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You Don’t Need Permission to Live Your Life

“What am I living for and what am I dying for are the same question.”

―Margaret Atwood

As children, we had to ask for permission from our parents or caretakers to do what we wanted. Whether it was hanging out with friends, going outside, or whatever rules were placed on us, we had to ask. And being children, this was often important to keep us safe.

But many of us carry this need into adulthood. We believe we need permission from our parents, friends, and even society when it comes to living the life we want. We hold on to tradition — the tradition of what everyone else has done and what everyone else believes we should do.

The problem is we give up what we want as individuals. We seek permission from others about how to live our lives. We seek approval for what we should study in college, what job we should take, and which partner we should date. And we want to follow what others deem to be “best” for us.

I understand a lot of wanting to seek permission is based on respect for the person whom we are seeking permission from. But if it goes against what you want, you are not respecting yourself and your life.

Because continually seeking permission (and approval) from others will not make you happy. Eventually, you will realize you have been living your life for others, and you’ve missed out on the life you wanted.

life permission
Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

―Maya Angelou

Whether you are 26 or 46 (and don’t live with your parents), your life is yours. You may seek the advice of peers and family, but the decision on how you should live life is yours. There may be consequences to your decisions, but you don’t need permission to live your life how you see fit. And despite what we are told all the time, being selfish on occasion is something which is healthy. 

You will make mistakes, and you will make some stupid decisions. I have. But it is all part of growth and finding out who you are and what you want. It is part of living your own life and figuring out what it means to you.

When you start to figure out what you want in life, you may change your mind about a lot of the thoughts you previously had. And you also have permission to do that.

You have permission to change your mind about whatever. It doesn’t matter. It could be politics, religion, pursuing a career, or a college major. It’s alright to change your mind. Not only is it alright it’s a right. It’s your right.

You don’t have to seek permission to live your life or change your mind, and you also need to be a little stubborn when it comes to living the life you want. I’m not saying to not seek advice or wisdom from those who may have more experience, but their life is not yours. Their experience does not equate to what is best for you—only you can determine that. And usually, their want for you comes from a place of fear—their fear. But you can’t let their fear be yours. 

life permission
Photo by Dustin Groh on Unsplash

To live how you want, there must be a willingness to give up certain things like tradition, the “normal”, and what others want you to do. You will face detractors and people who believe you are crazy.

The question you need to ask yourself is what are you willing to give up to live the life you want?

That will be up to you and only you.

But remember, you have permission to live the life you want. It’s already in your hands. It’s been granted. You just have to find what that life looks like.

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