I’ve spent several years not pursuing my passions because I was afraid.
I was afraid of what people would think.
I was afraid of success.
I was afraid of failure.
Anything I could have feared related to my interests, I did fear.
I’m not sure.
But I know I’m not the only one who has fears related to their passions.
And I also know that these fears sometimes appear in the form of permission.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Don’t ask permission. Ask forgiveness.”
Here’s why I don’t think you should ask for either.
1. No one is asking you for it.
The truth is, you don’t need permission from anyone to pursue your passions.
And most people aren’t asking you to ask for permission.
As long as your passion doesn’t threaten other people’s safety, you have the freedom to pursue it.
For most of my life, I didn’t feel this way.
I particularly didn’t feel this way about making a living.
Most wealthy people in my neighborhood make a living as doctors, lawyers, investment managers, engineers, etc.
Obviously, these are effective ways to earn income.
But these fields aren’t my preferred way to make a living.
I’d like to make a living in such way that work wherever and whenever I want.
One way to do this is through professional blogging.
In fact, some of the highest paid bloggers make more than many of the wealthy in my neighborhood.
But because of my insecurity, I asked the wealthy in my neighborhood for permission to make a living as a blogger.
I may not have done this aloud.
But I certainly asked them permission in my mind.
I felt insecure.
I’d look around and wonder why I didn’t want what they wanted.
I’d wonder why I wasn’t like them.
I’d talk myself out of pursuing what I wanted to pursue.
I talked myself into doing what I didn’t want to do, what I didn’t care about.
This is why I spent a year of my life studying for the CFA exam.
And this is why I failed it. Twice!
More people than you think have thoughts like these.
Regardless, don’t waste your time thinking these thoughts.
Don’t waste your time asking other people permission.
Instead, give yourself permission to pursue what you love.
As James Altucher says:
If you don’t give yourself permission, certainly nobody else will.
2. The people demanding you ask for permission probably aren’t good relationships for you.
If you do actually ask someone for permission to pursue your dreams, you probably won’t get the answer you want.
We’re most prone to ask authority figures for permission:
People like our parents, our bosses, and even our super-confident friends.
The problem is these are the people most likely to deny us permission to pursue our dreams.
Parents have spent a lifetime saying no to their children.
They’re hardwired to look out for their children’s safety – not necessarily what’s best for their children.
Will a boss tell you to leave the company and start your own business?
Will a boss tell you to always take interviews with other firms?
Will he tell you to work on side-hustles at night to make yourself financially free from your day job?
And you probably have that super-confident friend.
That friend who always knows what he wants.
Even when he’s wrong, he’s “right.”
It’s tempting to ask him (and everyone else) permission to pursue your passions.
But no one else can give you permission.
Only you can give yourself permission to pursue your dreams.
3. You might be asking permission to defer responsibility.
Why do we ask others for permission?
Why do look we for ways out of doing what will make us happy every day?
It’s probably because it’s hard!
It’s probably because it’s unlikely you will find the “job” perfectly tailored for you in an office.
Instead, you will likely have to make it yourself.
Making your own “job” is hard for many reasons.
One of those reasons is that it’s harder to blame other people when you generate your own cash flow.
But when you have a job, it’s much easier to think things like:
It’s your boss’s fault.
You don’t have enough vacation days.
You don’t make enough money.
You have to clock in and clock out.
You aren’t being challenged enough.
There’s not enough growth potential.
These are all complaints I’ve heard people make about their jobs.
In fact, I’ve made most of these complaints about jobs past.
But when you make your own money, it’s much harder to make these complaints.
The truth is, these “problems” are your responsibility to fix whether you make your own money or not.
So why not start trying to solve these problems today?
Why not pursue passive income?
Start a side-hustle?
Or start a blog today?
You never know how long success will take.
So it’s best to start as soon as possible.
4. You shouldn’t need permission for the best that life has to offer.
Life is about good relationships.
It’s about love.
It’s about friendship.
It’s about achievement.
It’s about good health, family, and helping others.
In the free world, you shouldn’t need permission to pursue any of these things.
So stop asking for it.
5. It diminishes your self-esteem.
Asking permission for things that don’t need it reinforces the wrong idea.
It’s the idea that you need permission in the first place.
That your desire and efforts aren’t enough.
That you need affirmation from others before you can do what you want.
I know this because I asked permission to for too long.
And my self-esteem suffered as a result.
6. The most successful people don’t ask permission.
The day before something is truly a break through, it’s a crazy idea.Peter Diamandis
Elon Musk is trying to colonize Mars.
Jeff Bezos is trying to make Prime deliveries with drones.
Peter Diamandis is trying to mine asteroids.
These people didn’t ask permission to pursue their dreams.
They declared their mission and invited people to join them.
And it’s not just modern day entrepreneurs who have done this.
Here are a few quotes indirectly referencing people who didn’t get permission to pursue their dreams.
But they changed the world anyway.
“I do not believe the introduction of motor-cars will ever affect the riding of horses.”Mr. Scott-Montague, MP, in the United Kingdom in 1903
“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”H.M. Warner (of Warner Brothers) before rejecting a proposal for movies with sound in 1927
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”Ken Olsen (President, Chairman, and founder of Digital Equipment Corp) in 1977
There’s never been a more free world than the world of today.
Yet even so, people still ask permission when they don’t need to day after day.
Stop asking for permission.
Start executing your dreams today.
If you don’t know where to start or how exactly to “execute,” start with a blog.
Blogging has unlimited profit potential.
It will teach you a lot.
And it can connect you with people who can help you on your journey to financial freedom.
Plus, if you use my link* to get web-hosting, you can get started for just $3.95 a month!
That’s 50% off the standard price!
In the introduction, I mentioned how you shouldn’t ask for permission OR forgiveness.
Of course, if you’ve wronged a friend or hurt someone you care about, I think you should ask for forgiveness.
But that’s not the forgiveness I’m talking about.
I mean, you shouldn’t ask forgiveness for pursuing your dreams because forgiveness implies that you need permission.
So don’t ask for permission and don’t ask for forgiveness.
Just start pursuing your dreams today.
What stops you from going after your passions?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments!