3 Sneaky Questions to Get You That Much Closer to What You Really Want |
I love asking people what they want.
I love asking people what their dreams are.
I love asking people, “If we could wave a magic wand, and change one or two big things in your life, what would you wanna change?”
I mostly love these questions because of the mildly stressed, bewildered expression that comes over the recipient's face.
"Umm, what do I want? I don’t know, like a yacht in St. Tropez and a winning lottery ticket?"
BOO, YOU WHORE!*
Let’s step away from any and all generic, one-size-fits-all responses and and get into some soulful specifics. Based on where you are right now, what you’re going through at the moment, and where you see yourself headed next, like, what do you actually want?!
If you have trouble coming up with answers that ring true (cause we all do), I have three surprising questions to ask yourself for more clarity on what you’re craving. Read 'em and weep. With relief. Cause you’ll finally be face-to-face with what can make this earthly experience that much mo betta for you.
Let's buckle up up and get real!
1) What are you really sick of?
Yup, it’s time to let your frustration and misery light the way.
I had a conversation with a frustrated client recently (she happily gave me permission to share), who expressed that she had no clue what she wants in a relationship. Or in a guy. She was drawing a blank other than, “Can he look like Colin Farrell circa 2003 but have the personality of Ellen Degeneres?” Ugh, the dream!
So we started by getting clear on what she is so sick of in her dating life. Here’s some of what that list included:
- Flakiness or lack of effort on his part.
- Wishy-washy indecision.
- Stress, worry, anxiety feels.
First things first: we need to acknowledge the value in identifying what isn’t working.
This isn't "complaining" or "being negative", this is useful information that can shed light on the opposite end of the spectrum. Because when we look at the opposite of each of these bothersome nuisances, we get a pretty spot-on list for what she’s seeking:
- Commitment, mutual effort.
- Clear communication and intentions.
- Ease and relaxation.
Clarify what you don’t want, and you’re a hop-skip-jump away from what you do want. Then you can actually recognize it when it shows up and/or notice what you need to change to have more of it.
Bonus question: Get clear on what each of your newly discovered "wants" look like to you. When someone is putting forth effort, how do they act? What do they do? And how clear are you with your intentions? How could you do a better job? Clarify this stuff. Write it out. And then go. Have/be/do more that.
2) What would feel good right now?
We often think we want more money, more opportunities, more results, more direction and productivity and passion and achievement…
But what we really want? Is a nap.
Or a day off.
Or a week away.
Or to just quit the damn job, honestly.
Asking yourself, “What would feel really good to me right now?” is a powerful question. It forces you to step away from logic and tune into what you’re craving on a feeling level.
This can also work in the opposite direction. There are times where we convince ourselves we need a break, or to numb out on reality TV, or just brunch and drink the day away…
But when you thoughtfully consider what would actually feel great?
An afternoon devoted to creativity.
A sweaty trek in the great outdoors.
Or finally having that conversation you’ve been avoiding…
It’s easy to tune into the daily grind and never pause to check up on how you’re feeling, what you honestly need, or what would feel really good right now, today, this week.
But please, avoid living life on auto-pilot. Don’t tune out. Do not let yourself wake up at sixty and think, “Wait a second? What have I been doing this whole time?” Cause that actually happens. And it happens to smart, good people. And that’s a damn frickin' shame. (UNDERSTATEMENT.)
Bonus suggestion: I suggest doing some free-writing on this question. There’s difficulty in tackling this as a mental exercise, but there’s something about pen and paper that clarifies, awakens and encourages us to really be honest. Do it for a series of days and then look back and notice any themes or recurring desires. (You’ll probably be surprised by how obvious they are.)
3) When do I get jealous or judgmental…and why?
Last week I was having lunch with a dear sweet friend, who’s also a super talented yoga teacher. She started venting to me about this new teacher at her studio, who is just, like, so awful…
“...she played Eminem the other day during a sun salutation sequence followed by an acoustic, reggae rendition of 'Amazing Grace'. Like, what?? No continuity. And she has all these generic tattoos of sanskrit words she probably doesn’t even know the meanings of, and she wore a flower crown to a staff meeting last night. Like, this isn’t Coachella, okay?!”
Whooooa. I mean, I love my friend. And I get it, I can be irrationally turned off by certain people too. But there’s gotta be something deeper happening here. I asked her if this woman had done anything directly to her to contribute to all these nasty feels.
“Um, well not really…”
And do other people seem to have a problem with her playlists or fashion statements?
“Not that I know of…”
And is she doing a good job overall, like are people enjoying her classes?
“Well yeah, everyone else loves her…”
INTERESTING. So what’s really going on here?
“I guess I’m jealous that she’s everyone’s new favorite, and she just gives no fucks. I’m always trying so hard to get things right, or choose the perfect music, and I would never wear a flower crown even if I really wanted to because I’d be so worried about what other people would think.”
Cool, so you don’t hate her, you actually want to be more like her.
This is a mega painful pill to swallow. We’re quick to point out what someone else is doing, or how they’re responsible for rubbing us the wrong way, but in looking deeper (and getting brutally honest) there’s usually something we envy or lack that they seem to have in spades.
So while being a real jeally-bean is unhealthy and uncomfortable, there’s actually a lot of insight to take away from when and where your jealousy and judgment show up! User it to your advantage. Get curious. What does it indicate about what you want? Cause I promise, it is not all about the other person…
Bonus exercise: Start with social media. When you’re scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, who do you get inexplicably envious of? Or who are you most judgey towards? There’s gold here, I swear. What does she (or he) have that you don't have?
When it comes to wanting, the truth is that we're doing it all the time whether we acknowledge it or not. And Wants that go unheard and un-tended to just get louder, angrier, and more confusing to deal with later on.
Check in with yourself on the regs, boo! Don't run away from your desires. Don't dismiss the longing. Chances are it's there for a reason, and when you can name it, that's when you can actually start healing and helping yourself.
Because all action starts with awareness. Do not underestimate what asking yourself these three questions might reveal for you...it's like having your own personal crystal ball. No batteries or wizardry required. Badass, no?