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Nov 14, 2018 | Your Relationships

Catherine A. Wood

What do you want?

Tell me something…what do you actually want?

I cannot tell you how many clients I get on the phone with every week—both women and men alike—that don’t have a clear sense of what they want.

The thing is that people (maybe you’re one of them) actually think they don’t know what they want.

But here’s the thing. That’s just a lie.

We all know what we want, but at some point we stop listening to our own inner knowing. Or we take permission away from ourselves around deserving what we want.

I had an interesting experience this past weekend.

My family was visiting, and I noticed in my own habitual way of being and in my desire to please others that I just went along with the flow.

And don’t get me wrong, my parents are incredible human beings and I absolutely adore them. But for me, two of the things I learned as a child were the need to please and impress others in order to earn their love and approval

Typically, we learn these habits in childhood, and when we’re with family it’s a habitual place where we revert to our old habits.

Not surprisingly, this is a place I had major breakthroughs in my life since beginning my own transformational coaching journey. But this time I noticed that it was a familiar place for me of NOT sharing what I wanted and of defaulting to “Oh, what do you want? If you’re happy, I’m happy.”  Do you know what I mean?

Thank goodness for this work that has given me access to building a muscle around interrupting that pattern.

Because in my experience, so many of us never give ourselves the benefit of the doubt…to fully listen in and get connected with ourselves around what we actually want.

We default to the idea that if other people are happy, then we will be happy.

And that’s just not true.

One of the major insights that I’ve had through working with my own coach is the invaluable gift of really getting to know me. To know who I am and to know what I deeply want.

It’s kind of like strengthening a new muscle at the gym or overcoming a huge physical feat on the deadlift machine. In the beginning, you think you don’t know how because you don’t have a lot of (or any) experience with it.

And you might default at first to the habit that you “can’t” or “you’ll never be able to.”

Until you start practicing and gradually gain more familiarity with it. You start to know what that muscle feels like, how it gets sore, and what the ache feels like when you’ve overworked it a little too much.

It’s the same with getting to know what you want. You have to start small and work that muscle patiently.

In the beginning, it’s probably going to hurt a little.

Because if you’ve trained other people for so long that you don’t have needs, it’s actually going to be uncomfortable to recreate your relationships in service of getting your needs met.

So I’m here to tell you to go practice that muscle, to start getting super connected with what you want.

Start small. Be willing to strain your muscles, to over practice, to get super comfortable with it—so that in time, you’ll be willing to play a bigger game and to know what you want in all areas of life…

  • Who the partner you want to be with is
  • What your dream career is
  • What the ideal lifestyle is that you want to create for yourself and your family

You have to start that somewhere.

But you must start.

Because I assure you, life is just too short to keep selling yourself short and living someone else’s requests for and of you.

If this post resonated with you, there’s likely a reason you’re here. I’d love to discover what that is together over a complimentary coaching session.

In the meantime, how about starting with getting connected with you this week. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below: What is one thing that you want in your life right now?

Bonus points if you tell me what one action you’re going to take to get it.

To getting what you want,

Executive leadership coach Catherine Wood's signature

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