I’d like to offer you a different kind of permission slip.
Over the past zillion (OK, 8) months of the pandemic 2 primary “camps” have emerged:
Camp 1 is “If you’re not using this time to become your best self, you’re wasting your life” …or something along those lines.
Camp 2 is “Anything goes, do whatever gets you through, give zero Fs” …I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea.
We find ourselves falling (or trying to force ourselves) into one of these 2 camps because we’re all seeking anything that makes us feel better; but we are missing one big truth: great discomfort comes from values misalignment.
Let’s say you’ve got a strong value associated with making an impact. During the pandemic, you’ve noticed yourself feeling more tired than usual so clearly Camp 1 isn’t going to work for you. Camp 2 feels like the only other option. You’ve tried to give yourself permission to do nothing and to give zero Fs, yet that doesn’t quite fit either.
You need to tweak your permission slip.
You don’t need to go all the way into Camp 2 and stop caring about everything. The permission slip that I’ll offer you is to allow yourself to do what you need to do, so that you can still honor your values.
Sticking with the example of having a strong value associated with making an impact, that permission slip probably looks like taking time away from news but still focusing on a cause that’s close to your heart. Maybe it looks like doing an act of service for another person. Maybe it’s as simple as getting more sleep so that you can positively impact your team at work.
So, if you’ve been waiting for a sign or for permission, this is it. Maybe it looks a little different than what you were expecting, but that’s the whole point. You don’t have to force yourself into Camp 1 or Camp 2 (or any other Camp that doesn’t fit!). You have permission to do what you need to do in order to be able to honor your values. That’s the only permission slip you need.