2. Give yourself permission to be a student. Even if you already know everything. Especially if you already know everything. Those who refuse to learn, doth burn.
3. Give yourself permission to be a work in progress. Think of it like a calculus equation: Asymptotic, approaching zero, continuing forever. Never quite hitting the line, but getting microscopically closer every day. That’s a reasonable goal.
4. Give yourself permission to be confused. Being dumb is highly underrated. The challenge is that it requires humility and vulnerability. Not everyone has the courage to muster such forces.
5. Give yourself permission to be disloyal to dysfunctional message-givers. Inherited faith fails. Believe what you believe because you (actually) believe – not because someone told you to believe and you mindlessly followed.
6. Give yourself permission to be happy. You’d be amazed how many people refuse to do so. Almost like they don’t believe they deserve to be happy.
7. Give yourself permission to be human. To be imperfect. To be wrong. To change your mind. To be emotional. To have baggage.
8. Give yourself permission to be impatient. As important as patience is, sometimes you just have to declare, “Screw it – I’m going to Nashville.”
9. Give yourself permission to be scared. Not afraid, but scared. Huge difference.
10. Give yourself permission to be selfish. Totally underrated. Practicing rational, healthy selfishness is oxygen to the soul. As I learned from Honoring the Self, “Practice selfishness in the highest, noblest and least understood sense of the word – which requires enormous independence, courage and integrity.”
11. Give yourself permission to be the best, highest version of yourself. Anything less is dishonest living. Besides, nobody wants the coach version of you – they want first class, all the way.
12. Give yourself permission to be. Probably the hardest task on this list. We’re just so used to “doing” all the time that the prospect of simply “being” is terrifying.
13. Give yourself permission to breathe. It’s ok for people to hear you breathe. Breathing keeps you present. Breathing keeps you relaxed. And developing a healthier relationship with your breath is one of the smartest moves you could make.
14. Give yourself permission to capture and express any idea. Good. Bad. Ugly. Doesn’t matter. True creatives treat all ideas with deep democracy. Capture first, evaluate eventually. That way you don’t suffer from premature cognitive commitment. Order comes later.
15. Give yourself permission to change your mind. You’re human. And like Gandhi suggested, your commitment is to truth – not consistency.
16. Give yourself permission to completely let down your guard and relax. No walls, no worries.
17. Give yourself permission to cry in front of people. Tears demonstrate alignment and honesty. Who wouldn’t want to be around someone like that? Let the water works flow.
18. Give yourself permission to delete things from your life. And, to not feel bad about deleting them. Productivity is a process of elimination.
19. Give yourself permission to disappear. For fifteen minutes or fifteen days. Doesn’t matter. Engaging the off button on a regular basis is essential to your health.
20. Give yourself permission to disregard the inconsequential. Ending your pursuit of the trivial and focusing on stuff that matters is unbelievably liberating.
21. Give yourself permission to divorce toxic people. If they don’t challenge and inspire you, give ‘em the boot. Your time is too valuable.
22. Give yourself permission to do nothing. Unproductive time is productive time. Recharging is essential.
23. Give yourself permission to do something imperfectly. Better done and imperfect than procrastinated and flawless. Nobody’s going to even notice anyway, so what’s the hold up? Remember: My crap is better than your nothing.
24. Give yourself permission to expect nothing. That way, failure is impossible. Pretty cool how that works, huh?
25. Give yourself permission to fail. Regardless of what your boss says – failure IS an option. Not learning from that failure isn’t.
26. Give yourself permission to feel miserable. People who are happy all the time scare me. Makes me wonder if they’re even paying attention to life.
27. Give yourself permission to feel positive about your accomplishments. Especially when your inner critic tries to take the wind out of your sails. A victory is a victory. Celebrate it.
28. Give yourself permission to get lost. GPS is the devil. I can’t imagine a world where it’s impossible to get lost. How else will you learn to trust yourself? How else will you stumble upon fascinating discoveries that the map doesn’t include? Learn to travel without plans.
29. Give yourself permission to go perpendicular to your current activity. It’s the perfect way to engage other areas of your brain and stimulate creativity.
30. Give yourself permission to have (and follow) your crazy ideas. If it’s not crazy, it’s not worth pursuing.
31. Give yourself permission to have a bad day. Fine, so resistance beat you this morning. Big deal. Don’t beat yourself up. When the world says no to you, the first word out of your mouth should be, “Next!”
32. Give yourself permission to indulge occasionally. Otherwise your admirable self-discipline will morph into intolerable self-righteousness.
33. Give yourself permission to laugh out loud. Especially at stupid things most people don’t think are funny. Don’t worry – nobody will think you’re a horrible person. Just a human.
34. Give yourself permission to let it out, man. Fine, so I sing Whitney Houston in the car at full volume. Sue me. It feels great, releases my stress and entertains other drivers. Bet I’m having more fun on the highway than you are.
35. Give yourself permission to live a life of your choosing. This is the polar opposite of allowing other people to dictate what you want.
36. Give yourself permission to live creativity in every part of your life. Creativity isn’t something you do – it’s something you are. And like humor, creativity isn’t something you “add” or “use” or “apply” to your life like hair gel. True creativity is embodied.
37. Give yourself permission to make bad art. How else are you supposed to uncover the good art?
38. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. As long as you learn three things from each one. That’s how it ceases to be a mistake.
39. Give yourself permission to make taking care of your life your top priority. Put yourself at the top of your own list.
40. Give yourself permission to matter. I wrote a helpful guide on doing so here.
41. Give yourself permission to pause. They. Can. Wait.
42. Give yourself permission to quit for the right reasons. Just ask Seth.
43. Give yourself permission to take off your nametag. No labels, no limits.
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* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
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