Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It’s OK To Want What You Want

By Claudette Rowley

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
- Mark Twain

Growing up, permission slips were a big part of school life – essential to participating in special projects, field trips or class trips out of state. For me to take part in any adventure outside of the classroom, my mother or father had to sign the slip. Now, as an adult, I can sign my own permission slip. In fact, I don't even need one! Yet I realize I often don't give myself permission to be who I want to be or do what I want to do.

How many times have you decided that you wanted something, and then denied yourself permission to have it or even ask for it?

Here are the top 10 reasons I’ve found people use to deny themselves permission to want what they want:

• I can't afford it.
• I don't deserve it.
• What will other people think? Someone might not like it.
• "In my family, we don't desire things like that. My parents had the same sofa for twenty years. Why should I be any different?"
• What if I get it and decide that I don't like it?
• I might fail.
• I might succeed.
• I can't have THAT (it's too big, too small, too expensive, too fill-in-the-blank)
• I'll have to step outside of my comfort zone.
• And the essence of all resistance: "I am afraid."

Here's the antidote to these limiting beliefs: IT’S OK TO WANT WHAT YOU WANT. It's that simple. You get to want what you want without judging it or measuring its merit or any justification at all.

Use these steps to get you started:

1. Recognize what you want.
2. Refrain from judgment.
3. Give yourself permission to want what you want.
4. Take the action required – for example: asking, buying, giving.
5. Notice what opportunities magically appear before you and what opens up inside of you.

Following these steps may feel uncomfortable; you might feel fear. That's okay. These are simply signs that you are move beyond your comfort zone. It’s a sign you are growing!

Each time you acknowledge what you want, don’t judge it. Act on it! It’s part of the flow of life. Life wants to give you what you want. Our socialization (see 10 limiting beliefs above) tends to complicate matters and have us believe otherwise. Recognizing what you want and giving it to yourself is a skill. And like most new skills, it requires building "muscle." The more you work this particular muscle, the easier it is to use it regularly.

Now It’s Your Turn

Take out a pen and, using the form on the following page, and make a list of 50 things that you want, both internally and externally. For example, an internal desire might be to achieve inner peace or self-acceptance, while an external desire might be to acquire a fun new sofa or a fun new job.

Write whatever comes to mind without any censoring. Got it? NO CENSORING! Include everything from wanting new socks to wanting to be more self-aware to wanting to be the President of the United States. Make it a stretch: If you can comfortably make a list of fifty desires, then make a list of sixty. If 100 is a piece of cake, I challenge you to create a list of 200.

As you make your list, notice the following:

• How do you FEEL? Do you feel excited about certain desires? Guilty about others?
• What physical sensations do you feel? Does it feel like someone is tightening a noose around your neck? Or do you feel like getting up to dance or pump the air with your fist?
• As you write down each item, what words pop into your head? For example, do you hear such gems as "Oh, that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard!" or "You can't have that! Who do you think you are? The Queen of Sheba?"

Pick your top 10 desires. Review your newly formed short list and again notice how you feel? What voices do you hear in your head? What beliefs pop into your mind?

Where do you notice your social conditioning showing up? How does your body feel? Do your top ten desires have a common theme? What did you just become aware of?

At the end of day, what we want is usually pretty simple and clear. It's our feelings and judgment that get in the way. Social conditioning that tells us that we must live a certain way, act a certain way and feel a certain way – and these inner voices stop us from acknowledging what we truly want.

50 Wants List

[Sorry, guys. You'll have to use your own paper or WP software here.]

Congratulations! You’ve successfully identified your top 10 desires. If you’d like to find out how to use this new information to improve your life, career or business, contact me for an introductory coaching session. Simply send a message to Claudette@metavoice.org or call me at 781.316.1923.

I felt this article was worth sharing. I know it's a recurring theme in my life. Perhaps you will benefit from it as well. As Clay Walker sang it in "Dreaming With My Eyes Wide Open", 'We can do some living, or spend our whole life hoping, but in the end we're left with what we chose.

What will you choose?

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