Permission to Be Awesome? You've Had it All Along

By: Whitney Millard, Guest Blogger

You don’t need permission to live your dream life.

Let me say it again just in case you were listening to the awesome new Taylor Swift song, or cleaning up after your new puppy, or half working on that report due next week. You DO NOT need permission from ANYONE to be the fantastic, magnificent, creative being that you are. You just don’t.

Allow me to explain. I am the unofficial consigliore of my little world (without all the crime, less exciting I know.) My friends always seem to come to me for advice and answers to questions they already know. I finally caught on sometime this year (I can be a little slow with the obvious) that they don’t come to me for my opinion; they don’t come to me because they are legitimately confused as to what they ought to do. They come to me to reaffirm what they already know, to know they aren’t crazy, and make sure it’s okay to do what they want to do. (Less flattering, but I’ll take what I can get.)

Earlier this year I went to a seminar. I sat in a room of people filled to the capacity with dreams and longing and pain and imagination, all desperately wanting someone to tell us that it’s okay to do this totally wacky thing we want more than anything to do. We wanted permission to follow the screamy, shouty instructions our hearts were telling us and we figured were good to go if a professional told us so. Whether we realized this or not.


Confession: Not only do I have that friend, I am that friend, the one who asks for the go ahead. This is how I know about the permission-seeking thing.

I hope you have cultivated the self-assurance and strength of character not to need to ask anyone for the okay to do anything (ESPECIALLY not something as all important as following your achy, breaky heart) but if you’re like me, and most people, you’re not quite there yet. This is why we need these authentic communities, to give us the little push until we can do it for ourselves. But they should never serve as a substitute for the wisdom and guidance of our own inner voices.

You are a smart person, nobody knows you better than you do. You can be trusted to choose wisely. To that you may say, “But Whit, I made a bad, bad choice once, yes very bad. I cannot be trusted!” Phooey! (Is that a thing people actually say?) You can be trusted because you learned from that right? You aren’t going to do it again right? Then all is forgiven. And if you mess up again? You get to be forgiven and try again.

This is not to underestimate the guidance and counsel of well-meaning folks who care about us. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t listen to people, particularly if they are worried about our safety. It does mean that you are a free-thinking, ass-kicking person who does what she or he wants! You can do that and still be respectful of the people you love. But you above all deserve your acceptance, approval, and love (as the quote goes) don’t you think?

So that book you really want to write? That class you think sounds fun? That degree you’re considering pursuing? That trip you’re thinking of taking? DO IT. Consider this express permission for a lifetime of doing what feeds your soul, if you need it. The universe has got you. You are okay.

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About Whitney

biopic.jpgWhitney Millard is a writer in Los Angeles attempting to make sense of this crazy world and it’s wonderful people. She launched her blog, last fall to have a place to lay down her (perhaps too many) thoughts and feelings. You can usually find her any place that has books, a stage, or boba tea and potstickers.



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  • commented 2014-10-29 14:39:14 -0700
    Thank you for this post. I LOVE IT! I’m the friend people come to and likewise (admittedly) I go to them and say, “What if…” and, “I have this idea…” Thankful for the community of my family and friends, as well as the inspiring, confidence building words found here at I AM THAT GIRL. Sharing this post with my social network.

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