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A Time of Great Permission
By Laura Berman Fortgang,
Author of Now What: 90 Days to a New Life Direction

Jobs are hard to come by, layoffs have been slower but still prevalent, industries are shrinking and disappearing and all that we have has lost a lot of its value. It's been called a recession, it's teetered on a depression, but what has failed to be mentioned is that it's also a time a time of great permission.

When the rules change and the status quo is gravely interrupted, it is actually a time of great opportunity for those that are not too terrified (or paralyzed) to act on it. If we give ourselves permission to follow our own hearts and inner road maps instead of waiting for a new status quo to take root, we are looking at making new rules and shattering preconceptions about what can and can not be accomplished.

The key to the time of great permission is that you can not wait for someone to give you the permission. You have to give it to yourself and claim or reclaim what you have previously declared undoable, unreachable, or ridiculous. There are no constraints when everyone else is scrambling and directionless. Chaos turns into order when someone takes charge and that someone might as well be you. As long as you can set your sights on what you are finally ready to give yourself permission to do, you can and will blaze your own trail.

Part of what keeps people from doing so is that they are still trying to re-enter their same field, grow their business in the same old ways, or beating their heads against the wall repeating old tactics that don't work. The time of great permission is about blowing out old ways of doing things, looking to outside measures of success and getting back in touch with your own rhythm -- allowing that to capture the attention of those you want to work for or serve in your own business.

One man was unemployed for over two years trying to re-enter his old field from which he was let go. His savings were almost gone when a local business owner approached him about buying his business. The change would have meant becoming the local fishmonger and owning a store in the middle of his suburban town. He could not reconcile that it was not an executive position. He was worried about what people would think and he thought his children would be ashamed to perhaps have to downgrade to a smaller home and go back to public school. He tried to shoo the idea away but it would not dissipate. The truth was that operating his own business by his own values and standards would be something that appealed to him. After some soul searching and support from his wife and kids, he gave himself permission to make the switch to much success and, dare I say, happiness.

Another example is that of a high-level producer in the television field who could not go another day working the grueling hours of her job, when suddenly, her show was canceled. Instead of scrambling for another job, knowing she'd be lucky just to have one in this day and age, she gave herself permission for a time out. She had no idea what else she wanted to do. As it turns out, that was not entirely true. If she dug deep enough, she knew she wanted to find her way into work as a marketing or public relations director for a non-profit organization -- preferably, one that served children. It really wasn't that hard to dig for the truth. She just had to give herself permission to say it and then do something about it. She did and is now employed in her new field. Once she committed, it only took her one month to land a job in a field where she had no connections or direct experience!

When you know who you are and what you want and then give yourself permission to go for it, circumstances such as the economy and the 'realities' that come with it fade into the background. In the foreground is your focus and determination to break through the status quo and when you are on target by doing something that is truly fitted to you, it's as if there is no global, economic crisis at all.

Isn't it time you gave yourself permission?

©2009 Laura Berman Fortgang, author of Now What: 90 Days to a New Life Direction

Author Bio

Laura Berman Fortgang, author of Now What: 90 Days to a New Life Direction, is a pioneer in the life-coaching profession. A renowned speaker and the president and owner of InterCoach, Inc., a full-service life-coaching business that works with individuals, small businesses, and corporations, she is also the author of The Little Book on Meaning, Living Your Best Life and Take Yourself to the Top. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

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