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I'm a writer, a coach and a crazy dog person - not always in that order! I love nature, big open spaces, pizza and road trips. I'm designing the life I always wanted.


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Permission: yes or no?

January 17, 2017


I’ve talked about resolutions before, and I’ve even talked about giving yourself permission before. Yet today I was listening to my virtual coach, Gabby Bernstein, and she talked about both of these concepts with a different twist.


She asked: What are you still giving yourself permission to do? What do you need to STOP giving yourself permission to do?


In other words, what are you allowing to continue because you let yourself off the hook?


For me, it’s undeniably sugar. Part of me - a big part - has absolutely no desire to give up sugar in any form. I love it from fruit through cookies. About the only thing I have successfully given up are sugared drinks. So two things are happening here: 1. I’m not ready to give it up, even with all I know to be true about its effects, and 2. I keep giving myself permission to have it in my life with a million excuses and qualifiers at the ready.


Inherently I do believe that when we give up something, it can easily become all we crave. Letting go “cold turkey” may be best for things labeled addictive, but then aren’t all of our bad (and good?) habits a little addictive? Regardless, I think we have to replace what we take away with something more healthy, positive and preferably fun.


What about when I allow myself to go into judgment mode - either about me or another? That’s also something I need to stop giving myself permission to do and there might not be a replacement action that’s healthy, positive and fun. Hmm. 


For these patterns, the first step is noticing that you’re doing it then stopping and making a new choice. Even mid-story, I can stop myself and choose again; choose to see the other person with love; choose to see them as myself. Perhaps every time I don’t give myself permission to judge and I stop myself, I get a Rice Krispie treat! Errrr ... wait, that’s not right ...


No matter what you’re up against in your own habits, you have to first decide you’ve had enough and commit to change. Revoke the permission you continue to give yourself for that old behavior. Catch yourself. Choose again. The steps might be simple, but we all know the action is a bit tougher. 


What are you still giving yourself permission to do?


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