Day after day I work with people who, when facing some issue, question, change, or decision, feel overcome by uncertainty and are paralyzed by the possibility of “making a mistake.” Despite having an inkling of how they want to handle the situation at hand, they don’t trust it. Instead of going with their gut and following their inner impulse, they look for confirmation from others and spend time and/or money:

• seeking counsel from therapists and coaches,
• polling friends and sometimes even strangers to see what they should do, and
• having sessions with astrologers, psychics, and intuitives to find out what is in the stars or what their chart says.

Basically, they are looking for permission to follow their truth!

Now, it is normal to feel scared or insecure when faced with living our truth. We worry about how our truth will not only affect ourselves but others as well. Not wanting to be seen as selfish, mean, unreliable, or narcissistic, we question whether we have the right to pursue our passion, heed the messages of our heart, or break out of the box of what has been. As a result, we:

• stay in marriages for the “sake of the children,” jobs for the “stability,” and friendships for the sake of the past, and
• fail to set boundaries and walk away from toxic situations that just don’t work for us anymore.

Bottom line, we put the needs and desires of others in front of our own and we question whether we have the right to change or challenge the status quo.

Feeling compromised and sometimes even imprisoned by the reality we have created, we look to others to validate our desires.

But here’s the thing….you don’t need permission to live an authentic life. It is your birthright! You just need to claim it!

To claim this birthright and stop looking to others for permission, you need to retrain your brain. And you can do so by consistently reminding yourself of the following three tidbits.

#1. All of your answers are inside of you!

Although most of us have been trained to look to the outside world for approval, validation, and direction, it’s time to take a U-turn back yourself. You are the greatest expert on you and the first place you should be looking for your answers is inside of you.

#2. Self-trust is a muscle – it gets stronger with use!

We all have that inner voice - some call it gut instinct, others call it intuition. Although some of us feel connected to our inner voice, many do not. We don’t trust that it is within us or that it will guide us effectively. Well, it’s hard to trust something we don’t know. We need to take time to get to know and trust our inner voice and the wisdom it has. Self-trust is a muscle. It needs strengthening. Learning to go within, ask ourselves the questions, and have the patience to listen is a practice. Our inner voice does recognize what is best for us and is willing to speak to us if we are willing to listen. Like all practices, it gets stronger with use.

#3. You have the right to take back your life!

Like I said, most people have a hard time putting themselves first. Although, we know in our minds that we “deserve to live a great life,” many of us struggle to feel deserving and worthy of truly being, doing, and having all that we can be, do and have. We play small so others don’t feel threatened and we compromise ourselves and our truth to fit in or “make life easier.” We endure the status quo and tell ourselves, “When it gets really bad, then I will do something about it.” Well here’s the thing…you have the right to take back your life!

There are no medals for learning to accept the unacceptable.

And the fact is that when we accept the unacceptable, all we do is empower the bad behavior of others and whittle away at our own self-esteem. Situations don’t need to get to the point of abusive, toxic or unacceptable for you to change them.

If a situation no longer works for you, you have the right to rethink it…no permission needed.

So, this week I encourage you to take back your power and affirm that you don’t need others to tell you that something is “Right.” All you need is to start going inside and feeling and trusting what feels right to you.

Transformational Action Steps

I encourage you to start looking at how you give away your power by looking to others for permission.

(1) Start noticing who you look to for permission. You don’t need to make it bad or wrong to ask others for advice or guidance but just be aware if you are bypassing connecting with yourself and automatically going to others for your answer.

(2) Take on developing a close and trusting relationship with your inner voice. When faced with a situation or issue, take time to go inside and seek your answers, insight, and truth. When you receive your answer consciously affirm that all of your answers are inside of you and breathe into the feeling of owning that you are the greatest expert on you.

Author's Bio: 

Kelley Kosow is the author of The Integrity Advantage, a motivational speaker, and the Chief Executive Officer of the highly acclaimed Ford Institute. She continues the legacy of the New York Times bestselling author and thought leader, the late Debbie Ford, and leads the development and teachings of The Ford Institute’s transformational programs to thousands of people across the globe. Known as a “kick-ass coach” to high-level executives, change makers, and celebrities committed to personal transformation, Kelley blends her quick wit, laser sharp insight, and relentless compassion to help people upgrade their lives on a cellular level. Throughout her impressive career as a successful lawyer turned personal growth super star, she has been featured in Oprah Magazine as someone who could “Dream it, Do it,” as well as In Style, People, Working Mother, Latina, NY Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and LA Times. Kelley has also appeared on “The Balancing Act” and Connect with Kelley at