“It is Easier to Ask Forgiveness than Permission”

6 Sep

This has been the hardest maxim to write about – because although it’s my favorite, it’s also the one I’ve been burned by the most. It IS easier–if only because most people don’t care about the details as long as they get the final result.

This is Maxim #6 for me (and the last, although there is actually 8, I can’t remember the others, so obviously they’re not that important) and it should have been number one, but I really, really didn’t want to delve into this one. Mostly because I’ve lost too many jobs to this major fault of mine, and yet, I keep following it… and there are good reasons to keep following it.

The reason I keep coming back to it should be Maxim #7: People don’t know what they want, but they do know what they DON’T want. My entire life revolves around creating a project, then having people criticize it, fixing the criticisms, have more criticisms, fixing those, and finally running out of time to have any more criticisms (because they’re always more) and finally finishing it.

As a person with ADD, I’ve learned that my brain has been conditioned to expect people to be upset with whatever you did. It’s something that happened in childhood – you’d rush ahead with a job, usually screw something up, and get chided for it. I used to say “Sorry” perpetually from 10 to 15 years old. (My son does it now – drives me crazy.) What happened in my mind is what are called ANTs or Automatic Negative Thoughts. “You hate it, don’t you?” “What did I #&$* up now?” It still happens, but I’ve had to train my adult self to realize that most of them are ANTs and to ignore them.

So I find that if I just go ahead and build/write/do something, most of the time I’m going to have go back and fix it anyway, and ever so rarely, they like it and I go on with the fifty other things that have to get done. The problem becomes if that your screw up gets caught too many times, you are labeled as a screw up, and sooner or later, you’re out of a job. Which is why (along with the ANTs), I always feel like I’m on the verge of getting fired.

It’s a terrible needle to thread, that’s for certain, but as I learned in college, there’s a stress threshold you hit where you just say “@*#$ it!” and go to sleep or go doing something fun rather than the work you’re supposed to, because you’re causing yourself more fault by staying there than if you just stepped away from it for a while.

Do you think this is a valid maxim? Have you paid the price for seeking forgiveness because you knew the answer would be no? Let me know in the comments below!

4 Responses to ““It is Easier to Ask Forgiveness than Permission””

  1. Sabiscuit September 6, 2020 at 1:30 pm #

    Be like Bond. He does what ever he likes and is so good at what he does, people can only collapse from exhaustion when telling him off. He makes it a drinking game : When someone gets upset, he sips his martini. He’s had too many. No wonder he doesn’t care. 🧡🍸

  2. Priscilla Bettis September 7, 2020 at 6:06 am #

    I loved this insight into an ADD thought process. Very interesting. Maybe you could incorporate it into a short story some time.

    • albigensia September 7, 2020 at 6:17 am #

      Hmmm… It’s worth considering writing a story about. Thanks for the idea!

  3. rahjomuelvin September 7, 2020 at 9:21 pm #

    ANTS… yes..

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