If you get out of the mind-set “Will they let me?” you can take control of situations, become accountable, and accept the consequences of your decisions and actions. Don’t get conditioned and trapped constantly by waiting for permission to take charge of your life. You may be asking for permission when you don’t even need permission. I’ve learned not to ask for permission.

We’re so conditioned to ask permission, starting in the first grade. “Will they pass me to the second grade? Oh, I hope so. Oh, thank you.” And then you go to the sixth grade, “I wonder if they’ll let me go to junior high school? Oh, thank you.” “I wonder if I can graduate from junior high school and go to high school? Oh, thank you for letting me go.” “I wonder if they’ll let me make the team? Oh, thank you.” “I wonder if I can graduate from high school. Oh, thank you.” “Will they admit me to college? Oh, thank you.” “Will I be able to graduate? Oh, thank you.


We constantly sit around and wait in long lines, hoping someone will grant us permission to move forward in life. We may feel trapped in an environment, unable to move, but if you exercise your efficacy, your causative power, you can start your own business, start your own life, start your own career. Start where you need to start. Quit waiting for permission. Take charge. Through smart talk, give yourself permission, and then walk. That attitude is essential to achieve what you want and get from here to there.

Often I’m not qualified to do what I do, as determined by those who set the qualifying criteria. There are people significantly more qualified. And yet I’m the keynote speaker, and I’m wondering, “What am I doing here? I’ve never even been in the Army, and yet here I am speaking to the chancellor of West Point. What am I doing here?”

You’ve got to learn to give yourself permission. It’s an efficacious attitude. And you quit waiting for the sanction of those in authority. You’ve got to go to the head of the line, without making people mad. Don’t just wait in line.

Sure, it’s easier to move when people grant you approval and sanction. One big deterrent to your personal growth is that you wait for people to give you permission and tell you that you’re qualified. Learn how to qualify and sanction yourself. Give yourself permission to take the next step, to go into this business, or to move into this market. If necessary, create your own rites of passage and credentials.

Of course, in some societies and situations, certifications are a must. But don’t get trapped or stop your growth because you’re sitting around waiting for somebody to make you a vice president. Maybe you ought to start your own company. Maybe you need to get out of your current environment. Maybe you won’t achieve in the traditional manner. You may need to get out of the system and adopt an attitude of full accountability, of sanctioning yourself, of not getting trapped, of not waiting for people’s approval to bless you and give you permission to take the next step.