“I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that, I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that, I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be okay.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant
Okay, I just posted a video called “Clarity is Power” and now I’m posting a blog called “Permission is Power.” So which is it? What’s more powerful, clarity or permission? And what does permission have to do with power? I’m glad you asked.
We get hung up on clarity.
I speak to many women who think that once they have this magical, mystical thing called ‘clarity’ then they’ll know their purpose, they’ll be happy, they’ll be able to move forward, and they’ll have confidence. But I think that we (especially women) use this lack of clarity as our excuse to stay stuck, to treat our purpose and our passion as a hobby, or to put off being bold or outrageous.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Clarity is a powerful motivator and accelerator. With clarity we have a sense of direction and vision. Our affirmations, visualizations, and meditations can be specific and juicy. Clarity is our guide and compass.
But what if we are afraid? Afraid to shine, afraid to stand out, afraid to lead, afraid to soar?
Sometimes we have blocks to our own brilliance and magnificence and then clarity eludes us. But if we say we want clarity, then it looks like we are blocked only because we don’t know where we should be going. Not because we are afraid to move or make a decision.
This is where permission comes in.
Let me ask you a question (or two or three). Are you feeling stuck? Do you feel frustrated or trapped? Are you embarrassed or even ashamed that you aren’t more successful or that you haven’t achieved more?
What you may need is permission for your desire.
Think about it for a minute. If we are honest with ourselves, we know what we want. We are just afraid we don’t deserve it. Or we’re worried about what other people will think about us if we let them know what we want. Or we don’t want to get our hopes up. Or we think we aren’t good enough. Or we don’t have enough practice moving into the feeling of our desire, let alone stating it out loud.
My blog “Desire Gets a Bad Rap” generated a lot of emails. Clearly I struck a nerve. One reader went so far as to suggest I need to write a book about this very topic (or at the very least teach a class or workshop). So many of us are struggling, settling, and not living fully because we are waiting for elusive clarity.
I was right there, moaning and complaining that I needed some clarity about my purpose and wanting to know how I should best use my talents and gifts. I paid money for workshops, classes, psychics, soul intuitives, scientific hand analysis, and assessments. And they basically all said the same thing. But did I hear them? Uh, no.
Because the vision they saw for me was WAY.TOO.BIG.
I couldn’t take it in. But that didn’t stop me from pursuing this thing called clarity. And the magic happened when I stopped chasing after clarity and simply moved into giving myself permission to feel, to dream, to express, to experience, to have fun, and to allow. And then I realized I always knew what I desired. But no one had ever given me permission to ‘go for it’ because I had always been afraid to even speak out loud what I wanted or what I felt deep inside me was ‘mine to do.’
It still scares the crap out of me. And I continue to give myself permission to feel into the desire so that my vision is clear. And here’s another important point about clarity: even if you are crystal clear right now, your desires will likely change and evolve as you change and evolve. Funny how that happens.
Clarity isn’t stagnant. And neither is permission.
So, if you’ve been struggling to find some clarity, maybe you can give yourself permission to let that story go. And start by giving yourself permission to dream, to be in the flow, and to be okay with not knowing every step.
If you need help with that, let’s chat. And I’d love to hear what shifts when you let go of struggling with clarity and start embracing permission.
Janet Kingsley is an effective 'Belief Change Expert' who helps clients transform frustration to focus, confusion to clarity, and self-doubt to self-confidence.