Give the Gift of Permission
Updated: Feb 21
After a day of reflecting in the redwoods at Big Sur, I’ve come to realize the people I find most energizing and inspiring are those who give me permission to be myself.
We all want to feel accepted, loved and thought of in high regard. So, when ideas are shared or decisions are discussed, how do we accomplish this?
In my experiences of sharing, there are typically one of two polar outcomes:
1.) The listener shuts down what has been shared. This usually involves some form critical thinking outloud. Objections are often raised, breaking the creative flow of the conversation.
2.) A moment of allowing happens. The listener gives an energetic, unspoken “yes.” That energetic yes is typically followed by some form of verbal permission. “Wow, you should do that.” or “What a great idea” or “That makes sense, given that…”
In my experience, the full stop “no” usually transpires first. Even in innovative epicenters like San Francisco, I find that our first inclination is to poke holes.
Yet, when you listen with the intent to find agreement, to give permission, you allow the other to expand into themselves.
I have a challenge for you.
The next time a friend or family member shares a decision or idea, listen for the silver lining. Try to put yourself in their shoes and find the gem, the golden nugget of why you agree that this makes sense for them or why their idea is a good one.
I’m not suggesting that you should lie or be ingenuine at any point…I’m merely imploring to open yourself to their possibility without injecting your fears or insecurities.
When you say yes, you say yes to yourself too. Yes comes from love. No stems from fear. Both are are important, but when you look for the yes first, you both grow.
Your words are powerful. They carry weight that affects more than just that moment.
By listening to others listen to themselves and permitting them to do so, you give a gift more special than any other I can possibly imagine. You permit the other person to listen to their authentic self and to find their own truth, leading you to find your own.
Seeing possibility and abundance nurtures creativity allowing you to see the way to quit your job, start a non-profit, create new company, go back to school, relocate, leave a relationship or enter new one.
Saying yes to others will make saying yes to yourself that much easier.