Give Yourself Permission

Very often what stands between us and a life of purpose and fulfillment is, ourselves. We think we aren’t clever enough, or knowledgeable enough, or privileged enough to realize our biggest dreams and deepest desires. Nobody else is going to give you permission to live the life you want to live. No knight is shining armor is going to ride up and rescue you from your situation. Be your own knight in shining armor – give yourself permission. You are more powerful than you think you are.

Give yourself permission to look beyond the status quo. Most people just accept life the way they find it. They never question why things are the way they are, and never look for alternatives. It’s a safer and more comfortable way to live, but leads to a quiet kind of desperation. Living deliberately will be harder, it’s true. But, rising to meet the challenge is often as rewarding an experience as finally achieving the goal. There is no right or wrong way to live a life, so long as it doesn’t interfere with others’ ability to live the way they want.

Give yourself permission to fall flat on your face. High intelligence isn’t a prerequisite for setting the terms of your own life, but persistence is. You will make mistakes, it comes with the territory. Accept that there will be some stumbling, misfires, and occasional backtracking. It is said that Thomas Edison failed 200 times before coming up with a version of the light bulb that could be mass-marketed. Learn to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on going. If you keep trying, you are bound to get where you want to be eventually.

On a similar note, accept that your ambitions will probably take some time to realize. True overnight success stories are rare, but they’re the ones that get all the attention. The rest of us will be relying on a lot of hard work and patience to see us through. Learn to work better instead of just harder though, by focusing on taking the actions that will truly move you closer to your goal.

Take responsibility for your actions. Our past experiences helped to shape us into the people we are today, but they don’t dictate our future. So often when something goes wrong in our lives we place the blame on anyone but ourselves: our employer, our government, our circumstances. Placing the blame on someone else allows us to stay in the situation we find ourselves in, it’s an excuse for not acting. Instead of making excuses, accept that ultimately you are responsible for your actions.

A lack of knowledge is not the hindrance that it was even fifteen years ago. The rise of the internet has made it so anyone who has access to a computer can look up just about anything. When you’re stuck and not sure how to proceed with a dream of yours, instead of saying “I don’t know”, condition yourself to say “I’ll find out”.

Your future is in your own hands. Give yourself permission to be great.

Image courtesy of albertopveiga

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. […] 5) Interstellar Orchard | Give Yourself Permission […]

  2. Carolyn on December 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Excellent article.

    I continue to have to remind myself to do just that,”give myself permission.”

    Thanks for the reminder and encourgement.

  3. Becky on December 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Aaand I forgot the ‘s’ in Yourself in the title of this post. I was paying attention when I uploaded it, really. >.>

    I’m surprised no one else caught it. 😛

    • spotted_pony on December 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      You were just going with the spirit of the holiday….. those elves need permission too 😉

  4. Isherwood Wildwalker on December 20, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Give yourself permission, and learn to forgive yourself for past mistakes……

    Two of the hardest tasks for me to do for myself

    • Becky on December 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      Thank you for the mention on your blog Ish. I hope through courage and persistence that you are able to start moving past the roadblocks in your life.

  5. Marvin on December 20, 2011 at 9:01 am

    You should post your motivational reminder every 6 months, as there is no substitute for staying focused on life’s decisions. Make every day count !

    • Becky on December 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm

      If you only need motivational reminders every 6 months you’re a stronger person than I am Marvin, hehe. I need to remind myself on almost a weekly basis it seems. 😛 That’s why a good bit of the posts here are motivational or inspirational in some form or another, it’s for me as well as others. 😉

  6. Pleinguy on December 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Pleinguy recently posted..On the Home StretchMy Profile

    • Becky on December 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks! I poked around on your blog and it sounds like we’re both aiming for full-timing around the same time. Maybe we’ll get to meet on the road someday. 🙂