If you need permission…


My trainer* and I are sitting on the floor of her gym while she explains a new technique to me. Internally, I’m asking her to reassure me that I can do this. To tell me that I have what it takes.

I want her to see in me something that I don’t — that I’m afraid to look for.

I want her permission to be great.

That’s been a theme for me this summer. I’ve hired all of the professionals I should have hired years ago, partially because those things needed to be done, but also in an effort to feel ‘legit’.

I caught myself doing this, of course, that day at the gym. But then a voice within me asked, “Why does she get to decide? Why does that validation need to come from her?” (All of my inner voices are kind of fed up with my bullshit.)

It occurred to me then that she will only ever think that I am great if I show her that I am, and that’s true in every area of my life. In all the ways I don’t show up because I’m afraid of being judged or rejected, of messing up and being exposed as an imperfect person.

Instead, I sit quietly on the edge of everything I have the potential to be and wait for… what? For the fear to dissipate, for this to require less vulnerability, for someone to take me by the hand and drag me there… Maybe just for someone else to give me their approval. To check some box that says, “Yes, you’ve qualified. You may proceed.” (No such box exists, of course.)

If you can relate, come sit next to me. I’ll tell you what I most need to hear right now.

Show up. Be seen. Do great things. Brag about your achievements. Teach what you already know. Flounder publicly and own it. Connect with other humans by being human.

(If you’re waiting for permission, this is it.)


* I recently hired a personal trainer. Pretend this makes me hip or fancy or something. Really it just means I’m too lazy to move my body without paying someone a lot of cash to hold me accountable. (Glad we cleared that up.)

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