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I Was Blindly Following Everyone in Authority

I’ve shared a damaging habit keeping me from what I want: asking permission.

This week, I’ve got another terrible habit to share - kind of a sister habit.

What is it?

Constantly looking to everyone else as an expert.

Asking their input, gathering their opinions, and seeing if they gave me “the go-ahead.”

It’s a form of waiting for permission - a sneaky way of keeping yourself from moving forward & making what you want real.

Doing this, we overlook our own capabilities because we just don’t trust ourselves.

We’re more likely to trust others because they’ve got more training, more experience, or both…

But sometimes all the other person has is a louder opinion.

Here’s how I’ve sabotaged myself in this way:

My husband has been running businesses for more than 30 years. He’s got an advanced degree and has taken HUNDREDS from businesses idea to start-up to scale.

He’s generous with knowledge & advice; and he doesn’t “should all over” me.

However, he’s NEVER run a digital business, nor has he ever had to market himself.

So why did I keep asking his advice about my digital business and my marketing?

Because, in my mind, he’s an expert at EVERYTHING in business.

If I’d share a strategy - he didn’t meet my enthusiasm - I’d think, “Oh nooooooo! Maybe this is wrong. It’s a huge mistake! John’s not excited about it - so it must not be the right choice.”

Self-doubt is an evil little bitch who creeps into my mind every single day. My brain’s always looking for clues that I’m making the wrong decision.

So when someone I deem an expert in something doesn’t hop on board - immediately & loudly - I’m obviously doing something WRONG.

It’s a form of permission-seeking - dangerous because it allows self-doubt to flare.

When Self-Doubt shows up, the party is OVER.

Here’s another example: my dad always worked at a car dealership when I was a kid. He fixed neighbor’s cars and changed their oil in our garage throughout my childhood.

Duh - obviously he knows everything about vehicles, big & small.

When I wanted to buy a new car, I asked for his guidance. He told me what to look out for, what to buy, which brands were the best, etc.

ONE THING THOUGH: I’ve really wanted a hybrid since 1998, and my dad has consistently told me what a bad choice they are because they’ll be too expensive to fix.

He had lots of opinions about Hybrids, and I took them as #TRUTH.

Here’s something I forgot: he hasn't worked in the car industry for more than 20 years!

Even if at one time his opinion of hybrid cars was true, maaaayyyyybbbbbeeee at this point the facts have changed! 🤷‍

Do you ever do this? Blindly trust someone in authority who seems to know more than you?

With a louder opinion than you?

I’ve spent much of my life listening to those opinions. Some were based in experience & fact…

And some were just loud.

  • The business partner who was POSITIVE that adding a new (expensive) line of spinning bikes to our studio would be THE ANSWER to our problems. (It wasn’t.)
  • The teaching colleague with 40 years’ experience who was SURE that if I left my comfortable teaching position I’d regret it. (I didn’t.)
  • The family member who INSISTED I have more than one child because my son wouldn’t be happy unless he had siblings. (He’s all good, thankyouverymuch).

Are you waiting for your “experts” to give you permission? I was.

It’s exhausting & depleting. Gets you nowhere.

The solution? Earn trust back with yourself.

Know your strengths. Know your weaknesses.

For example, I’m not great with interior design. Once, I wound up with a couch that was 3 times too big for the living room - and was also white. Not a smart move for a family with a small child.

So, when I’m changing my vision or moving in a new direction, I hire a design expert & listen to her - but not blindly.

I have opinions. I know what I like & need.

Just because someone is an expert does not mean they have ALL the answers FOR YOU.

Get support. Get opinions. Get educated. Then try some things out. Do they work?

My client Teddey is a great example of this.

In the course of our work together, she’s played with several versions of a business model. Each time she tries something out - she explores how it’s working - or not working for her.

Some things just didn’t feel good. She keeps tweaking - I give her guidance, support, and resources. I help her clear out her mind & get where she wanted to go.

BUT SHE HAS TO TRUST that she knows THIS is what I want. THIS - not so much.

It’s not my job to tell her, Here’s the business model for you. Don’t use that title. Do charge this amount.

She had to learn how to trust herself - I’m kind of like her training wheels, but I’m not an expert to blindly follow.


Stop looking to the big-name gurus for The Answer.

Stop clicking on ads that promise THIS is the PERFECT sales funnel.

There IS no perfect answer. There is no one model that works for everyone.

Whatever you’re trying to create, build, or bring to life, you must adopt the philosophy that it’s all an experiment.

Those with more experience than you are great resources, but they are not Oracles. There is NO ONE ANSWER.

You’re setting yourself up for failure if you’re always looking to someone else to provide permission.

GRANT YOURSELF PERMISSION to move forward & try on a solution.

How do you get what you want without sabotaging yourself & giving your power away?

  1. Know what you want. Do you know? Spend a lot of time here. Imagine what it looks like and feels like.
  2. Seek out supporters & guides who do not shove their opinions down your throat. If you’re hearing, “You should…” and “You have to do it this way…” take a moment & decide whether this is good advice you’re getting, or if it needs a grain of salt thrown in.
  3. Trust yourself: every move forward is scary. No doubt. Leaving a stable but soul-sucking job? Having one, two, three, or more children? - JEEZ, even getting a DOG is scary.

Here’s how you can learn to trust yourself: Think of the worst-case scenario. Then think about what would you do IF the worst-case scenario came true.

Can you handle that? Yes, of course you freaking can! That’s how you earn self-trust.

Whose advice are you blindly following because they are in authority, are louder than you, have more experience than you, or have a vested interest in the outcome?

You can change that paradigm without a conversation. They don’t even need to know you’re doing it.

Just. Start.

I promise, 6 months from now, you won’t believe the changes you’ll see in your life.

This free resource will help you JUST GET STARTED! It’s called 5 Steps to Take Action on Your Goal - and it can help you figure out what you really need…

Download it here & by the end of the week, start seeing changes happen!

Xo, Jen

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