Think You Don’t Know What You Want? I Don’t Believe You ;)
I often hear the words “I don’t know what I want” from my clients, friends, workshop attendees.
But here’s the thing - I believe you absolutely DO know what you want.
I think that what’s actually true is that you don’t BELIEVE you could have it.
And so you hide that behind ‘I don’t know,’ because it’s way easier to shrug your shoulders and pretend you’re figuring it out than to admit: “I really really want to quit my job and run my own business and travel every month and not work Fridays and earn more than I earn right now while I’m at it but it feels like a pipe dream that’s out of my reach and I want to cry when I think how badly I want that and how very far away it seems.”
And how do I know that? Because I’ve been there.
Sitting on the train on the way home from a client meeting one afternoon about 18 months ago,, I sobbed and sobbed. I wanted to be doing the same - her work balance, her lifestyle, her confidence - I was aching for it desperately, and had been for a long time, but I wasn’t doing anything about it.
I was smiling and saying ‘everything’s fine’ ‘yeah I’m really enjoying it’ ‘things are going well.’
But the more I faked my smile, the more I was lying to myself. And this particular day, I couldn’t keep it in any longer.
That little voice that had been pestering me for so long, telling me ‘this isn’t it’…it was as if it had finally scrambled free and taken over my body in a bid to say: IT’S TIME NOW! THIS CANNOT GO ON! THIS IS NOT OK.
So finally, I listened. I took stock of the things that weren’t working for me (i.e. working every single hour of the day allowing my time and energy to be dictated by others.) I got really honest about what it was I actually wanted (more time, more money, work that lit me up, holidays that didn’t fill me with a dread of ‘I have to do all of the things before I leave and double the work when I get back’, and tons more freedom to travel wherever and whenever I chose.) And I mapped out the action steps that were required to bring it all to life.
Of course, it wasn’t as easy as saying ‘right, I’ll do this, this and this!’ It took a few months for me to recalibrate, reassess and rediscover how I was going to make it work. But it was the fuel of ‘I cannot go on like this’ that helped me figure it out.
I realised that, in the words of Jim Carrey, 'You can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.’
And I’ve remember that one ever since.
Because it’s true isn’t it? In business, in life, even the supposedly ‘easy route’ can be uncomfortable as hell sometimes. Boredom, frustration, dissatisfaction to name a few.
So doesn’t it make sense to be uncomfortable as hell for a purpose you’re actually head over heels about?
Obviously I know the power of coaching and I’ve invested in coaches throughout my entire business lifespan, so I hired a coach here too to help me assess what it was I wanted, and what I needed to do. She gave me an outside perspective on my business, helping me believe in myself as I went, and to remind me every step of the way how much I didn’t want to go back.
I figured out my finances and got really specific about what I needed to be bringing in as I realigned and rebooted my business.
And most importantly: I made a decision. I wasn’t willing to ignore what I really really wanted anymore. And I was going to make it work.
Because, let’s face it: nothing is quite as painful as knowing what you really really want, but not believing in yourself enough or knowing ‘how’ to make it happen.
And sure, nothing’s quite as scary as saying out loud, especially as someone might just dare you to do something about it.
I suppose that’s why we cover it up with a smile and an ‘I don’t know.’
But I’m calling you out today, because I don’t think the truth is ‘I don’t know what I want’ but rather ‘I know what I want but I don’t know how to make it happen.’
Which is really good news: because THAT we can deal with.
So instead of shutting down your mind with ‘I don’t know’, ask it to explore the possibilities of ‘how’. You’ll be surprised how much closer it is than you think.
Need some help figuring out what you really really want as well as the HOW to bring it to life?
Book a spot on one of my upcoming 'How To Crush The Can't In Your Head' workshops HERE.