There is an audio version below.
*As you’re read this, I’m in California give my first TEDx talk at TEDX Monta, Vista. My talk is called, “Stop Waiting for Permission.” This article inspired the talk.*
Maybe it’s the news or negative experiences in our past, but too many of us are skeptical of success. Every time we see a story of someone successful, we analyze it to see what lucky break that person experienced along the way.
There are some who get lucky; there are some that experience a sudden windfall—like an inheritance. In general, however, when you see someone who is experiencing success, there’s a backstory of them busting their butt to get there.
When we are skeptical of success, we can’t get to a place in our mind that allows us to believe it’s possible for us. If we don’t believe in something, we won’t take the necessary steps to change our situation.
The reason too many of us are skeptical is because we’re waiting for permission. We’re waiting for someone or some situation to be in place before we can believe in ourselves and our dreams.
Waiting for permission has held too many of us from the life we truly deserve. Here are three reasons why we need to stop waiting for permission.
1. Life passes us by too quickly
Life is short. I’m well aware that those words have become cliché. They are true, and before we know it, life will pass us by. We only get one life to live and time is the only thing we can never get back.
It’s too easy for us to wake up every day and sleepwalk through our life. When we wait to do something about our goals and dreams, we waste the precious time we have on this earth. We wait for permission and live someone else’s life in the meantime.
We need to get honest about the kind of life we want to live, no matter how scary it is. Making changes scares the daylights out of all of us, but the alternative should be even more frightening.
2. We have the tools and technology we need for success
We have incredible opportunities around us that make a way for us to achieve success. I’m an author who self-published two books. I was a high school dropout who had a dream to be a writer. In the past, this goal would not have been possible.
With social media, the Internet, and Amazon, I was able to self-publish my books and sell enough copies to quit a job I hated. Yes, this is hard to do, but it is possible today because of the advances we’re experiencing every day.
We no longer have to wait for the old-school gatekeepers to create freedom in our work, health, and relationships. We can research what it takes, put a plan in place, and take action on that plan. We can do this on our own. We don’t need permission from someone sitting in the cheap seats.
3. No one will ever give us permission
At the end of the day, if we are going to experience success in our life, it will come from what we do. No one will tell us that we’re ready or that what we’re doing is smart. Most people are terrified of change and consider significant life changes as “radical.”
If we want to make our dreams a reality, we have to believe in our self and the idea, and then do something about it. We have to beat our doubt, fear, and self-limiting beliefs. We have to ignore the naysayers—they will never get it.
All those stories we see of success don’t have to be a mystery. We don’t have to be skeptical of success. There are some of us facing stressful situations that are hard to recover from. There are things that happen to us that are out of our control–I get that.
The system is not set up to help people. The game is not set up in our favor, but that doesn’t mean we can’t experience success in each of our lives. If it’s going to happen, it will only happen when we stop waiting to live the kind of life we want to live.
Are you waiting for permission?
This article originally appeared on The Good Men Project.
Photo: Flickr/ Moon Lee