What do you do when you're waiting for permission?

“You don't have to be good to start ... you just have to start to be good!” ― Joe Sabah

I have a dear friend who is flailing from working under a mediocre leader, but he can't ever garner enough courage to suggest changes.

I know another person who is making plans to do great things, but she has been working on those "plans" for years with little no progress.

I watched a friend pitch a great idea to management only to cave when confronted with reasonable questions.

I see these behaviors unfold and I know I have acted the same way.

I have waited to jump into an opportunity because I wanted more information. I have looked for approval of the "incumbents." I have sought permission for ideas before executing them.

I look around. I hesitate. I wait for stars to "align." (I hate that phrase. Since when do we take our cues from the solar system? I digress...)

While I could list the excuses for this behavior, you know what they are in your life.  For many of us, the biggest problem is starting.

Steven Pressfield has written extensively about this tension in The War of Art and Do The Work . The books have gems like this:

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and over-think and hesitate.”

and this

“The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don't just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed."

I routinely have ideas I sit on, think about, avoid...things I just can't seem to start.  These days a handful of creative ideas are particularly irritating to me because they won't go away; they won't be quiet in my brain.

I suppose that means I'll need to let them out to breathe. Maybe I'll write about them or ponder them longer.

Or maybe I'll act.

Waiting for permission isn't feeling like a suitable response.

What do you think?

(See what I did there?)