a challenging place. It’s volatile, ambiguous, uncertain, and more complex than ever. The world needs more leaders right now. I challenge you to be one of them. I regularly challenge myself to be one of them. I believe that one person can make a difference.

I am reminded on a regular basis 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 all over 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 genuine 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. Give yourself permission.


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