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What ‘Permission’ do YOU allow?

Writing about my childhood memories this last week and talking about them with a friend, made me realise something really obvious. Something that I never knew back then.  It highlighted that if we could be taught a deeper understanding of the mind; how it works in simple terms when in our younger years at school, life would be made so much easier as we grow into adults.  Easier to understand, easier to flow through, easier to respond to, easier to navigate when we experience difficult times, situations or emotions.  The part I am talking about is learning about ‘permission’, our perception of it, and the knock-on effects of it. 

Now you may think ‘permission?’ how could that work with the mind? Here’s what I noticed as I took a step back in time. 

We are taught permission

As a child we are taught to get permission to do something.  We are bought up being trained with ‘we must get permission’ off our parents/guardians/teachers.  The repetition of asking permission becomes a habit. This subliminal programming then takes hold of us in a lot of ways as we move into adulthood.  Many people carry this ‘get permission’ thing into adulthood and the rest of their lives in many ways.  But why? Why would we do that? 

You are like a sponge

From the third trimester in your mother’s womb, through to the age of 7, this is when your personality traits and habits are created.  You, as a child are like a sponge.  Ever heard of the saying ‘Give me the child and I’ll show you the man’.

You take in all the information around you without realising it.  Your subconscious remembers every experience of your life. Remembering experiences of how adults and children respond around you, how people deal with different situations, what’s right, what’s wrong. You absorb it all in. Most of how you respond or were taught to respond comes from your observation in those early years. Therefore, people have different beliefs and respond differently to different situations, but the general ‘get permission’ thing I have noticed is still the same. 

Monkey Brain Antics!

So, in fact, as a child we openly give permission to allow what we are seeing, hearing, experiencing, and feeling around us. It trains us to become who we are, to learn. It’s part of growing up. It’s also part of our subconscious programming, sometimes nicknamed our monkey brain, and it can play tricks on us. But are we really that person? Deep down? It’s only what we’ve picked up along the way. Now I’m not saying I had a bad childhood, neither am I implying to anyone that they had one either.  You will generally find that how our parents/guardians/peers respond around us, those traits will be picked up by you in some way or form, good or bad. Even from your teachers at school.  School especially teaches us all about getting ‘the good old PERMISSION!’.  Think about it!

Honour your own Permission!

Yes, we must have some order about things, and about life, but this permission thing when you investigate it further, makes sense as to why you would choose to not give yourself permission to do something you really want to do in life.  You’ve practised getting permission all your life from other people!  So why would you give yourself permission! You’ve practised it!  Life, after all is about enjoyment, being happy, thriving, and what makes us buzz. Why do we need permission to honour ourselves?  Well, we don’t really but because we have practised it so much it’s an automatic response. 

You don’t need permission from others to follow your heart … only YOU can allow that!

– Michelle Townsend

Taking things on board

The point I’m getting at here is, many times we take on board someone else’s choice without realising it. Because we see it in reality in front of us. Either being told yes we can, or no we can’t. Then we start to believe that it’s the right thing to do in that moment.  As a child we mop up all the information, we just accept it. Have you stopped to address how you feel about something? Does it feel right to you?  How does the way this person is talking to me make me feel?  We never question it as a child. 

This quote is perfect regarding the above …

‘Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; Ships sink because of the water that gets in them.  Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down’ – Unknown.

The question is, are you going to allow what that person said to you sink into your mind?  To stop you doing what feels right? Do you agree with it? Or do you agree to keep the peace and not honour you?  This then causes a knock-on effect.  Bringing other aspects in. 

Trusting ourselves

If someone comments on something you are doing and they say ‘Oh, that’s a good idea, but I don’t think it would work out for you, I don’t think you should do that, is that going to benefit you?’  Well, the answer is ‘yes’ if it feels right for YOU, it is right.  It’s not about getting permission off someone else.  If we know it feels right for us, why do we take on board other people’s opinions, when we should be trusting ourselves, our own inner guidance?

