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Thursday, February 1, 2018

4 Permission Slips for Your Every Day Adulting



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Last week I turned down a really good opportunity.

I won't get into the specifics, but I will say there were a million little good reasons to take this leap. It was consistent, and it just sort of fell into my lap.

What a blessing. What an honor...

Taking it would've meant setting aside a little extra income for my family. It would've meant taking a smaller step toward a larger goal, and I felt this external buzzing in my head: the "should beehive."

You might not ever get this opportunity again...

It will be good for you...

If you don't do this, you're lazy and not willing to hustle for what you really want...

But there was another thing: I just felt spent.

I talked over taking the opportunity with my husband. We were pushing our son in our stroller around the crooked sidewalks of Norfolk. I rattled off the pros and cons out loud as we scooted along.

"I know it would be a good idea, but I just really don't want to do it," I said.

After listening to me go back and forth Gordon said, "It sounds like you're asking permission to not do this." 

And I really was.

As an avid member of People Pleasers Not-So-Anonymous, sometimes I fall off the wagon. I'm tempted to think that I'm The Only One who can fulfill a role. That someone else's problem is automatically mine to take ownership of and fix.

But it's really just an opportunity for someone else.se.

I forget that I don't need permission to say no to something. Even if it's a good fit. Even if it's "on brand" with my goals for the future.

If you're like me, maybe you need the back-and-forth. Maybe you need compassion for yourself. And to give yourself a reminder that you have the following permission slips for your every day adulting:

Permission to Say No (or Yes!)

Good opportunities have a way of guilt tripping us if we're not careful. If something doesn't quite feel right and your hesitation isn't born out of a lack of a healthy self-confidence or lame excuses (you know what they are), maybe this is something to consider.

But if a good opportunity is causing stress, anxiety, or you just can't stand the idea of adding another thing to your schedule...

If you find yourself saying, "I can do it...I just need to try harder, I need to do better, then I can make it work..."

Permission granted to say no to something good.

Permission to Fail

Repeat after me: it is okay to fail, it is okay to fail, it is okay to fail.

So many of our stories are stacked with successes. We build them up like sand castles. We lay them at the top of our baskets – con-artists that we are – hoping no one will notice what's underneath.

But failure is a commodity: we can learn from our own mistakes and the mistakes of others. If we're not forthright about our own shortcomings, we lose the chance to teach, mentor and thereby protect.

So fail with dignity.

Permission to Unfollow

With this lack of being up front with our failures, we're also lacking a clear picture of other people's deep realities.
Some of us paint a prettier picture than others. On social media, some of us are better liars than others. 

And some people really do just get pedicures, jet off to Tahiti, have a farmhouse sink installed by BFF Joanna Gaines herself (with the accompanying shiplap) and are sponsored by Target, Starbucks and Lululemon.

The truth is, we don't have to follow these people if they pluck our harp strings of jealousy. We have control of our feeds. We don't have to engage with these folks via Istagram stories before we've even had our first sip of coffee in the mornings.

Unfollow. Unsubscribe.

They'll likely never notice. (They're too busy curating their perfect lives).

Permission to Be Okay

Finally, it's okay to be okay. It's okay to be confident in who you are, even if you're self-aware of your shortcomings.

You can enjoy the goodness in yoHur life without guilt. You can be thankful. You can be honest. You can be okay.
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