Ask a young child what they want and they’ll tell you. They want this. And this. Oh, and this. They’d really like this. The list goes on. And on.
Ask an adult what they want and wait for the pause. It can be quite long!
Usually we’re weighing things up.
• Am I selfish for wanting this?
• Will I look stupid?
• Who am I to ask for that?
• What if I fail?
Our fears, doubts and memories of past experiences that didn’t quite work out the way we intended are never far from the surface.
Yet what children and adults have in common is that we’re all born with an imagination.
As adults we’ve often just forgotten how to use it or, more accurately, use it to our advantage. It’s always active.
We can be quite good at using it to imagine everything that could go wrong and the reasons why we can’t be, do or have something!
Everything’s created twice
Everything’s created twice – first in our imagination then in our physical reality – which is why it pays to notice where your mind goes. It’s easy to live on autopilot.
As human beings we’re really good at observing our physical reality – our bank account, relationships, material possessions, and allowing what we see to determine our next move.
More often than not we react rather than respond to what we’re observing, unaware of the role we’re playing in creating it. Without even knowing it, we re-create what we’re seeing over and over, often what we don’t want, and tell ourselves, ‘It’s just the way it is’. Not greatly inspiring stuff.
Having done that again and again throughout our life, we use past experience as our barometer of what we can and can’t have. We then expect and ask accordingly, many times selling ourselves way short in the process while wondering, ‘Is this all there is?’
It’s not all there is. There’s so much more and the great news is you already have it within you!
Here are four steps to ask for what you really want.
Step 1: Get clear on what you really want
The first step in asking for what you really want is to get clear on what you really want. Don’t worry if all you can think of is what you don’t want. That’s a perfect place to start – if you know what you don’t want, you know what you do want!
Simply list the polar opposite of what you don’t want and there you have it e.g. I don’t want to feel trapped / I want to feel inspired, I don’t want to play small / I want to be all of who I am
Step 2: Notice how it feels in your body
Feel into your body as you play around with what comes up. Different thoughts create different sensations. Notice how each thought feels in your body e.g. is there dullness or excitement, do you feel constricted or expansive? When you become practiced at this, decision-making becomes a whole lot easier. You have your very own advisor on hand whenever you need it!
Step 3: Give yourself permission
Give yourself permission to feel and give yourself permission to be honest with yourself. When you’re tuning into what you really want it may be in conflict with what you already have and that’s ok. Trust that something’s calling you. It’s at this point in time we often just shut it down because we don’t know how we’re going to do it.
Your job at right now is not to work out next steps, it’s to acknowledge what you want from that place within you that knows and feel into the power of that.
Step 4: Make a commitment
Whatever comes up, make a commitment to be true to you. If you have a desire, you have the wherewithal to make it happen even if you’re not aware of it right now. Commit to having your own back and to getting the support you need.
It can be easy to believe we’re merely actors on a stage, whereas in reality we’re the writers and directors of our lives.
Asking for what we really want is not only a gift to ourselves, but to the people we care about too. In being true to ourselves we give them permission to do the same.