Stop Asking for Permission: Become Permissionless

Article last updated on January 10, 2022

If you want to be a successful online business owner and be less frustrated and overwhelmed, you must stop asking for permission from others.

A major change in your mentality is required to become a self-sufficient person.

Are you busy or effective?
If your revenue is growing at a snail's pace it's time for a reality check.
Are you busy or effective?
If your revenue is growing at a snail's pace it's time for a reality check.

In this article, I’m going to show you how you can become a permissionless person.

Traditional employment is a permission-based work structure, which you may not be aware of.

  • You have to seek permission before you can start working.
  • A college degree is an application for permission to learn.
  • Job applicants are asking for authorization to work when they apply.
  • A promotion request is an expression of your desire to grow.
  • A pay increase request expresses your desire to earn more money.

Many people are still being instructed how to work, rather than being asked what makes them distinctive.

We were trained to heed the advice of those in power rather than to think on our own.

You don't need permission
In most cases, you don’t need permission to be whoever you want to be. These are illusionary blockages.

We were taught to stick to a routine, so we never questioned the appropriateness of the 9-to-5 workweek.

When you work for yourself, there is no one else to ask for permission.

Everyone deserves to be respected.

And no matter what you are doing, whether it’s growing your online business, creating a new product, or anything else, you need to stop asking for permission first.

If you want to build a successful business, you need to stop thinking about what other people think about you.

Instead, it would be best to focus on yourself and your beliefs.

Because the truth is, there isn’t any person out there who thinks less of you than you feel about yourself.

And here’s the thing – once you realize that, everything changes.

Because the truth is, people will say “no” to you and your idea and that’s expected.

It would be strange if everyone accepted what you propose or what you want to achieve.

Understand Permission

Permission is the process by which someone gives you their approval to do something.

Permission is power.

Understand that you are giving up some power every time you ask for permission.

Every time you ask for permission, you are saying, “I don’t know what I’m doing.”

But if you understand the concept of permission, you’ll see that it doesn’t make sense.

  • Why should anyone give you their approval?
  • What does it mean to ask for permission?

It means that you’re not sure of yourself. It means that you lack confidence.

But if you understand the concept behind permission, you’ll realize that it doesn’t make sense.

Why would anyone give you their approval if you don’t even believe in yourself?

Here’s the problem with this mindset… You can’t expect others to respect you unless you respect yourself.

If you aren’t willing to take responsibility for your life, why should anyone else?

I don’t want to sound like a motivational guru, but once you start taking ownership of your life and decisions, you start believing in yourself again.

You start feeling like a winner.

You start building self-confidence.

You start getting the results you deserve.

And guess what… People will start respecting you.

They will start treating you differently. You have earned the right to be treated with respect.

People don’t respect you because you are special. They appreciate you didn’t ask for permission to be you and authentic.

Recognize When You Ask for Permission

Recognizing when you’re asking for permission can be tricky.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment.

So here are some signs that you might be asking for permission:

  • Feeling anxious when you’re trying to make decisions
  • Worrying about what others will think
  • Thinking negatively about yourself
  • Fearing failure
  • Wishing you were somebody else

Let’s explain each of them in a bit.

Feeling anxious when you’re trying to make decisions

Anxiety is one of the most common feelings we experience as humans. And it’s completely normal. We all feel anxious from time to time.

However, if you find that you’re constantly anxious, this could indicate that you’re asking for permission.

Why? Because anxiety is caused by fear. And when you’re constantly fearful of making mistakes, you’re just asking for permission.

You can not live a purposeful life if you are feeling anxious.

Worrying about what others think

Another sign that you’re asking for someone’s permission is worrying about what other people will think of you.

It’s very human to worry about how other people react to our actions.

However, if you find yourself always worried about what others will think of you, this could mean that you’re asking them for permission.

It would be a boring life if you worry about what other people think; that’s not the way to become an authentic and successful person.

Thinking negatively about yourself

Another way to recognize when you’re asking for someone else’s permission is thinking negatively about yourself.

As long as you’re constantly looking at yourself through rose-colored glasses, this could mean that somewhere deep down inside; you’re still asking for someone else’s approval.

