What Do YOU Want?

“What do you want?” my coach, Pat Honiotes, asked.

There was a long pause.   Finally I said, “I don’t know.  I truly don’t know.”

I sighed with the realization.

Because even if it was the “wrong” answer, it was the truth.  (Which, BTW, makes it the “right” answer.)

And just then a little voice inside my head popped up.

 “Why does it matter what I want?   Because I won’t get it anyway.”

Shazam!  Where did that come from?

It came from deep inside of me – and it came from my past.   It was a subconscious belief that I have had for much of my life that finally surfaced in my conscious mind.   I could “feel” myself thinking it when I was young.   And I realized that it has been influencing me much of my life – in ways I have only begun to realize.

You see, Pat’s question is NOT one regularly ask myself.   I thought I did and I thought I knew the answer.  But since then, I’ve realized that the question I had been asking myself was more along these lines…

  • What do I think I can have?
  • What do I think I can do?
  • What don’t I want?
  • What should I want?
  • What do other people want?
  • What will make other people happy?
  • What is it okay for me to want?
  • What is it okay for me to have and do?
  • What do I deserve to have?
  • What do I think is possible?

These, I realized, have been the questions that have been the conscious and subconscious basis for much of what I’ve done in my life – even for who I have become.

And here’s the rub.  I realized I don’t even have an answer to some of these questions – let alone the important and empowering one Pat asked me.

Which also had me realize why I’m so tired sometimes.   It’s because I put out so much energy that doesn’t really go anywhere or doesn’t take me where I want to go. 

It keeps me right where I think I should or can be, right at what I think is possible or I deserve, and right where other people may be happy but I’m not.   It pretty much keeps me right where I’ve always been.

Which is NOT where I want to be.  Or so I tell myself.

Which takes me back to that little voice that popped into my head…

“Why does it matter what I want?   Because I won’t get it anyway.”

I’m clear that when I was a kid, I thought that was true.   That it didn’t matter what I wanted because I wouldn’t get it anyway.  And there may have even been situations when it was true – that’s clearly how I have remembered it.  But looking back now, as an adult, I can think of a lot of times I DID get what I wanted.

But that’s not the experience that became the dominant belief influencing my actions and my life.

“What do you want?” Pat asked me.

I’m still asking myself that question – peeling away the layers of “what I think I can have” and “what I should want” and “what I think is possible” and “what it’s okay to want and have”.   

And in the process, I’m realizing that I’ve been like a rudderless ship buffeted by the winds.

Because without the clarity of knowing what I want to guide me and my choices, I haven’t been able to set a course for myself.  Instead, I keep turning whichever way the wind blows me (a.k.a. the latest trend, the newest idea, the money, approval from others, etc.).

So I’m practicing being with that question, “What do I want?” and listening to the answers that come up from deep inside of me.   Most of those answers are quite simple.   “To be happy.  To be alive.  To love.  To be loved.  To learn and grow.  To be free.”   

And I’m letting that question… and the simple answers that are coming up for me… begin to shape the choices and actions I am taking.  I’m letting my desire lead and guide me.   And I’m already making some decisions that are a little scary.   Because they are flying in the face of what I have long believed is okay, possible, do-able, acceptable or even realistic or responsible.

But in taking these steps, I’m already feeling just a little more alive.  And a little happier.   Which, amazingly enough, is what I want.   <grin>

Now, I realize that what I’ve shared may just be unique to me and my Journey.   On the other hand, it might not be.

So now I turn my attention to you…What, if anything, in my reflection spoke to you?  

What do you want?

Have you really asked yourself that question – and then listened for and honored the answer?  Or have you, like me, been buffeted by the winds of any given day?

Or have you been asking yourself one of the “alternative questions” that I’ve been asking myself for years?  

Do you have any limiting beliefs about getting what you want – like the one that popped for me this past week?  Do you even let yourself WANT what you want – even if you might not get it?  Or even if you might get something better?

What are you seeing?  What connections are you making?   What shifts, if any, do you see yourself making in your choices and actions as a result?

Care to share?  If so, I’d love to hear from you… and learn from your ideas, insights and experiences as well.

Simply add your comments…