Learner's Permit

Inspired by Brene’ Browns Permission Slips activity

Group size:  5-25

Purpose: Increase authenticity, vulnerability, and group cohesion

Props Needed

  1. Pen
  2. Learner’s Permit Handout

Activity Preparation

  1. Prep time needed: 5 minutes
  2. Prior to print off enough handouts for each participant to have one

Time needed

  • Directions: 5 minutes
  • Activity: 25 minuets
  • Debrief: 15 minuets

Set Up:  It would be helpful to have a hard surface for participants to lean on while writing such as tables of clipboards.

Activity Directions:

  • Explain the Learner’s permit
  • Provide pens and handout to group.
  • Give group 10-15 minuets to complete list (give a 5 and 2-minute warning)
  • Have each member stand up and read their list

 

Facilitator script: “Have a seat everyone. Most of us have had the experience of getting a learner’s permit when we first started to drive. As you may know a learner’s permit is the state’s department of motor vehicles giving you permission to move forward in the process of learning to drive. Learning to drive is in many ways similar to the change process.

Obtaining a provisional license or learner’s permit allows certain restrictions to be lifted from the driver, such as the times that they are allowed to drive, and the number of people allowed in the car. We often place restrictions on our own change process that need to be lifted in order to move forward. Restrictions can be rooted in old messages we heard like “never let them see you sweat” or “you better stop crying or I will give you something to cry about”. These messages translate into decision rules about how we present ourselves to the world. We hide, fade, and deny our authentic self and experience. When we are hiding we are spending energy in risk management and image crafting that could otherwise be used towards growth and transformation. This activity is designed to lift the restrictions we bring to the process of change.

Many times when we are in a process of change we need to give ourselves permission to move forward. For a moment, think about what are some places where you might be stuck. Are you limiting your ability to be vulnerable, to connect with others, to be honest, or in your acceptance of where you’re at? In order to move forward we have to first acknowledge where we are. Are there some reservations to the change process or things that might be standing in the way? For example, the desire to be right, or perfectionism might be obstacles to the change process.

Think about what it is that you need a permit to do. Is it a permit to be vulnerable, to laugh at yourself, to cry, to make a mistake, to grow, to leave old patterns behind, to feel the pin, or maybe it is to do the opposite of what the fear mind tells you to?

Let’s take the next 10 minutes to fill out our own learners permit. What are 10 things you give yourself a permit to do or be? Right above the blank lines you will see the sentence stem In the spirit of growth and change I,  Fill in your name  lift the restrictions I brought to the change process and allow myself to…

Write in the line what comes to mind. So I allow myself to cry, laugh, mess up, be imperfect, get it wrong, grow, heal, and love. Write down whatever comes to mind. First thought best thought and don’t overthink it.

(give participants 10 minutes to complete this activity and make sure to give time warnings when they are ½ way and ¾ of the way through the allotted time.)

Ok time is up. Good job everyone. Who would like to share first? (go around the room until everyone gets a chance to share).

Debrief

  • What was it like coming up with your list?
  • Did you argue with yourself about writing certain items down?
  • Was there anything that you thought about that you opted not to write down?
  • What was your emotional tone as you were writing your list?
  • Did you notice any physical sensations as you were writing your list?
  • What was it like to read it out loud?
  • What was your emotional tone as you were reading your list out loud?
  • Did you notice any physical sensations as you were reading your list out lout?

 

Recovery/Wellness Metaphor: This activity can be a powerful tool for individual or group. It helps to give the participant space to remove obstacles and claim it publicly.

Role of Facilitator: Hold the space and allow participants to write down what comes to mind.

Variations:

Learners Permit

 

Obtaining a provisional license or learner’s permit allows certain restrictions to be lifted from the driver, such as the times that they are allowed to drive, and the number of people allowed in the car. Often times we place restrictions on our own change process that need to be lifted in order to move forward. Restrictions can be rooted in old messages we heard like “never let them see you sweat” or “you better stop crying or I will give you something to cry about”. These messages translate into decision rules about how we present ourselves to the world. We hide, fade, and deny our authentic self and experience. When we are hiding we are spending energy in risk management and image crafting that could otherwise be used towards growth and transformation. This activity is designed to lift the restrictions we bring to the process of change.

 

In the spirit of growth and change I,  _______________________________________  lift the restrictions I brought to the change process and allow myself to…

 

  1. __________________________________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________________________________
  3. __________________________________________________________________
  4. __________________________________________________________________
  5. __________________________________________________________________
  6. __________________________________________________________________
  7. __________________________________________________________________
  8. __________________________________________________________________
  9. __________________________________________________________________
  10. __________________________________________________________________

From this day forward until such time as I choose by the power vested in me I authorize this learner’s permit to be true and withstanding.

 

______________________________________                                  _____________

Signature                                                                                                                             Date