Why You Don’t Need to Ask for Permission

I’m so sorry you haven’t heard from me in a few weeks, I’ve been busy getting married, travelling to London and celebrating with good friends who are visiting from Australia. Thank you for your lovely well-wishes for my wedding. It was a super amazing day, we had so much fun! Here are a few pics from the day. 

Not only did many of you write to me to congratulate me, many of you told me how you’ve personally struggled with the need to seek approval from others. One reader wrote: 

I care a lot about what others think of me. I don’t ever rock the boat and feel more secure if someone else approves my actions before I take them. I’ve realised that this is such an ineffective way to operate and depreciates my self-confidence each time I exercise it

One of our primary fears is not being loved or liked. In the corporate world, this fear applies especially to women in leadership positions. We don't want to be seen as "aggressive" or "bossy" or a bitch - all those tropes about women in power that don't apply to men. Also, it's nice to be liked! I think many women make strong leaders because of their collaborative style. But seeking input and advice through collaboration is different from not making decisions unless you have the approval of others. Such people-pleasing gets in the way of getting sh*t done and takes up a huge amount of time and energy.  
Another reader shared her personal story of making a big decision when others in her life did not approve: 

I’m the youngest of two daughters to conservative Polish migrants who are devout Catholics. In my early 20s I went on my first solo trip to Europe to ‘see a bit of the world’. Whilst travelling, I captured the heart of a guy in his 30s who was sporting tattoos, no hair and an earring. To top it all off - he was atheist! I will never forget the first time he met my parents. All my father said to my mother was, ‘have you seen what your daughter has brought home’.

Against my parents wishes I married him anyway and he’s now the father of my two beautiful children. As we celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary in October this year, I couldn’t be happier. He is the most perfect father and the husband that most wish for. Whilst at the time it was difficult to convince my parents he was the one, I went with my gut. Not only have my parents kept their daughter they’ve gained a son and two grandkids. It’s taking that leap of faith and going with the gut where you reap the rewards.

Be the woman who goes her own way. You never know who might be watching - like this reader who told me: 

The way you went about your wedding day is how I have always dreamed it should be done. Your own way and just the two of you! This gives me strength to make sure I live out my dream just how I have always seen it, regardless of pleasing others or asking for their opinions.

Sophie, don’t ask for permission. You can ask for forgiveness later!   

Sophie xx