Stop Wondering if You Can – Permission Is Granted

by Alli Polin on March 1, 2016

permission granted

I’ll bet I know something about you that you think nobody knows. Ready for a mind reading trick extraordinaire?

You make choices because you think you have to and that you have limited choices (at times). You want the world to see you in a particular way and sometimes that’s at odds with the way you see yourself. There are rules for success and you’re not about to break ‘em.

Today, I want you to know that permission is granted to make the difficult choice. The one your heart is telling you to make and the one your soul needs to you too as well.

There will be days…
That ice-cream is the perfect dessert
The gym just isn’t going to happen
A binge marathon of Mad Men is just what you need

There will be moments… You need to say no to:
That business trip that is at the worst possible time
Yet another meeting on the same topic you’ve already had 50 on last week
One more drink because you really do want to get home and leave happy hour

Permission is granted for you to make your own decisions 

There will be opportunities…
At the wrong time
With the wrong partners
Don’t beat yourself up for opting out

There will be people…
Who drain every ounce of your energy
And you’ve given enough
You can let their next call go to voicemail. The world won’t end.

There will be times…
You just want to try something different.
You’re tired of the same old, same old.
Do it.

Permission is granted for your wants, needs and love-tos

You will want to…
It’s okay. You can.

You will need to…
Make hard choices that will get you noticed at work and still face the stares and cold shoulders of the people at home.
It’s not all or nothing. At the heart of balance is conscious choice, not scales.

You would love to…
Be home and tuck your family in at night.
But you have more work than you can ever complete.
The work will be there tomorrow.
Do it.

Permission is granted for you to do what you know you need to do for your mind, body and spirit

You always have a choice even when you feel like you don’t. Always. Stop worrying about how others will judge you. Stand up fully as who you are – permission is granted.  If you don’t care for you and respect your vision and long-held values, who will?

A robust life is not made up of the never and always moments. There are times to flex, let go and be in the moment instead of trying to control it.

  1. Order in dinner.
  2. Have a slice of cake at your friend’s birthday party.
  3. Open the good champagne that never seems to have the perfect celebration moment.
  4. Close your business. Pivot. Change focus.
  5. Go for a run before heading into the office, not after.
  6. Skip happy hour.
  7. Read a book all weekend.
  8. Take a mental health day.
  9. Share your latest idea.
  10. Eat breakfast for dinner, lunch and for breakfast.
  11. Write.
  12. Sing.
  13. Dance.
  14. Get your groceries delivered and skip the store.
  15. Go to your child’s baseball game.
  16. Stay late to crank things out for your important morning meeting.
  17. Ask questions.
  18. Say “I don’t know.”
  19. Bring lunch in for your team for no reason.
  20. Ask someone to officially be your mentor.
  21. Hire a coach.
  22. Take a nap mid-day on the weekend.
  23. Leave your desk for lunch and don’t worry if it’s not the norm.
  24. Tell the people on your team why you appreciate them and be specific. It’s not corny.
  25. Try a new path and if it doesn’t work out, find another to follow.
  26. Dream.
  27. Suggest.
  28. Just listen.
  29. Go to karaoke.
  30. Bow out of karaoke.
  31. Take the interview even if you’re not on the market.
  32. Schedule an extended vacation and leave your laptop at home.
  33. Start a blog.
  34. Be silly.
  35. Show that you’re a human being with emotions.
  36. Go for a bike ride instead of responding to more emails.
  37. Update your resume before you need it.
  38. Eat something strange that you love without apology.
  39. Cut out the person in your life whose negativity is unbearable.
  40. Be positive even in the face of a remarkably negative opposition.
  41. Share your experience.
  42. Start a side hustle.
  43. Join Toastmasters even if you’re an experienced speaker.
  44. Turn Social Media notifications off on your phone, iPad or both.
  45. Spend the evening watching trashy TV.
  46. Go back to school for another degree or more training.
  47. Set a crazy goal and go after it full-on.
  48. Ignore people who tell you that your goal is too “out there”
  49. Move – around the corner, to a new city or around the world if it’s calling to you.
  50. Change.

Permission granted.

What do you most need to give yourself permission to be/think/do?

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Chery Gegelman March 1, 2016 at 7:26 am

Thank you Alli! It is good to be reminded that we have permission to make choices that resonate with our guts even if it conflicts with our logic. Some days it is easier to give ourselves that permission, some days… Not so much!


Alli Polin March 1, 2016 at 7:29 am

Our inner-knowers are smart cookies. Life isn’t made up of exclusively all or nothing moments. Our guts, as you well know, often guide us to exactly where we need to go. Thanks, Chery!


Terri Klass March 1, 2016 at 7:44 am

Fantastic Alli! Yes we are allowed and should grant ourselves the power to make the choices that work for each of us. I also think that when we make choices that others deem “inappropriate” or “not the best”, we need to let those comments go. When I first connected with social media, many of my colleagues laughed and thought I was wasting my time meeting people that I couldn’t see face to face. Well, as you and I both know, that decision was so right and meaningful for me! Stay your course and listen to your heart.
Thanks Alli!


