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Don’t wait for permission

Life lessons in 2023

Where are you holding yourself small? What beliefs are getting in the way of you stepping into your power?

Seeking permission can be a brilliant thing to do: you wouldn’t give feedback without checking that someone is ready to hear it first, or head off on a two-week holiday without telling your team. But we don’t need to wait for permission to be a leader.

I have spent most of my working life thinking that there are only certain things I can say or do because they technically sit within my remit. I was a master at staying in my lane. This mostly came with good intentions — I didn’t want to step on toes, speak out of turn or be disrespectful of other people’s expertise. And when I took a deeper look, there were also feelings of fear; of showing myself up or being judged for saying something silly’.

Early in the year I changed role to become the Head of Marketing, a role that I had previously shied away from. It just came at the right time for me, in the right business, and I felt so motivated and excited to take on the challenge that I set about planning and putting my ideas into action. I felt confident to speak up, share ideas and contribute freely, because I had been given permission to be this way through a job title. But the truth is, I had always had this passion, these ideas, this knowledge — and I had been hiding it out of fear. I’d been waiting to be given permission to do all the things I could have been doing all along, and I’ll be honest, I was kicking myself! How many opportunities did I let pass me by, to add value, be a true part of the team and get involved in things I found interesting, just because they were ‘out of my lane’? I was waiting for permission to be a leader, because I didn’t truly understand what being a leader meant — for me. It had nothing to do with my job title, and everything to do with how I show up, contribute, and step into my power.

My learning

Don’t wait for permission to be the best version of you. The best leaders aren’t those who know all the answers and therefore have no fear of saying the ‘wrong’ thing; they draw on their own experiences, their own brilliance, and bring it to the world with good intentions and the trust that people will see you for the human that you are.

We created a book of life lessons, a collection of honest shares from the Ivy House team’s learning 2023. It gives you an insight into some of the incredible people that make this business and your programmes possible, and hopefully give you some food for thought as we head into 2024.

So grab a cuppa, enjoy, and — if you’re willing — we’d love you to share some of your reflections and learnings from this year too. This amazing, courageous community really matters to us, as does creating a space to learn and grow, together.

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