Less Permission, More Action“I was just about to start, and then…” 

“As soon as X gets done, I’ll be able to start on Y.”

Sound familiar?

I’m not one to throw stones, so when I caught myself doing this earlier this week, I knew it was time to confess.

Yes, I’m really good at getting things done.  Honestly.  I’m a bastion of success when it comes to productivity.

I’m also really good at procrastination.

Of course, as a business owner, while you might have more control over your time than you do working for someone else, you also have ample opportunities to fritter away your time on less important tasks.

Believe me, you can almost always rationalize an excuse for not getting it done.

It’s cool.  I understand.  I also know the feeling it brings: freedom for a few minutes, followed by the longer-term, heavier shadow of dread.

Quickly the latter infiltrates in to other parts of your life.  Not only do tasks add up on the list, but that ever-growing list is strapped to your back like Atlas and his globe.  You just can’t shrug this away either.


Welcome to the world of Permission.  Whether you realize it or not, most of these excuses are actually your way of waiting for permission to do something.

Recognizing, and then shifting, the need for permission is one of the most important things anyone can do to begin to accomplish their goals.

This is one of my very favorite topics to work with people on.

Instead of identifying and working ON their mindset blocks, such as the need for permission, most people end up working IN their mindset blocks, and end up wasting time and energy on excuses and smaller things.

And their reasons are good too.  Always.  No really.  Promise.

Well, as a coach, it’s my job to burst that bubble.  This week it’s the bubble of procrastination.

Procrastination is a way of asking for permission to take action.

More often than not, you would stop procrastinating if someone told you to just do it.   If you think about it, you’ve probably been working this way for years.  Why else do you think you work so well when someone gives you a deadline?

So, my fellow Gritster, I wanted to share a personal statement I make out loud to myself every morning. It’s a great exercise and works wonders!

“I am hereby granted permission to take action on these 3 things in the next 24 hours, and will complete at least 2 of them: 1-2-3. “  (fill-in as needed; I choose 2 -3 I can actually accomplish, and 1 big one I’ve really been dreading to start)

The key here is that your motivation comes from within you, instead of you waiting around for external indicators.

After saying the phrase above out loud a few times, choose one of these 2 short exercises to play with.

1- Make a radically new List

List making to accomplish goals is not a new idea.  What I want to challenge you to do is try a completely different list than you have ever made in the past.

      1. Take out a piece of blank paper and write down today’s date + everything that comes to mind all over the place. No limiting topics. No horizontal or vertical list here.  Write in diagonals, upside down, on the edge.  Have fun moving the paper around as your list pours forth.  Fold it in to a shape, unfold, and write in the sections you created.  Don’t over think, and don’t skip ideas.  If it comes to mind, it gets written down.
      2. Take colors (highlighters, crayons, etc.) and find patterns to your topics.  Work, family, friends, physical, personal, etc.  Maybe you have to divide work in to different categories: boss, team, presentations, etc.  You are finished when everything on your sheet has a color.
      3. Look at the sheet, and find 3 of them that stand out the most.  You can work logically (deadlines, etc.) and/or just choose at random.  I challenge you to pick a nice big one too. One you have been putting off.  Circle these goals and write today’s date.
      4. Now, repeat the phrase above, this time adding your 3 goals.
      5. Get started.  24 hours is a lot of time.

2- Play with Norris

When I heard about Norris, I was so excited to play with mine!  This is a truly wonderful and short 2 part blog series from a very gifted friend and colleague of mine.  Entertaining to read, and also a blast to put in to practice!

http://listeningtostillness.com/blog.html   >>  Scroll down to May 4 and 12…it’s worth it!


My Weekly Challenge for You: Choose 1 of the ideas above and spend 15 minutes really playing with it.  Do you notice a shift in your thinking?  Do you notice any feelings coming up?  Please be sure to leave comments below.

And if you haven’t already scheduled yours, and are interested in learning more about how permission may be playing a role in your life, be sure to schedule your complimentary Get Acquainted Call with me.  I’d love to learn more and see how I can be of service to you.