Are You Waiting for Permission?

Earlier this month, at one of my online networking events, we used a relatively new Zoom functionality where the host can set up themed breakout rooms (i.e,. Just for fun, favorite ways to promote your business, etc) and attendees can move themselves from room to room.

It’s a pretty cool option.

The first time we used it though, a few people sent email feedback saying that while they loved the concept, they felt awkward leaving a conversation while someone was talking.

“It would have been nice to have permission,” one person wrote.

So, at the next event I explicitly told the group, “You have permission to leave a room even if someone is talking. Notice how you feel when you do it.”

The feedback? Well, some still found it awkward AND they felt less bad because everyone knew it might happen.

Now, this concept of permission, explicit or implicit, keeps coming up.

Permission to…

  • Take a break from work
  • Make business changes
  • Speak up in a meeting
  • Start a podcast
  • Express feelings
  • Reach out to a new contact
  • Stand firm in who you are and the value you bring
  • Say no and set boundaries
  • Say yes to opportunities
  • Etc, etc, etc

What’s YOUR relationship to PERMISSION?

Today, instead of insights and answers, I offer questions. Below are a few of the questions I’ve been reflecting on as they relate to my relationship with permission.

Perhaps they spark curiosity in you:

  • In what areas of life am I waiting for permission?
  • What makes me think I need permission from an external source?
  • How does waiting impact me, my relationships, my work?
  • How will not waiting impact me, my relationships, my work?
  • What am I willing to lose if I give myself permission?
  • What do I stand to gain?
  • How does my environment support my actions?

The bottom line?

The world needs you and your ideas. Whether you work for a business or own one, chances are, no one is going to give you (or me) permission. It’s up to us, individually, to take charge and take action. Unless of course you come to one of my events!

Like what you read?

Become a Shed The Formality insider (it's free!) and get insights & inspiration twice-monthly, delivered straight to your inbox. Don't over think it. Sign up today!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Need a speaker?

Create a meaningful and valuable experience when you hire Stacey to Host, MC or moderate a panel at your upcoming meeting or event.

Consider Sharing

About the blog

Humor, stories, and insights, delivered 2x per month, to perform without the pressure.

Topics include mental health, work, human connection, creativity and more.


Leave a Comment