Why You Need to Ditch the Permission Slip

There are way too many times when I’ve held myself back because I was waiting for the perfect moment to start or had a slew of excuses at the ready. The key to just getting it (whatever “it” might be) done is to stop looking for perfection, stop making excuses, and to stop waiting for permission.

Why You Need to Ditch the Permission Slip

Guest post by Maxie McCoy

As the end of the year closes in, I can’t help but think about how an entire year has almost passed. The question that follows that thought is always, and did I do the things that I said I wanted to do?

I’ve noticed a pattern in my own life, and the lives of those around me: The people who have created, accomplished, and made what they wanted to make haven’t waited around for it to happen to them. And they definitely haven’t waited around for someone to tell them they can.

You may think of permission as something our parents doled out when we were younger. But permission is actually something we let all types of gatekeeper create in our lives. It works a little something like this…

I can’t start that business until someone gives me money to do it… permission.

I won’t start dating until I feel better about my looks… permission.

I’m not going to share my new blog until I get more of a following… permission.

I can’t start a new job until I’ve been here for three years… permission.

I’m not going to tell them how I feel until they bring it up first… permission.

You get the picture. These are all subconscious, and self-imposed permission slips that we give ourselves, that we tell ourselves, that we convince ourselves we must follow. But they’re made up. They are forged permission slips that you need rip up right now. Because when you do, you’ll have no reason and no excuse not to follow your heart. You’ll be forced to start right now.

And want to know the people that accomplish the most? The ones who create fulfillment regularly? The ones who have very few regrets about the past year of their lives? They’re the ones that ripped up all of those permission slips and just did it. Just created it. Just said it. Even if they didn’t feel like they were ready. And even when they weren’t sure what they were doing. And most assuredly even when they felt like waiting for it to be a better, more perfect situation.

I’ve been this person so many times. However, the creations I’m the proudest of (like my book-in-the-making and my new show) happened when I got sick of waiting and dreaming and talking about these things “I wanted to do, ” and I just went and created them.

When you do that, here’s what you gotta remember: what you’re creating won’t be your final vision. But it will be a start. And that’s way better than not starting because you’re waiting for someone’s permission to do so.

So think about if you created everything you wanted to this year. If there’s still something un-begun on that list, what permission slip are you waiting for? And how can you go ahead and start, or create, or begin instead? Let this be the time you stopped waiting for anyone’s permission and just go, do, create, and make anything that little heart can dream of.

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Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

Waiting for permission is definitely a consequence of perfectionism! When I was younger, I used to flippantly say that I was a perfectionist and people would say that about me too, and it was always said in a positive way, like in awe. It wasn’t until later that I linked my procrastination habits to perfectionism and fear of imperfection. But this realisation has helped me so much! It doesn’t take me all the way to actually overcoming procrastination, but it steers me the right direction and shows me the choices I can make, and most importantly, the choice of now 🙂 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s


I love this post ! There are so many things I’ve done this with and Its terrible. I’m basically holding myself back for no reason. great post.

LoneTeenTraveller | Travel Fashion Lifestyle


I love this post, it is just what I needed to get my butt into action. You are so right about us needing permission for everything and I can’t wait to just start getting on with things a bit more & breaking that habit. Thanks for the inspiration.

Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo


This post perfectly epitomizes what I’ve been feeling lately. I think it might have also had something to do with watching The Bold Type this summer…! But I felt really empowered to be more of a self-starter at work; create my own projects, pitch them to my boss, and not wait for someone to tell me it was the “right time.” It feels amazing, and Maxie is spot-on with her advice!


I love this post so much!! Lately I’ve been feeling this way about starting my own wedding planning company because ” I don’t have a website yet”.. permission! You’ve inspired me to just take the leap of faith and get the word out there without one!
xx Tess |Sequins are the New Black


I definitely needed to see this today. I need to start taking more actions without waiting for other people to approve of my decisions.


This was such a great read!! Thank you, Maxie, for giving us this snippet. It definitely is making me want to jump right into my next project!


So right! It’s amazing how we hold ourselves back when the only thing getting in our way is giving ourselves permission to move forward. Getting to that other side also gives you the confidence to do it over and over again. I think soon enough, it becomes a habit and you never even think of asking permission ever again!


I think this something that everyone struggles with. It can be really challenging to open yourself up to failure and we can often come up with excuses so we don’t need to try. Something that I have found useful is to actually write myself a actual, tangible permission slip. I will write something in my journal when I am hesitant to start a new project including things like “I give myself permission to fail” and “I give myself permission to try even though I have more to learn.” I feel like acknowledge your fears and around something new and then giving yourself permission to try anyway is super powerful and a great way to work through all the excuses we give ourselves. In writing my own permission slips, I take back control in major decisions in my life.

Olivia King

Love this. I definitely dropped the whole permission thing when I took a trip to Europe earlier this year that I had dream planned in summer 2016