Is This Pattern Keeping You Stuck in an Employee Mindset?

employee mindset

“The only permission, the only validation, and the only opinion that matters in our quest for greatness is our own.” -Dr. Steve Maraboli

A few weekends ago, I was at an event in a room full of smart, powerful, successful women.

When there was a moment to ask a question or share a reflection, I noticed how one woman after another wasn’t really asking a question, she was asking for permission or validation. This is something I’ve noticed comes up for clients as well, and this is a pattern I definitely fell into at the start of building my business.

It made me wonder, how many of us are holding ourselves back from the next level of success in our business because we’re waiting for permission?

How many of us are sitting on a brilliant idea or know exactly what next steps we want to take, but are waiting for someone else to validate them?

How many of us are crowd sourcing important business decisions in Facebook groups or allowing people who have no knowledge of our work to influence what we will and won’t do? Decisions like what we stand for, what offers to make, what business model to use, pricing, and even the size and scope of our business.

These are all decisions we have to make for ourselves. Even with my coaching clients, I guide and encourage them to decide for themselves. 

The problem that occurs when we’re outsourcing business decisions, is we’re essentially saying, “I don’t trust myself.” We also tend to get feedback laced with other people’s limiting beliefs and fears.

Seeking permission and validation are two of the biggest ways I see entrepreneurs hiding in plain sight and staying stuck. Sure, you’re out there asking questions, but you’re eroding your self-confidence and self-trust in the process.

I get it. We’re afraid to fail. We’re afraid to take the wrong step, and there seems to be an internet-wide belief that there’s an answer out there we’re missing. 

When we’re looking outside ourselves for validation that what we think and believe is in fact true, good enough, or “right”, we place all the power outside of ourselves. 

We then receive our sense of self-worth from other people, letting us know we’re good enough. 

Sometimes, we’re waiting for that gold star to give us the self-esteem we aren’t willing to give to ourselves. 

Other times, we don’t really believe in our ability or the possibility of what we want, and we’re hoping that if enough people tell us it’s ok, that it can happen, that it will.

Depending on where our mindset is hanging out, we can also subconsciously seek out the very people who will tell us not to move forward or that our ideas aren’t valid. We’ll notice the few words that validate our biggest fears and turn them into truth. Suddenly it’s a crazy fear-party that’s running our business, and it’s not even always OUR own fears that are running the show! 

For some of us, this is something we learned back at our 9-5’s. We’re used to being an employee who has someone else telling them what to do and how to do it. It can be scary and a big adjustment to switch out of the employee, permission-seeking role and into being the person who runs the show and decides what’s going on.

I’m always saying being an entrepreneur doesn’t come with a handbook, so it can feel very rudderless, and getting a little validation can feel soothing and ease the discomfort.

Not only does this keep us hiding in plain sight and creating a business based on other people’s opinions, it’s damn confusing and such a time suck!

Who hasn’t had a great idea that they’re all fired up about and lost weeks getting input, only to find themselves no further along, confused and deflated?

I get it. I’ve so been there and used to survey anyone who would listen for a thumbs up. I still have to sit on my hands when I’m looking at an important business decision, to make sure I weigh in with myself first, and choose from this space versus picking up the phone to see what my coach or business bestie thinks. 

Success is an inside out process. No person, no guru, expert, teacher, or coach can tell you what’s right for you and your business. Someone can guide you to clarity, which is invaluable, but the best results come when we check inside first.

You don’t need anyone’s permission. In fact, permission might be holding you back.

Instead of looking for permission and approval, I think we want to get curious about why we need it in the first place. What are we hoping someone else can give us that we can’t give ourselves?

What’s the fear that’s keeping us from trusting ourselves?

It’s with this clarity that we’re able to get back into the driver’s seat and make decisions from a place of personal strength. This is when we get out of employee mindset and step into the role of CEO.

To create the next level of success in our businesses and lives, I believe we have to first give ourselves permission. We have to stop looking for validation outside ourselves.

Let’s all give ourselves permission and validate that we’re doing it right, that our ideas are good enough, that we should publish the thing, share the thing, take action on the thing, do the thing.

Wishing you your version success!

give yourself permission

P.S. Ready to stop hiding in plain sight and make decisions like a BOSS? I’d love to support you, so you can get out there and make more money doing what you LOVE! Click here to book a free coaching consultation!