Give Yourself Permission

I know many of us say this to our clients, but I’m encouraging us to take a bit of our own advice: Give Yourself Permission. Give yourself permission to take your practice to the next level. Give yourself permission to start that practice you’ve been dreaming of. Give yourself permission to create a whole new way of helping clients. Give yourself permission to put yourself out there in a big way.

Of course, as a therapist, I already know this. We all do, right? But I didn’t REALLY get it until I was recently reading Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception, which I highly recommend, by the way. Godin’s writing helps us get outside of ourselves and our limitations. It helps us envision a bigger life for ourselves. Godin says this about permission:

The opportunity of a lifetime is to pick yourself. Quit waiting to get picked; quit waiting for someone to give you permission; quit waiting for someone to say you are officially qualified and pick yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to be an entrepreneur or a freelancer, but it does mean you stand up and say, “I have something to say. I know how to do something. I’m doing it. If you want me to do it with you, raise your hand.”

After reading this, I had to put the book down and digest that for a little while. How many things in my own life was I waiting to get “picked” for? How many things did I feel unqualified to do, even though I know have something to contribute to the world.

For the longest time, I’ve envisioned myself writing a book. (Okay, we all have, right?) We all want to be published authors, and we all probably have about 4 books inside of us. But we’re waiting for someone to pick us, right? We’re waiting for someone to give us permission to take that bold step. Well, here’s what I REALLY GOT from Godin’s book: NO ONE is going to pick us! But that’s no biggie, NO ONE picks ANYONE! Everyone you read about, everyone you dream of being, they’ve ALL picked themselves. They just worked up the courage, realized they had something to contribute, and they PICKED THEMSELVES.

That was truly a lightening bolt moment for me. I put down the book and decided that I was going to pick myself. I decided in that moment that I am writing a book. And I’m writing it right now. And I’m writing it with a small group of other amazing therapists that have stories to tell. Not only was I going to pick MYSELF, but I was going to pick a group of you, as well. For those of you that are really ready, but not quite ready to pick yourself, I’m helping you get started. (Perhaps we can all pick each other.)

So as of last week, I’m working on a new book, Limitless Possibilities: Stories of Hope and ChangeMy goal is to share our work with the world and encourage people that true and lasting change is not just possible, but it happens all the time. I knew I was excited about the project, but I wasn’t sure what everyone else would think. So I sent out a hastily-written email and sent it out to see what happens.

Wow! Did good stuff happen. Turns out that I’m not the only one with a story to tell. I’ve had so many therapists interested in joining me in this project. I have the tough job this week of narrowing this down to about 10 authors for the final book. It’s going to be difficult because so many of us want to make this happen. And even for those of you that can’t be part of this venture, I’ve appreciated all the words of support. It’s given me the encouragement I need as I take this bold step into the unknown.

I’m sure there will be some hiccups along the way, but this IS happening. I feel it in my bones. So stay tuned for updates on the project, and I’ll be certain to share with you when the book is launched. (I’ll also be offering a special launch bonus for my readers who purchase the book.)

As therapists, it’s time for us to take our own advice! Give yourself permission. Pick yourself. You have something to contribute to the world. We need you. And please, share your story so that others who are on the fence can be encouraged by what you’ve done.