The stories that you tell yourself about success and failure are rarely the real story. When you tell yourself the reasons why you can’t do what you want to do, you probably focus on external circumstances, usually having to do with how giving to others takes precedence over your own desires. But that is a lie that you and most women have been told for centuries. It’s time to give it up. It’s time to give yourself permission to succeed.

I’m chatting with a friend in a café. This is a woman who I admire, love and respect. She is a cultural leader, an exquisite poet and a college professor.

“I’m not happy,” she says. “I’m not doing what I want. Don’t get me wrong. I love teaching. I love my students. But I give so much that at the end of the day I’m exhausted. I can’t write. I want to be the great author that I know I am. I want to write my books and do nothing else.”

But as we talk, the passion in her voice deflates. How will she pay the rent? Who will publish her? How to get from here to there? The obstacles seem insurmountable and she feels trapped.

The question that emerges for me during this conversation is this:

“Why is it so hard for us to do what we want to do?”

We usually answer this question with circumstantial evidence. Lack of money, lack of contacts or resources and so on. If we look at the underbelly of success, however, it is rarely about circumstances and much more about permissions. It is about giving ourselves the emotional and spiritual permissions to be, have, create and enjoy what we desire.

Women need to restore the energy gateways for these permissions. They are not built-in, as is usually the case in most men, who have been socialized for centuries in the belief that they are made to achieve things in the world.

The first of the Seven Permissions to Succeed that you as woman need to give yourself is the permission to deserve what you want.

Why does an accomplished writer, artist, expert or leader who has taught, guided, helped and empowered hundreds of people feel unsuccessful? Because she is serving others in ways that do not fulfill her Soul’s needs. Success needs to be measured by the degree of fulfillment of your Soul, not by social criteria seen from outside the Self. I call this Success with Soul.

Many spiritual paths tell you that you are here to serve others, not for yourself. I disagree. We came here for our own evolution. That is not in opposition to love or service. We are one. You are a mirror to me and part of me. When you honor your essence, you give me permission to honor mine. The war between self and others is part of the selflessness myth that has limited women for centuries.

But there is something else.

For centuries we have sustained community, nourished families and transformed societies without as much as a thank you. We have gotten used to trying harder and giving more. We are seeking perfection as the gateway to give ourselves permission to succeed.

If we have achieved mastery of our creativity, but are not yet prosperous, we feel that we have failed. If we have achieved prosperity, but do not have a love partner, we again feel that we are not that much of a success. We throw away the baby with the basinet, so to speak.

Why is it so hard to give yourself what you want?

    1. Because you believe that if you are happy, someone will suffer. For centuries, you’ve been sold in the definition of love as self-sacrifice. You feel guilty for wanting and you may punish yourself with excuses NOT to have it.
    2. Because your relationship, empathic and nurturing gifts ~all powers from the Sacred Feminine~ have been historically pitted against you. The training you’ve received on how to be a mother, friend, daughter or caregiver is to give by cutting off pieces of yourself. Since you are not giving yourself what you try to give others, you are attempting to subtract from what you don’t have. When you do this, you go to minus 0. No wonder you feel like a failure!
    3. Because you believe that you are not good enough to have what you want. You believe that if you take care of others first, then and only then will you deserve the right to have what you want. But nothing you give is enough, so you keep giving and delaying your own pleasure and purpose.

    Here’s a solution you can try at home to create new gateways to give yourself permission to succeed.

Make a list of seven things that make you happy or that your body and soul need right now. These things need to be small enough that they are doable now, but challenging enough that you have not given yourself these things in a long time. For the next seven weeks, give yourself one of these things once a week.


  • Take a day off and go to a SPA to get a massage.
  • Give yourself a warm food bath with salts before going to bed.
  • Spend a week-end in a retreat to rest and relax.
  • Take a creative workshop to learn or improve one of your talents.
  • Write a poem or create a song expressing your Unique Essence.
  • Dance under the moon.

Offer your happiness as a gift to the world.


Free Ebook Series. I have compiled the Seven Basic Permissions to Succeed in a series of free ebooks. To immediately enjoy the first ebook and be notified of the other six ebooks in the series, which come out once a month, subscribe here.

Maria Mar is an author, poet, healer and spiritual teacher whose life mission is to inspire you to achieve personal freedom, unlock your creative potential and live a life of magic and delight. A PBS-featured performer and visual artist, Maria has freed her vast creative potential and helps you do the same, designing a life and work experience that fulfills your soul’s purpose. Maria marries her artistry and imagination with her wisdom and energy tools as a shaman to offer powerful tools for self-transformation, healing and manifestation. If you are interested in mentoring with Maria Mar, visit