One week ago, I announced that our family is moving to Nashville.
As I stated in that post, we’ve lived in the same city for all of our lives. In fact, a lot of our friends and even family have lived here for most, if not all, of their lives too.
When you live in the same city or have the same job or settle for the same routine, over time it’s easy to box yourself into a cage. You can leave at any time. No one is holding you hostage or keeping the keys from you. But you stay.
Generally because everyone else seems to be staying in their cage as well. So you may as well stay put too.
Because that’s the way we’ve always done it, people will say.
When the crazy idea of leaving the cage crosses your mind, you quickly dismiss it as risky. Without realizing it, you’ve started living by someone else’s script.
I know this was the case for our family.
We had never even considered living any where else. We didn’t need to. We were happy. We were content. We didn’t want to rock the boat or break from the script.
But an interesting thing has happened since we decided to move to Nashville.
People have been telling us how cool they think it is that we’re going. But they’re not saying it like, “That’s cool you’re going to Nashville because it’s a fun city.” They’re saying it like…
That’s cool you’re leaving your cage. I didn’t realize that was an option. Did you have to ask someone first? Who would I even talk to about leaving my cage?
Several of them would even talk in hushed tones. I assume so as not to rattle others in their cages or raise suspicion.
Now of course they didn’t use those exact words, but some people talk like they didn’t know such a significant change was even allowed.
You mean you’re moving…just to move? But why? Shouldn’t you stay inside your cage like the rest of us?
As crazy as it sounds, it’s almost like people are waiting on someone to give them permission. Permission to leave the cage and live life on their own terms.
I have good news and bad news. The bad news is there’s no such thing as a permission fairy (or a tooth fairy regardless of what I’ve told my daughters). The good news is the person with the ability to give you permission is you.
Stop waiting on someone to tell you it’s okay to do something risky. Stop hoping the stars align so you can make a change. Stop sitting on the sideline because you’re scared to fail. Stop waiting for someone to give you permission.
Set yourself free from your cage. You already have the keys. You don’t need permission.
(BONUS: To read more on the subject of taking permission, check out my friend Andy Traub’s blog. He writes a lot on the subject and coincidentally just recently moved to Nashville.)
QUESTION: What are you waiting on someone to give you permission to do? Share it with the community in the comments below!
Awesome post dude! This “risk aversion” and “staying in the cage” mentality goes much deeper than most people think.
Most people don’t realize it, but this kind of “risk protection” is engrained in our primitive brains, and goes way back to the days of dinosaurs and cave men. Back when getting out of our comfort zone and taking a small risk could get us killed.
We stayed in our “cage” because our protective brain told us “We woke up again today and weren’t eaten by a T-Rex, so do whatever it is you did yesterday so we can wake up again. Don’t change anything”.
This kind of subconscious autopilot was useful, even necessary, back then. But today, doesn’t serve as great of a service today. Rob Scott has a great talk about this very thing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnHuPklD9t8 (5:54 in)
Thanks for sharing buddy!
Great post, Grant! I’m new to your site and podcast, but it’s good stuff.
My family moved from Louisiana to the Houston, TX area 3 months ago in our own leap of faith. I left my hometown, my family, friends, clients, and my job at my alma mater to step out into something new.
It has been a valuable experience and I’m sure you’ll gain so much from your move as well. Can’t wait to see where it takes you.
To be missionaries in Haiti! We want it. We’ve prayed and prayed and God keeps opening doors for us. But it’s scary! 🙂 We will literally be giving up everything. Just so many, many details and of course, raising the funds to go. Do we start our own non-profit (that’s always been our dream) and go or do we go with a mission organization? And my main question is, how can I bring in additional income to help us make this dream come true? Thanks for the encouragement.
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