Permission to speak, Sir?

Some conversation just “feel” harder to have than others. We all have one or two conversations that we need to have hanging around in our brains. We know we need to have them, but we don’t. We know we would be better for having them, but we have so many more important things to do.


I know, I have them too. Those issues that need to be tackled, those situations that need to be challenged, those problems that are….well problems, that you can’t quite face, but can’t quite live with. We’re walking around with a host of these things banging around in the dark recesses of our brains day in, day out.

Our lives our full, our days are jam-packed with situations that we deal with. But our quiet moments, our dreams, our nightmares are full of situations that we don’t deal with. Such is the complexity and intricacy of this existence that we call life. It isn’t perfect, it isn’t the whole package, but it is everything that we have and all that we will ever have.

The thing that makes these conversations tougher than the others, the thing that makes us hesitate, the thing that makes us put this back to another day, is permission.


The conversations that we have are easy.

The conversations that we don’t have are hard.

That sounds simple, but in many cases it isn’t anything to do with the actual content there is something darker going on in the back of our little minds. There is something that stops us and it is the concept of permission. We don’t feel that we are able, we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, we don’t want to take the risk.

Yet we all know, that when we find the courage to speak out, when we find the focus to tackle these issues, when we manage to put our fears aside and open our mouths, well then things become a whole lot simpler.

Permission is a nonsense, permission is the crutch of inaction, permission is the excuse that stops you from starting your life. Permission is the kindling of the fire that will make you the person that you can and should be.

Set fire to permission, go ask the questions, go challenge the status quo. Go take a weight off your mind.

You know you’re worth it….and you know things will be better if you do.


  1. Gareth Jones · September 18, 2012

    Permission is all of those things. It’s also the thing that you didn’t get from your boss when you struck out, challenged the status quo, challenged convention. I love the phrase “better to beg forgiveness than ask permission” but the truth is that those that say it, by and large, are people who have never done it. The prevalence of traditional leadership and a healthy dose of ego mean that this can often be a career limiting approach.

    I speak from experience. I didn’t ask permission. I begged for forgiveness. And i lost my job. (Well actually I didn’t beg, maybe that’s where I went wrong 😉 )

    Do I regret it? Hell no. Am I in a better place as a result? Hell yes! So I’m with you. But lets be clear, there are consequences. Be sure to have worked those through in your head and manned up to them first 😉

    • Neil · September 24, 2012

      I’m not sure that we only require permissionn for “big” conversations….often it can be the little things. And yes there can be consequences, but hopefully not always losing your job! 🙂

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