I’ve always wanted to…..?

I’ve stopped myself because…..?

What I needed was……?

We all have things that we want to do, dream of doing, or secretly long for. But a lot of those things, big or small, never see the light of day. Take a moment and think about your answer to these questions. Just one minute. Go on, I’ll wait.

I’ve always wanted to…..?

I’ve stopped myself because…..?

What I needed was……?

This right here is what I call:

The Permission Gapthat gap between the things we’ve always wanted to do, and the things we’ve actually done. 

There are typically three reasons we get stuck from moving forward with the things we really want:

  1. We need someone to tell us that it’s going to be okay.
  2. We need support for our choices so we know we aren’t totally crazy.
  3. We want someone to stop us because it’s generally easier not to jump.

We want to be validated. We need to be validated. We want to know we are going to be safe, that it’s all going to work out. That our world won’t fail apart. That we won’t, God forbid, fail.

Here are some common desires that can put women firmly in the permission gap (myself included):

Quit a job

Start a business

Go for a promotion

Ask for a pay rise

Leave a relationship

Be more creative

Lead authentically

Write a book

Ask for more support

Start a side hustle

Completely change careers

Speak the truth

Be more real

We get lured into the permission gap by our stories. Not our real stories. Not the truth. But the stories we tell ourselves about what will happen if we show up, act, be ourselves, take a risk, or just do what we really want to do.

Perhaps some of these stories will sound familiar:

People won’t like it

People won’t like me

It will be too hard

I’ll be judged

People will think I’m crazy

My partner/parent/kid/boss/friends won’t approve

I’ll look silly

I won’t fit in

People will be upset

I can’t afford it

I don’t have the time

They will say no


But here’s the question I want you to really sit with: What is the cost of living your life in the permission gap? 

What is the cost of your inaction? What are you missing out on? Having the career of your dreams? Being the type of leader you wish you had and truly want to be? Following your true passion and living your life on purpose? Standing in your true confidence and power? Being the person you were put on this earth to be?

Maybe just living your life with more freedom and lightness and joy because you aren’t being constantly weighed down with the heaviness of all of these thoughts and fears and irrational stories that keep you stuck?

What if you just said YES to yourself?

What if you picked one thing that you currently really want to do or try or be, and instead of deliberating in the permission gap, you just went and did it?

What if?

I invite you to pick one small thing. Or pick one crazy big thing. And take the action you are longing to take.

Start writing the book. Start that side hustle. Leave the relationship that’s making you crazy. Ask for the promotion. Change companies. Build your brand. Sell your house. Tell your boss what you really think. Become an artist. Kick out your toxic flatmate. Die your hair pink. Get the tattoo. Become a vegan. Speak truth to power. Just say no. Finally say yes.

The permission gap is not a place you can live your one big glorious life from. It’s a persistent safe zone. It’s comfortable. And nothing great happens there.

Be brave. Give yourself permission to not only want what you want, but to take action.

Because greatness is in the doing.

And the only permission you need is your own. 


  • Megan Dalla-Camina

    Founder & CEO Women Rising | Author | Women's Leadership, Empowerment & Wellbeing

    Megan Dalla-Camina is the visionary leader behind Women Rising—a global movement empowering women in leadership, wellbeing, and personal growth. As Founder & CEO, Megan brings a wealth of expertise and a passion for helping women unlock their potential. With an impressive academic background encompassing multiple Masters degrees and extensive research, Megan has honed her insights into actionable strategies that drive real change. She combines her academic and coaching prowess with decades of executive experience in Fortune 100 companies, providing a unique perspective that deeply resonates with women around the world. Through the Women Rising program, Megan has garnered widespread acclaim for her holistic approach to personal and professional development, with more than 5,500 women in 500+ organisations in 37 countries graduating in the past 2 years. With expert coaching, evidence-based content, and a vibrant community, Megan supports women to step into their power, thrive in their careers, and become authentic leaders who make a lasting impact. Her work has featured on major media platforms such as NBC, CNN, Forbes, and more. Megan is a sought-after columnist for Psychology Today and the best-selling author of three influential books: "Getting Real About Having It All," "Lead Like A Woman," and her latest, "Simple Soulful Sacred: A Woman's Guide to Clarity, Comfort, and Coming Home to Herself."