Being a Creative / Personal Growth

(How to) Stop Asking Permission to Pursue Creative Dreams


… or to spend time or money creating in the first place.

This is clearly a hot-button topic for me since it’s the second time in 3 months that I’m addressing it here (first address here).

The struggle is a big deal and has become a HUGE limiting factor in the lives and desires of so many creative women I work with – pursue creative dreams and business dreams, or spend time and money more “wisely” on family and household things.

OMG. Shove me off a cliff already.

Here’s the deal, short and sweet…

Men don’t ask for permission to pursue the things they want to do – they just do it. Without going into all the socio-cultural history that has forced women to this place of needing permission from a significant other (mostly men and families), suffice it to say that we need to approach pursuing our creative desires from a totally different perspective in order to GET WHAT WE WANT.

And just incase you’re almost done scrolling, wait because here’s the antidote:

Do not ask for permission to follow your dreams – ask for support.

There is a huge difference between these two. Support doesn’t require someone to be on board with the idea, just that they be on board with YOU pursuing something that matters to you.

Permission is about the other person approving of the idea and being in agreement with you, and it relinquishes your own self-control over who you are and how you are “allowed” to experience and drive your life as a human, a woman, and a creative. It indicates power over, and that one person’s ideas and opinions outweigh and are more valid than another person’s.

Stop asking for permission.

This is a still shot from a video a student of mine took the moment I finished tying my first besom live on Facebook. This is the satisfied and elated face of someone who finally completed a project she’d been mulling over in her head for 18 months. This is genuine joy, and a new adventure begun.

Granted, If you want to begin pottery and need to buy and install a kiln somewhere on your property to fire your earthenware, yes, you should probably look to be in agreement, though STILL not permission. No buying $10,000+ equipment for a new idea and then blaming Kara… I don’t want spouse emails.

But here’s a little secret about the spouse messages I DO get when I’m coaching or even just teaching live online: the spouse, usually men, get to say to their partners “See? Kara thinks so, too. I said it, but you don’t believe it until Kara says it?!?”

Yep, lots of men out there ARE wanting to support their partners but they’re not given the chance because women feel guilty for even having a want outside of daily life and obligations. We as creative and entrepreneurial women fail to ask for support because we assume they will say no. We don’t give our partners a chance to support us and to encourage us on our way forward into our dreams and desires.

So the thing we need to grow inside of us as females and as female creatives and most certainly female creative entrepreneurs is how to ask for support, not permission. And here’s how that sounds:

“I’d like your support as I pursue my dream of pottery.”

“I’ve been DYING to start sculpting these characters I’ve been sketching and I’m going to get a few things to do it. It would be wonderful if you could help me by reminding me that my time spent doing that is valuable to me and for me.”

“I’m gonna start crafting birdhouses out of old socks and selling them online. Get on board, buddy. Also, I need all of your socks.”

Ok, that last one is not helpful at all. Don’t use that unless you have a Hubby like mine who is equally supportive and weird.

Do you get it? Do you see how we don’t need to ask for permission to do ANYTHING AT ALL in life that benefits our greater good, that helps us grow and contribute more authentically as humans? Would you ask for permission to treat cancer? How about permission to eat healthier? Permission to begin a running routine? Permission to read more on an academic topic?

So why would you ask permission to pursue your dreams in creativity?

Ask for support, stop asking for permission.

You. Are. Worth. It.

P.S. I know the two typical responses to this having to do with time and money… Those are topics for another blog article, but for now think on this: you create your own time and you and you alone decide how to spend it (yep, even if you’ve committed to the PTA, you chose that and you CAN unchoose that); and that the money isn’t all yours – but it’s also NOT NOT yours. Family/partner-combined money is meant for things that enhance life and if you can’t use your money to do that, what the fuck is the point of earning it? Money is just energy transferred between output and input and if it means more than that and has some relation to your own self-worth, that’s different work to do and a mindset that will need to shift if you want to own a creative business. Permission to be allowed to spend money on yourself and your growth and happiness? Um, no. That’s a right.


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