The Permission to Fail

Personal

I love the idea of permission. No, really, I was obsessed with it as a kid. I’d ask my parents if I could play at the neighbor’s house, ask the librarian if I could dust the bookshelves, ask for second (and third) servings of dinner. I loved permission because it meant someone else allowed me to do what I wanted. Years later I went to college and majored in Business Administration, which gave me the permission to pursue business. Shortly thereafter, I went to law school, which gave me permission to become a lawyer.

Let’s be real: permission is safety.

Life got sticky when I had no one but myself to ask whether I should pursue my dream of becoming a photographer. It meant I bore the entire responsibility of making it happen. I couldn’t apply for it, I couldn’t take a test for it…I simply had to do it. Most creative professions require persistence, drive, and hard work, not a diploma (which is just permission on paper form)…and I constantly have to remind myself of this.

I want permission to try new things in my business. Even after a series of successful projects, I still want someone to tell me it’s okay to fail. Sometimes I wait for some cosmic sign (or at least a fortune cookie) to point me in the right direction, but consistent waiting is fear camouflaged as prudence. I’m slowly learning that if I want to permission to take a risk, to do something I love, the only person who’ll give it is myself.

Today, I hope you give yourself the permission to fail and follow the direction of your dreams.