Alli Polin March 1, 2016 at 6:38 pm

Too funny that your colleagues laughed when you got on Social Media. Without it, I never would have connected with you and my life would not be the same.

When you listen to your heart and gut it takes you places that are worth going.

Thanks, Terri!

~ Alli


Karin Hurt March 1, 2016 at 8:04 am

This is just so powerful! It’s so easy to get lost in all our “shoulds” that we can miss out on the pure joy that can come from just leaning in to what we really need. I had to laugh at the yes and no to karaoke….


Alli Polin March 1, 2016 at 6:39 pm

I’m usually a “bow out of karaoke kind of woman” but there can always be that one time…

Thanks, Karin!


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™ March 1, 2016 at 8:06 am

Great list Alli. It brings your point home so clearly and with so much inspiration. I never though about permission and initiative being so closely related and yet … they are!

This list could go on and on and still be filled with insights!


Alli Polin March 1, 2016 at 6:41 pm

Permission and initiative… Truly. Oftentimes when people get stuck or bored or get caught up on their hamster wheel, it’s the permission that’s missing and masquerading as the excuses for lack of initiative.

Grateful for your support and connection. Thanks, Kate!

~ Alli


Jon Mertz March 1, 2016 at 9:12 am


You’re on a roll! And, permission granted! At moments, we need to release within so we can continue forward in a more positive way. With release, we refresh and then do the new work.

Great post!



Alli Polin March 1, 2016 at 6:42 pm

That’s the perfect way to put it – a release. It’s like a ray of sunshine and we wonder why we stayed in the shade for so long.

Thanks, Jon!


Bill Benoist March 1, 2016 at 9:46 am

For weeks, I had been carrying this item on my Daily Planner. Every Friday, I moved it over to the following Monday.

One day I was speaking with someone about it and they said, “Bill – to me it sounds like you don’t want to do it.” I politely disagreed with them. I said I thought it was a great idea and I was just struggling with how to make it work. That evening I was talking to another person about it and they said the same thing – that I didn’t seem to really want to do it.

The next morning I scratched it off from my planner, and it felt as if this massive weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

Loved this post, Alli!


Alli Polin March 1, 2016 at 6:45 pm

What a great story. I can totally relate!

Letting go doesn’t mean never – it’s a commitment to not now and other priorities that are meant to be.

Thanks so much for sharing here, Bill!

~ Alli


John Bennett March 1, 2016 at 10:25 am

This really caught my eye: “A robust life is not made up of the never and always moments.” That’s ‘black or white’ – can’t imagine what the world would be like if it were yes/no, on/off, good/evil, … We all need to think about ‘many options’ and care enough to make conscious choices. There’s absolutely no question in my mind that ‘one or the other, period – and of course the right one is what I say…’ is what’s the major reason for the mess this world (and US politics) is in.

Even though I ‘are’ an engineer, I have to take issue with your title for this post. Miss White, my senior year English teacher, would maybe be shocked that I would suggest it should be: “Stop Wondering if You MAY – Permission Is Granted.” Everyone most likely CAN as well but some Effective Learning will almost certainly be involved!


Alli Polin March 1, 2016 at 7:12 pm

I correct my children even now when they ask if they CAN and I say of course they can… wrong question 🙂

Most of my clients tell me that they can’t and don’t realize that the real question is MAY they grant themselves permission.

Things really do get messy when we stick to one way of seeing and being in the world. It not only creates conflict within but with a whole lot more people too.

Thanks so much, John! Value your feedback and insight!


LaRae Quy March 1, 2016 at 1:29 pm

I love your list! I found myself smiling and being energized at the same time. We are such harsh critics on ourselves—our own worst critic! It leaves me with a warm feeling that I can chose to be kind to myself.

Great article, Alli!


Alli Polin March 1, 2016 at 7:14 pm

What a perfect way to put it – being kind to yourself. Hard to be kind to others when all we do is hold the tension between our heart’s desire and being less than perfect.

Thanks, LaRae!

~ Alli


Rachel March 5, 2016 at 12:30 am

Hey Alli,

What a timely post. Its Saturday afternoon and after lunch, instead of doing the norm I watched a DVD. I was so aware that I felt uncomfortable with this decision even though I have worked so hard all week. After the DVD I got back to what I wanted to do but felt refreshed.

So I agree there are days when its okay not to do the norm even when it feels uncomfortable. Now I am going to be watching myself because yes you are so right, I do have permission. Thanks for a great read.



Alli Polin March 6, 2016 at 8:37 pm


Welcome and thanks so much for your comment! Greatly appreciate that sometimes what we most need to give ourselves permission to do will be uncomfortable. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it simply means that it’s outside of our norm and needed a continuous conscious choice.

Thanks for sharing your story. I think it will resonate with many.


~ Alli


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