What do you want?
We are asked that question our whole lives. When we’re young, that question is easy. We’re very vocal about our answers. A lot of the time what we want as kids doesn’t match what the adults in our lives want us to do.
You say, I want chicken nuggets. The answer you get is you can’t live on chicken nuggets. You say you want to wear your favorite outfit (a Rainbow Brite shirt, ruffly jean skirt, & hot pink goulashes with flowers) to school. You’re told no because that makes you look like a hobo.
Time and again you are told to stop be difficult & what you want is wrong. Slowly but surely you learn what answers are acceptable. As you begin making the acceptable choices you learn something else. You learn how to ignore the voice that tells you what you want. The more you ignore it, the quieter it gets. Then without even realizing it, you can’t hear it any more.
I used to hate being asked what do you want. I spent years stuck because I was trying to figure that out. I knew what I didn't want. (That was easy) But, what did I want???
We put a lot of pressure on that question. You feel like you have one chance to come up with the "right answer." There's this feeling that you need to have it all figured out.
Trying to get your answer just right is a huge reason people get stuck. I like to start somewhere different.
When I work with someone and they're not sure what they want, I ask them "How do you want to feel?" That question brings in all kinds of possibility.
Behind all the things you want is a feeling.
Sometimes you discover the thing you believe will give you that feeling isn't actually what you want at all.
If you have something on your want list, but all the details are missing, it could be because you don't want that thing. This is much different that having some of the big details & not knowing how to make it all come together.
I've worked with a bunch of people who come to me and say they want to start a business. Truth is they don't want to run a business. They want to feel more creative. They want more flexibility with their schedule. They want to be able to travel more. Or they want a different career path. Starting a business is not the only way to get those things.
Choose the area of your life where you want change. What feelings do you want in that area?
Write down all the things you want to feel. Confidence. To feel loved. Excitement. Predictability. Stability. Connection. Creative. Playful. Focused. Feeling successful.
It doesn't have to be one word. It's even better when you can focus in on what's attracting you to that feeling. It can be getting rid of the doing the exact same thing day after day. Exploring new places. Having people you can depend on. Spending more time outside. Being the fun aunt. Having your house filled with people.
Take your direction from these answers. What things give you those feelings?
Spending more time outside could be weekend road trips. Daily walks in your local park. A job guiding walking tours.
Connection can be done by working in a group atmosphere. Hanging out with people that get you. A new relationship. A spiritual practice. Joining a class.
Stability can be created by getting a promotion. Starting a savings plan. Having a schedule.
There is never only one way to do anything. Start with the feelings you want to experience and figure out which path you want to take to get there.