I Didn’t Need Permission to Pursue My Goals and Neither Do You

Erin C
Erin C
Dec 31, 2018 · 3 min read

They say all you really need to teach someone something is more skill than your student. You don’t have to be the best ever, just better than the person you are going to teach. You don’t have to be an expert to go forth and be in the world.

You don’t need to be an expert to have something to offer others.

So why don’t we put ourselves out there?


The reality is that many of us act like we need permission from someone more skilled than us, validation that we are skilled enough to offer our efforts to the world.

I’m working on becoming a flow arts teacher and it is insanely stressful. I am putting myself and my art out there. What makes me qualified to teach? It would be nice to have someone else say, “Yeah, you’re ready,” but the reality is that I have to be able to say that to myself.

I am the one going to stand up in front of students and present myself as a source of knowledge, so I have to feel ready within myself.

Or be willing to do it anyway.

We devalue our talents and the work that we’ve put in. We don’t believe they are good enough. Maybe if we practice more, then we’ll be ready. Maybe if we learn more skills, then we’ll be ready.

This is a trap because there is always more to learn.

This is particularly difficult for women in many cases because they are socialized to fit in rather than stand out. To nurture others instead of standing in the spotlight.

If you wait until you are ready, it will never happen. You don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to share your skills and talents with the world.

Subject to legalities of course. If you’re talented at something illegal, you should probably not pursue that.

Seeking feedback from a mentor or trusted friend can help you assess yourself more accurately. Sometimes we do need to train and practice more. Sometimes it’s all in our heads. Telling the difference can be tricky.

Sometimes you just have to go for it.

So that’s what I’m doing. I decided that I was going to stop waiting for someone to give me permission to start pursuing my goals.

I want to be a teacher. I applied to teach at one flow festival and will be applying to another.

I want to share my knowledge. I am working on a series of YouTube tutorials.

I want to be a performer. I purchased my performer insurance, negotiated a gig (which ultimately didn’t happen due to weather), joined a troupe, and am working on a performance piece for a festival.

I wanted to live in a van. Well, here I am.

Erin C

Written by

Erin C

A vandwelling, firespinning, sustainability nerd building a new life from the ground up.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade