#021 What do you REALLY want?

Have you ever explored your true desires?

“It’s not having what you want–It’s wanting what you’ve got”
~ Sheryl Crow, Soak Up the Sun


“When you can’t have what you want, it’s time to start wanting what you have.”
~ Kathleen Sutton

What DO You Want?

Most of us think we have a pretty good idea about what we want.

When someone asks us, “What do you want for your birthday?” or “What do you want for Christmas?” we can usually come up with an answer pretty quickly.

So, I want to do an exercise with you. This is an exercise that I have done with some of my past students, foster kids, my own kids, and often with my clients.

Quick Exercise

  • Step #1
    • Pause this episode and write a list of 10 things that you really want.
    • I’m serious, if you want to do this exercise as if you were one of my clients, do not listen beyond this point until you’ve created your list of 10 things that you REALLY want.
  • Step #2
    • Review your list and see how many of the things you listed that you actually have right now.
    • If you’re like most people, you will have listed things that you do not have.
  • Step #3
    • Finish listening to this podcast episode.
  • Step #4
    • Make your list of 30 wants alternating from something you currently have and you want to something you don’t have and you want. Then repeat that pattern until you’ve come up with 30 wants.

What we think our wants will do for us.

Usually when we think of something that we want, we think it will make us feel something to have it. We think that if our teen was more respectful, “I’d be happier.” We think that if our teen made better choices or got better grades in school, “I’d feel better as a parent.”

This is how we think of most things that we want when we focus on the things that we don’t have. “If I had that new car, I’d be so happy!” or “If I got that promotion at work, I’d be so proud.”

We end up waiting until something that we don’t have comes into our life, before we allow ourselves to feel the emotion that we desire.

It’s not really the changed behavior of our teen that we want. It’s not really the new car or the raise at work. What we really want is the emotion that we think we will get when the thing that we don’t have comes into our life.

This has us held hostage emotionally. When we think this way, we are letting our emotions be dictated by things that we don’t have.

Rather than feeling gratitude and appreciation for the things that we do have, we end up feeling lack and shame for the things that we don’t have.

Gratitude has the power to move us towards our goals.

Now that you’ve made you list of 30 wants, half things that you already have and want and half being things that you don’t have yet, take a minute and really experience the joy and gratitude of having those 15 wants. For me it’s so powerful to want and have my family, my business, my friends, my house. I get to experience the joy of having these things that I most treasure.

Next explore the reason that you want each of the things on your list, both the things you have and the things you don’t yet have. Understand why each of them is important to you.

When we balance our focus between the things that we both have and don’t have, it changes our perspective. It helps us see what we’ve already accomplished. It helps us remember that there are SO many things that we do have. And, while it’s okay to want more, first let’s practice wanting what we have.

The practice of wanting what we do have changes the emotion that comes with want. Rather than wanting from lack, scarcity, shame, or jealousy, we can now want from abundance, peace, compassion, and gratitude.

I find that November is the perfect time to reflect on what I have and what I want. It helps me gain gratitude and momentum as I start thinking about my goals for this year and the upcoming year.

Call to ACTION!

Join my group coaching program if you’d like to dive deeper into gratitude and goals during the month of November. I promise that this will help you become the parent of your dreams.

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