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Archive for September, 2015

Stop Asking Permission

Monday, September 7th, 2015

You’re smart. You’re driven. You’re a “good girl.” You found out a long time ago that life goes more smoothly for people who follow the rules, so you learned the rulebook inside out. People expected things from you and you made it your job to live up to those expectations and probably beat yourself up on the inside when you fell short.

But now you’re stuck, the way anyone who has spent majority of their life making other people happier than they make themselves gets stuck.You wish you could go back to school to study what you really love doing, or maybe you want to start your own business, or move to a big city, or quit your high-stress, high-paying job and instead do simpler work for less money that makes you look forward to getting out of bed every day.

Every once in a while, when you’re not busy getting your to-do list checked off or giving your time to the people in your life who always seem to need you—when things get real quiet—you feel absolutely desperate or in robotic shock to do something out of the ordinary. Do something for yourself that is unexpected, unpredictable and just for you. You hear the clock ticking, and it’s the ticking off of the moments of a life that’s passing you by. You see a whole string of days ahead of you. Out of bed. Off to work. Watch the clock. Count the hours ‘til the weekend. Rejoice on Friday evening. Lament on Sunday night. Repeat.
Nothing new. Nothing real. Nothing joyful.

You know, somewhere inside you, that there has to be more than this.

I know you. I am you.

I realized not long ago that I’ve spent my entire life waiting for permission. Because I’m a good girl, you see. In my twenties I felt the burning desire in my heart for something more than a go-nowhere nine-to-five office job and playing “house”. I wanted a career as a singer. Travel. Excitement. Adventure. Heart-stopping moments of bliss.

And I wanted somebody—anybody—to tell me that it was okay, that I should go ahead with it. I don’t mean Oprah or some random person speaking to the masses. I wanted somebody who knew me to give me the green light.
Guess what? It never happened, and it never will. Why? Because nobody can give us permission but ourselves.
Nobody outside ourselves knows what’s going on in our hearts, no matter how we try to explain.

Have you ever found this to be true? You can try and try, but there’s a nuance, a depth of desire, that’s impossible to describe. It has to be felt, and nobody else can feel it but the person whose heart is burning. So we wait. We wait for permission. Many of us die waiting for it.

I don’t want to die waiting for it. Do you?

It’s time for us to come out of our shells and admit that we want more and remove the mask of simply being who you are. Let’s be honest with each other and ourselves about what we want out of life and who we are in life. Let’s truly support each other and push each other and not take any excuses.

And let’s stop taking guff from the rest of the world—the ones who are still too afraid to leave the status quo behind. If that’s really what they want, let’s bless them and then move the heck on, because life is too short to be wasted on wondering what somebody else thinks of us.

We simply have to be the heroes of our own lives. I’m willing to dust off my cape and step into that role.

Are you?

Jenifer Bardall,  Amazing Coach & Founder of

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