Reflections and using ‘Permission’ to control

I’ve found these situations come up not only in my life but having conversations with friends and clients with their experiences too.  Once you understand what’s playing out it’s easy to see right through the situation.  Now I don’t want to sound harsh here, but this is usually what’s going on. 

What the person has said to you usually reflects what’s going on in their life.  People’s responses are always about them, from their perspective remember.  It can only be from their perspective, it’s all they’ve got. It’s usually a reflection of what they are missing or have a grievance with themselves in their life.  Why would they comment like that otherwise?  It’s this fear of not being good enough and someone being better than themselves sneaking in.  

Without realising they try to control by not giving permission.  It’s their protection, for themselves. This is what happens with school children.  The playground scenario, bullying. It’s the subconscious striving to be the best!  It runs at a subconscious level.  It becomes a competition. It’s been programmed in in your early years. ‘Do your best’, win the competition’, etc, etc. It’s using permission to control. If I don’t give them permission, they won’t do their best scenario. 

Sadly, you hear it so many times.  Children can be harsh.  But where has that arisen from? You usually find if a child is kind, doesn’t push in and honours their peers, tend to get pushed back and picked on.  It’s like they are a push over.  

I genuinely believe it’s to do with this permission aspect.  It’s drilled into children to strive to be the best, to strive to beat the other person, to win the race, there’s always a competition!  And of course, the responses that come from this programming show up.  Words are then spoken in ways that can be detrimental to stop the person that is doing well and wanting to move forward successfully.  


Of course, competition is good, it drives us to do better, it pushes us along.  There is also the saying that as soon as you put yourself in competition with someone you have already lost. Rather than being in competition connect with the sheer enjoyment of what it is you are doing. When you enjoy something, you will do your best anyway.  There is no try.  Change try to enjoy.  You just enjoy it and do it for the fun of it. The achievement of it for your life and your experience. There lies a big difference in the perception of it all. 

Not Realising

It’s a very subtle thought process but I’m sure you can see where I’m coming from here.  Maybe you haven’t thought about it like this before. Maybe you’ve experienced it.  How the mind processes permission from an early age can actually be detrimental to the adult.  We do it without realising.   Continuing the same processes of thought, the same responses.  It also blocks the flow of life because we feel we require permission to do something that we enjoy. We put it off for another day not allowing or giving ourselves the permission to move forward. It’s a habit!

Placing Blame

It’s important to not place blame on someone for not doing what you so dearly love in life, but it happens.  It’s only you that has stopped you from doing it! It’s also important to realise that we are the only ones responsible for what we allow or give permission too.  If there’s anyone to blame for stopping our flow or giving ourselves permission it’s ourselves, no-one else. 


We can only be there for ourselves.  We can be kind and help people around us, and that is so important.  Sharing and helping support others is good for us, it’s good for our heart and mind. We also find when we share an act of kindness it flows back into our life.  It’s also important that we allow kindness for ourselves too. Be kind to YOU.  It’s learning to give yourself permission to be YOU! To honour what you want from your life and connecting in with that. When you are there for yourself fully you have so much more to give and share out, because you yourself are happy. 

Final Thoughts

So, how can we change the above?  

When someone makes a comment and you feel discomfort, take a step back, start to consider responding differently to them.  Firstly, be there for YOU! Honour YOU! Then respond in a way that can help direct them to be there for themselves too.  Remember their comment could be coming from a place of fear of not being good enough.  Think about ‘permission to control’. Their comment being used as protection to make them feel better.  Usually, a bit of kind guidance can change their perspective.  Even though they initially made you feel uncomfortable. Forgive them in your mind.  It will not only give you permission to move forward, but also for them too. 

Imagine if children were taught this early on, this understanding.  Look at the difference in responses that would take place.  It’s all about understanding perception in that moment. Change it! Remember when you are agreeing to something that doesn’t feel right to you, you are giving your permission away.  You are not being the true you in that moment. Only YOU are responsible for what you allow and give permission to. 

Other people’s influences and comments can help, but they can also hinder.  Be sure to keep your blinkers on! Always follow your heart 💜