What do you want?
You ask yourself this question dozens of times a week.
When you’re out to lunch in the café with your best friend.
When you go to the movies.
When you go shoe shopping.
And yet, despite being able to choose, do you actually know what you want?
Just think about it for a mo.
Do You Know What You Really Want?
I’m not talking salmon pink lipstick or coral sunset shimmer. This isn’t ham and cheddar or turkey and provolone.
I mean, do you know yourself well enough to actually know what your deepest desires are?
Fact is, most people don’t.
Truth is, maybe you don’t either.
Avoiding What You Really Want
It’s easy, isn’t it? Switching off. Existing on autopilot. Going with the flow. Allowing the outside world to decide what’s fashionable, acceptable, and obtainable.
You end up eating at that stupid restaurant again – even though the food is awful and makes you feel ill – just because your friends couldn’t think of a better place.
Your closet is full of clothes you’re supposed to love, because they’re in all the fashion mags right now (but you never wear them).
You chose a solid and sensible career path that pays well and has a pension plan – but you hate your job and spend most of your day sneaking into social media, jealous and deflated.
Maybe you’ll make it out the other end just fine. Perhaps you’ll retire early and move to Tahiti.
But more likely than not, you’ll end up miserable. Full of regrets. Covered in premature wrinkles and probably struggling with illness.
Maybe you’re already there and this is already you.
In fact, you may actually be repelling what you really want (through mindset, habits, and patterns).
How to Know How to Want What You Want
Knowing what you really want in life isn’t a simple case of choosing pink socks over blue and deciding you’re a vegetarian.
It’s unflinching introspection.
It’s examining your failures.
It’s pinpointing your limiting beliefs.
It’s noticing your own patterns.
It’s being honest with yourself and allowing the truth to rise to the surface.
Sometimes knowing what you really want is painful.
In 2015 I had a near death experience that revealed some pretty shocking things. All sorts of stuff came out of the woodwork, revealing that 27 years of knowing myself didn’t mean I knew a thing. Because I’d never really looked. I’d never really wanted to see.
I’m going out on a limb here: I believe that the number one key to happiness is knowing what you want, devising a plan to get there, and enjoying the journey of pursuit.
The same with healing and wellness. You’ve got to get mega clear about it.
(That is to say: not avoiding the truth, going with the crowd, and fretting every time life goes belly up.)
You can go off and get your happy pills somewhere else, if you’d prefer. But I’m getting juicy with this stuff, so stick around if you want to get real honey honey.
The Magic of Knowing What You Want
1. Find Yourself
The first stop is checking out the Find Who You Really Are guide. I go through this check list at least once a year to make sure I’m staying clear and centered. It gets right down to the truth of the matter.
2. Spend Time Alone
I suggest adding this to your routine as a regular practice of self-love if it’s not already in your repertoire. However, specifically for this exercise, pencil in some serious alone time to allow yourself to cultivate a clear picture from within. No phones. No ear buds. You may even choose to do a mindfulness, meditation, or hypnosis session to stimulate your subconscious mind into action (that’s where all the deepest stuff lives).
3. Write It Out
Write out 100 things you’d like to do in your life. Don’t hold back. Make lists or journals or notes. I love pen and paper, but however it flows for you, just get those thoughts out. Don’t judge. Just observe them. What a wonderful victory to be in this space of openness and forgiveness with yourself.
4. Get Clear
Boil your ideas right down to concise goals. Be clear and specific. I’d like to become a beautician by 2020. I want to overcome my digestive issues and teach aerobics within 2 years. I’d like to get married in Spain by the time I’m 30.
Avoid overwhelm and burnout by organizing your notes in order of preference. Your number one goal should be the thing you want most in the whole world.
Devising a Plan
Hurrah! Now you know what you want. That’s amazing. Give yourself credit for taking the time to find those gems.
2. Settle Your Subconscious
You may be dealing with all sorts of background noise from your subconscious mind; old stories, limiting beliefs, bad experiences, rough memories. These things can get in the way if you don’t tend your mental garden. Refer to my published article on finerminds.com, Best Manifestation Advice From 3 Powerful Women: A Real Life Guide to Living the Dream.
3. Face Fear Strategically
Fear plays an important role in life; it protects us from many dangers and much harm. The problem is when it goes overkill, and we hand over control to its maniac diligence. Knowing what we want is scary; getting what we want can be absolutely terrifying.
Manage your fears wisely. Hypnosis has changed my life, but there are many therapies (that you can do at home, for free) that will save you years of self-sabotage, procrastination, and blow out.
Your desires are only as good as the action you put behind them. Many people allow their dreams and desires to smother them because they get overwhelmed.
Look at your top goals. Think about how you want to feel. What has to happen to get to those places and feelings? Doesn’t matter if the list is miles long; one step at a time will get you there. Write out a detailed plan that you can begin to take action on when you’re ready.
Now you have everything in place, begin! You may start with renting a library book, sending an email, or doing some research. Small is good! In fact, it helps to create a sense of safety and progress for your subconscious mind to feel secure in (and since it’s in charge of 97% of your actions, you definitely want your subconscious sista to feel happy).
Enjoying the Journey
1. Stay Centered
Go back through all these steps at least once or twice a year (or whenever you feel a little wayward). Not only will it give you fresh perspective, but it will encourage you to stay on track and remind you of why you’re doing this in the first place.
We all fall off the wagon from time to time; no judgement. A friendly nudge is all you need.
2. Stay Grateful
Every moment is progress. And, as Louise Hay says, “Every experience is a success.” When you re-frame your life with these words, you can only ever be thankful for every moment, good or (seemingly) bad.
Find a gratitude practice that works for you. Maybe share three things you’re grateful for today with your partner. Or keep a gratitude journal. Or recite a prayer of thanks every time you take your supplements.
3. Be Open to Surprises
There’s this fairly toxic idea around the concept of manifesting that says you can “have everything you want,” like it’s some sort of mail-order catalogue system. In one sense that’s true (if you align your mindset correctly), but it largely gets thrown around as “everything is going to happen exactly the way you expect” – which is not only not true, but likely to lead to disappointment and burnout.
On your journey to getting what you want, you must remain open to unexpected versions of events cropping up. You will only be disappointed here if you choose to be. The alternative is that you might actually end up accepting something far greater than your original version.
If you don’t get the job of your dreams, bear in mind that the less dreamy version may be the one that is meant for you, packed with happiness and fulfillment. Level your expectations by being open.
4. Have Faith and be Patient
Gabby Bernstein says, “Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety.” And by “certain of the outcome,” she basically means that you have the confidence to believe your dreams are worthy of coming true.
You believe you will be able to eat normally again.
You believe you will break free of habits and patterns.
You believe you will overcome your body-image issues.
You believe in yourself. For real. For keeps. Even when it’s crap and hard and horrible. You just keep on.
Spend a little time cultivating these beliefs each day. Seed the feeling of victory in your heart and mind, and water that seed each day. Say a prayer. Meditate on it. Light a candle and set an intention. Visualize it.
Getting What You Want
It’s not magic; it’s method.
And it’s not reserved for the privileged or star-crossed few.
Getting what you want is a journey.
What shoes you wear on that journey are up to you.
What paths you follow on that journey are up to you.
What joy you find on that journey is up to you.
Yes yes yes.
Tell me. What amazing dreams are you breathing life into? How have you defeated reality and become the magician of your own manifestation? What’s your secret to happiness? I want to know.