If you feel like you don’t measure up, it may be because you’re comparing yourself to others who have more than you do.

In addition, if you’re constantly criticizing yourself or beating yourself up for not being perfect, this could also mean that you’re asking for approval. 

Fearing failure

Fearing failure is another way to recognize when you might be asking for someone else’s opinion or permission.

If you’re constantly worried about whether or not you’ll succeed, then you’re essentially telling the world, “I’m too weak to take care of myself. I need help.”

But the truth is, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. And nobody knows you better than you know yourself.

That’s why it’s important to remember that there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes.

Insights in life will come once you lean towards fear. It will shine a light on what you care about.

Wishing you were somebody else

Finally, another way to recognize when you’ve asked for someone else’s permission could be wishing that you were somebody else.

Most of us have wished at least once that we weren’t born into this body. Or that we didn’t come from a particular family.

So if you ever wish that you were something else, this could mean that underneath you’re still asking for permission.

In fact, if you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people, this could also mean that you’re feeling inferior.

Because whenever you compare yourself to other people, you’re basically admitting that they are more worthy than you.

The good news is that you don’t have to live compared to anyone else. You can choose to become the best version of yourself.

And the only thing standing between you and greatness is your belief system.

Now let’s go ahead and break down how to stop asking for permission.

How to Stop Asking for Permission

There are four steps to becoming permissionless and living an authentic life.

Step 1: Observe

There’s a reason why most people ask for permission before doing anything new.

They feel anxious and uncomfortable without knowing exactly why.

So instead of guessing, try to figure out exactly why you’re so nervous.

For example, maybe you’re afraid that you’ll make a fool of yourself during a presentation.

If you’re worried about making a fool of yourself, you can work on improving your public speaking skills.

By figuring out what specifically makes you feel anxious, you’ll be able to eliminate those feelings.

Step 2: Eliminate

Once you’ve figured out exactly why you’re feeling anxious, you should look for ways to eliminate them.

You see, if you’re always asking for permission, this causes unnecessary anxiety.

It’s much easier to get things done than to worry about whether or not you will get approval.

So rather than trying to guess what others will say or do, you can follow through with your plans.

Then, once you’ve completed whatever task you set out to do, you can evaluate whether or not you got permission.

If you did, great! But if you didn’t, you can move forward again.

This process works because as long as you keep moving forward, you never have to worry about whether or not one gave you permission.

Step 3: Brutal Honesty

When you’re honest with yourself, you’ll be able to find out exactly where you stand.

And by being honest, you’ll be able to be and stay permissionless.

For example, you may realize that you’re not very skilled at public speaking.

But then you can take action to fix that problem.

When you learn exactly where you stand, you’ll be able to improve yourself.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be better.

In fact, it’s a sign of strength to admit when you aren’t perfect.

Step 4: Stand Your Ground

Finally, after you’ve learned exactly where you stand, it’s time to stand your ground and focus on what makes you proud.

Because if you spend all your time focusing on what other people think of you, you’ll end up miserable.

Instead, it would be best to focus more on what you like about yourself.

Sure, you might still have some areas in which you could improve. But by focusing on what you like about yourself, you’ll be able to achieve success.

After all, nobody else has ever been able to tell you how awesome you are. Only you can do that.

And even though you may not believe it now, eventually, you’ll come to appreciate yourself.

And that’s when you’ll finally know true happiness.


All in all, there’s really only one way to become permissionless.

And that’s my understanding that everyone’s perspective is subjective.

Therefore, you should focus on improving yourself based on what you find interesting, rather than staying in an endless loop of asking for permission from other people.

There are lazy people, but you are not one of them since reading these actionable steps.

You are a positive person that seeks a positive life and has the urge to be a successful entrepreneur.

So, observe in which situations you seek permission, eliminate it as soon as possible, be brutally honest with yourself if you are doing it the right way, and finally, stand your ground, i.e., focus on what makes you proud.

Marko Matijasevic

Marko is performance-based growth strategist, focusing on business growth while maintaining a strong emphasis on authenticity in every individual he works with.