The other night, I attended an event sponsored by my friend Kristin Crockett. She asked her audience repeatedly, “what do you want?” As a courage coach, she loves this question. I do too.
It is a life changing one and it’s a question that I ask my clients (and myself) often. It can be difficult to answer when we’ve been operating in should mode. You know what I mean. You should dress, speak, work, live, and relate to people according to expectations that might not match yours.
Figuring out what we want in life is a way to clarify our values and priorities. It’s also a way to develop self-worth and self-trust.
The first step in my journey was to ask myself the deceptively simple-seeming question – what do I want? It could be anything. Freedom. Equity. Calm. Hope. Health. Wealth. Impact. Community. Safety. Love. Adventure. Simplicity. Faith.
There’s no wrong answer. Well, I take that back because the socially acceptable answer might be wrong for you. That’s ok. In fact, that’s wonderful because when you identify what is wrong for you, you also inch closer to determining what’s right.
The correct answer is the one that fits you.
Remember that identifying what you care about doesn’t mean that you don’t care about other things.
Every person has an inner critic who likes to whisper in our ear when we are on the cusp of expansion. It tells us not to be selfish. It tells us that it’s too overwhelming to decide. It tells us that it’s a waste of time to want something when we don’t know how to make it happen. On and on it goes.
There’s no need to justify. You get to want. Period.
We are compassionate, curious, and capable humans who care about lots of people and issues. And, we still get to prioritize what we choose for our lives. We are the only ones who can determine what’s missing and what matters in this season of life.
Here’s my example. I want to create more opportunities to use my skills to share my passion for increasing women’s leadership globally. I also want to share it with my local community. Once I realized what I wanted, I brainstormed about how I could take action.
The inner critic chimed in again, but I expect my inner critic to show up when I consider trying something new. Knowing how it operates helps me to reframe its influence. I set the voice aside while brainstorming.
I realized that iI would like give a local talk. Then I decided that I want to start a monthly women’s leadership workshop series in my community.
Here’s what I did next:
I shared my idea with a friend who supported me and offered to help. I accepted the help which wasn’t easy for me. When the why is clear, it makes it easier to do what was previously uncomfortable.
Together, my friend and I picked dates for the first two events. He helped me find the gaps in my plan.
Next, I thought about where I wanted to give the talk. I pictured it and then reached out to ask what it would take to reserve that amazing space. It was my number one location.
It all started coming together.
I created an Eventbrite page and started inviting people. I hit up against quite a few edges and a loud inner critic throughout the process, but I kept going because what I want takes precedence over what holds me back.
When you receive this issue of The Trailblazer, the event will be 10 days away. I can’t wait. I envision it on a daily basis. I know that I will provide value to women leaders in my community. I know that they will form deeper relationships with one another through the process. I know that they will change the world. And, I know that the series will continue to grow.
I don’t have any of this evidence yet, but I feel excitement because I am turning the thing that I want into a reality.
It’s your turn.
- What do you want more of in life? What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
- How would you answer that question if I posed it to you while we were sitting together having a cup of coffee? Just us. No judgment.
- What if you could take a small step toward it? What would that look like? Just one thing.
Would you be willing to give it a try this week? If so, I would love to hear from you. I’ll support you and maybe even share a few examples next week.
I’ve got your back. We don’t have to go it alone.