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The Freedom to Be … with permission, of course

Have you ever found yourself standing on the edge of a decision, just waiting for someone to say it’s ok before you take the plunge? To give you the approval for what you’d like to do? Or stop yourself from doing something because it feels unfamiliar? You’re not alone. It’s human nature. We all hold ourselves back sometimes.

But what if the only permission slip you truly need is from yourself? Why not write yourself a ‘permission slip’ and give yourself the freedom – and permission – to feel, behave, and live exactly as you want to? Within reason (and your spending plan), of course…

Brené Brown uses the term’ permission slips’ as a way to allow yourself to feel (or do something) that might be out of your comfort zone or that’s new to you. It’s similar to the ones we, as parents, received from school, allowing our children to go on school outings. Last week, I was immersed in the Learning to Love Midlife workshop presented by Chip Conley at the Elder Academy. I was completely taken aback when a ‘learning to surf’ activity was suggested! I’m 55 and have never surfed before! Why try now? My initial response was quickly followed by another voice: what if I hurt myself? And then, “What if I can’t do it – and embarrass myself?”

What I really needed to do was give myself permission not to think about everything that could possibly go wrong but rather to focus my energy on thinking how cool it would be to actually feel what it’s like to surf, to try something new, and to expand myself instead of limiting what could be possible.

So yes! I surfed! Loved it and even managed to stand on the board and ride a wave! Of course, I had an instructor who helped me each step of the way – and in all honesty, the wave was very small! But I surfed in Mexico; more than that, it’s given me the confidence to try new things.

Sometimes, we hold ourselves back, waiting for permission, or do things just to gain approval. Other times, we avoid doing them completely for fear of disappointing someone close to us. This behavioural pattern often plays out within our closest relationships. Asking for permission can also become a convenient excuse – “We would have loved to, but our children advised us against it.” Deep down, we’re actually just looking for a reason not to.

It seems that at Chartered, we’ve become quite the go-to when it comes to tricky financial requests from the family. Next time the question of lending money to your adult children comes up, have your answer ready: ‘Sorry, we’d love to help, but Kim and Jason looked at the numbers and advised us not to.’ And yes, when it’s time to treat yourself and go on that trip, count on us to cheer you on: “Of course, financially, you are absolutely able to take that trip!”

As we promise to give ourselves permission to try new experiences, it’s important to consider the impact on our financial planning. Sometimes, we all need objective advice, especially regarding our money and financial security. Your Planning Specialist knows exactly how your actions will impact your planning and will always be available to give you objective advice and guidance without compromising your financial wellness – ensuring that your money is aligned with your life.

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