I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been somewhat of a people pleaser.
Growing up, I would do whatever it took not to make people like me. I couldn’t stand it if someone had even a tiny issue with something I was doing. Sometimes, I would even refrain from sharing my ideas just to avoid stepping on the toes of others.
As an adult (some would argue this), I can confidently say this is no way to live your life.
In fact, I respect others more when they aren’t afraid to share who they truly are with me.
Part of shedding this unhelpful mindset is giving up the need to ask permission.
Luckily, Slalom (my new job) is helping me with this. When someone has an idea or suggestion here, they don’t ask for permission. They ask for feedback.
There is a huge difference between the two. When you ask someone for permission, there is a good chance you’re asking the wrong person. Sure, maybe you need some funding and your boss is the gatekeeper, but ultimately, you are the only person getting in your own way.
Instead, when you develop a comprehensive plan and ask for feedback, you’re taking action. You are showing instead of telling, which communicates that you’re serious.
This isn’t easy. When you share your ideas, there will always be naysayers who jump at the chance to shoot down the ideas of others. That’s usually because they’re too afraid or insecure to share their own.
The more I think about this, the more I’m reminded by a small piece of advice my dad gave me a long time ago:
“It’s always easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.”