Give Yourself Permission

In February I turned 30.

A 28 year old me would have been disappointed in myself for where I am with my life and career. Or what I thought I should have achieved at this point. Or the success I should have experienced by now.

Up to that point I was living someone else’s life. I was trapped in a dogma working hard towards the things I should be working hard at.

But then this thing hit me.

It shook me like mad and immediately shifted my perspective. I think all of those things, the initial thoughts and mindsets I had on life and my purpose, happened for a reason.

They led me down this path of intentional self growth. It was the catalyst for my desire in wanting to change.

One of the biggest things that was keeping me trapped in this dogma was permission. I was living my life on shoulds.

I was seeking permission instead of giving myself permission to do the things I wanted to do or feel the way I wanted to feel. 

Here are four things you need to give yourself permission in order to live a more joyful and meaningful life:

To be vulnerable

Feelings transpire and surface for a reason. They want to be let out. Unfortunately, society has this perception placed on those who express (or acknowledge and feel) their vulnerabilities as being weak—your too emotional.

The truth of the matter is that we all are vulnerable. It’s what we decide to do with that vulnerability that makes the difference. Tweet this

Some choose to suppress the feelings that transpire while others choose to express them. The latter is the healthier and natural way of healing and growing.

Vulnerability is not a weakness.

Acknowledging your vulnerability sets the foundation for growth, it clears a path that sheds light into your purpose to live a deeper and more joyful life—it gives you clarity in to who you are and who you aspire to be.

We choose to express and release our true feelings. We are open and honest with ourselves. We confront our own weaknesses and flaws. We find ways to fix them. We love the process of fixing our flaws.

– an excerpt from The Unless You Care Manifesto

To start now

The only thing that is preventing you from doing something is you. Negative self-talk is a dangerous path to be on. Some might call it resistance.

Anytime you have an idea that pops into your head your next immediate thought is probably something that is talking you right out of pursuing it, or even sharing it. Why?

Resistance pushes you to do funny things, to point fingers, to blame the system. Unfortunately, you can’t blame the system or point fingers until you have acted on something that goes against the system.

It’s a choice we have, to act or not. When you choose not to act you can only blame yourself. What are you waiting for?

Decide to act, start now. Give yourself permission to do the things you’ve been wanting to do. Start that blog, get back into painting or drawing, run that half marathon, learn how to play the guitar.

Whatever it is, just do it. Stop asking for, or seeking, permission from someone or something. You are the only person and thing that can make you act.

Don’t wait until you are ready to begin. You’ll never be ready, nobody ever is. Tweet this 

Push the feeling of being insufficient aside and just do it.  All it takes is the decision to act and taking one baby step forward.

To be spontaneous

This is something I have lost over the years, but is something I am beginning to become more intentional about now.

I think about my childhood, and even through college, how those random phone calls from friends at the last minute to hangout ended up being some of my fondest memories.

I miss the spontaneity in life.

Life is too short to not allow your daily plans (or routines) to be broken. It’s the spontaneity and having no expectations for that moment that typically result in life long memories.

Over the past several years I have always been so career focused that I lost sight on life; on how to live life.

Give yourself permission to be spontaneous, to do the things that sound intriguing. Do something you haven’t done in a while, do something that brings you back to your youth.

Give yourself permission to make off the cuff decisions and run with it.

Remember, to completely enjoy those spontaneous moments, you must surrender to them. Don’t allow your head chatter to start thinking about what you should be doing.

To play

While being heads down and so career focused, I lost touch with the kid in me. I didn’t give myself permission to play. I felt I wasn’t using my time wisely.

This is the cancer that seeps into our souls. Give yourself permission to play, to take a break and release the kid in you. As we enter adulthood the common words are always “you need to grow up”. Why?

I don’t think I ever want to grow up. I don’t ever want to take things too seriously. I will, however, become wiser, more mature and responsible as I experience life.

I want to always have the kid in me to be shining bright. This is something that I am becoming extremely intentional about. Now that my son is almost two years old the kid in me is starting to show it’s face again, and I absolutely love it.

Give yourself permission to play. Whatever it is that peaks your interest, do it. Let go and enjoy the moment.

Are you giving yourself permission to do the things you want to do? Share in the comments.

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Photo Credit: fiddleoak

About Eric Ungs

Eric Ungs writes about a journey of intentional self growth, nudging you to let go; to give yourself permission to be vulnerable and honest with yourself so you can give your best self to others. Author of 10 Incredible Ways to Live a Fulfilling and Joyful Life ebook.


  1. Luke Day

    Great Post! I became a big fan of Self Improvement around the same age! Reading posts like this just adds fuel to that fire. I look forward to following your blog and the progress of this project. I also added The In-Between to my reading list. Thanks for the suggestion.

    1. That means a lot Luke! Thanks so much for stopping by and glad you liked the post. Being intentional about my self improvement on a daily basis has changed me for the better immensely. The In-Between is a wonderful, and very quick, read. You’ll enjoy it. Thanks for commenting Luke!

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