The thing about giving yourself permission is that it’s a process. You don’t just do it once and then live in freedom forever. You have to say Yes to yourself over, and over, and over again.
Every day, I coach people through the process of giving themselves permission. They got tired of waiting for things to change around them, so they decided to start with themselves.
I am not my clients’ Plan A. When someone finally decides to reach out to a coach, they’ve already tried a whole bunch of things. Things they hoped would work, but didn’t. Things like teaching themselves new techniques through books and blogs. Things like local events where they can get a golden nugget to take back to their work. All sorts of things that feel good in the moment, but don’t create the momentum they hoped for.
In coaching more than 70 clients over the last year — from total novices to masters in their field — I’ve found that everyone wants to give themselves permission to do their best work, they just don’t know how.
In working closely with these incredible people, filled with passion, determination, and hope, I have come to learn that there are three key ingredients to giving yourself permission long-term: practice, guidance, and community.
Practice is the ongoing application of what you’ve learned.
Guidance is the caring supervision in the desired direction.
Community is the fellowship of others with shared purpose.
Every single time I meet with a new client who isn’t making progress toward their goals, they are undoubtedly missing one or all of these three things. Are you?
Are you consuming tons of information without putting it into practice, not gaining the experience you need?
Are you working towards a goal without a mentor or advisor, hitting obstacles you could have otherwise avoided?
Are you trying to do it all alone without a tribe, feeling like the only person on earth who wants this?
No wonder it’s been so hard! It’s like you’re trying to bake a cake without eggs, flour or sugar. Sure, maybe you can make a cake without one of those ingredients, but not all of them! And why would you want to anyway?
You can’t give yourself permission just once and hope things will change. It’s a process. And you can’t do it alone. It’s a pilgrimage.
Let’s go there together.
If this stuff is really speaking to you, I’m so glad. I have a program starting next month called Learn the Ropes, where I’ll be taking a small group of people through our own collective UX project from start to finish. You’ll get practice, guidance and community to do your best work. Registration opens October 5, so be sure to check it out soon: https://whitneyhess.com/learn
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