Over the years, many folks have told me they don’t consider themselves writers despite the fact that they’re writing.

They haven’t published a book, they say. So they’re not really a writer.

Oof. I get it. I used to struggle with that feeling, too. But here’s the thing: at the end of the day, we’re the only ones who can give ourselves permission to call ourselves writers. Nobody else can. Not some big fancy New York publisher or any other gatekeeper, for that matter. Because if we don’t give ourselves permission to claim our own worth, we’re always going to feel like a fraud on some level.

Meaning: if you’re waiting for some big name publisher to snap you up and validate your work, great. But please, validate your own worth first.

Be your greatest champion. Be all in.

Tell yourself you’re going to do it (be a writer, a painter, whatever your dream is) regardless of what anybody else has to say about it.

Don’t you love how kids don’t worry about this kind of stuff? They’re simply who they are. They don’t question it (and they as sure as hell don’t ask us for permission to be silly or artistic or *anything*.)

Because people will always have something else to say about it. There will always be someone out there waiting to pop your bubble—to tell you you’re not good enough, not worthy, yadda yadda.

But when you’re clear in your core about the reason you’re here, about the work that you’re here to do in this world, about the very reason you’re here on this planet, then those people can’t shake you.

They can take potshots at you, sure. But they won’t deter you. And they won’t be able to alter your course. You’re the only one who gets to decide that.

This is one of the many very real benefits of giving yourself permission in your creative life. Women in particular, I find, struggle with this. (I do, too, of course.) But if we wait until we’re fully confident before moving forward with our dreams—if we wait until someone outside of us gives us permission—then we might be waiting a long time. We might be waiting forever.

So today, choose yourself. Give yourself permission to call yourself a writer, a dancer, a singer, an artist, a welder, a programmer—whatever it is you want. Start by naming it.

All serious daring starts from within. –Eudora Welty

Then claim it.

Start moving toward it. Take one teeny, tiny step toward your dream. Then follow it up with another. And another.

With full-on, heart-centered excitement and—yes—PERMISSION! That’s when the magic starts to happen.

How will you give yourself permission today? Leave a comment below.


P.S. A gentle reminder that our next Jumpstart Your Book virtual retreat is next Tuesday, April 17, from 9:00 am-12:00 pm MT. Click here for more info and to register. Or simply hit “reply” with any questions.

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