Ep #381: Knowing What You Want Is Scary
Posted on July 29, 2021
In a perfect world, what do you want?
Like, really want?
It is so common to be in a space of denial about what you want. Sometimes we don’t even let ourselves consider what we truly want because admitting it to ourselves is scary.
But I’ve got news for you: it’s supposed to be scary.
It takes courage to tune in and allow your true desires to bubble to the surface. But when you do, you give yourself the gift of permission to live your purpose.
In this episode, I show you why it’s normal to be afraid of knowing what you want and how to move through that fear to see what’s possible for you. I give you five steps to acknowledge what you want and start living your truth.
If you’re willing to become aware of your wants and live your life in accordance with them, you will always be growing. I wish this for each and every one of you.
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It’s the truest shortcut to self development we have ever created!
What you will discover
- The difference between wants and desires.
- Why it’s important to understand why we want what we want.
- Why I want you to focus on building the skill of self-awareness.
- What happens when you avoid the fear associated with your desires.
- How to know what you want.
- What will happen if you never take action on your true desires.
Featured on the show
- Learn more about the Self Coaching Scholars program.
- Ep #380: Try To Be Awesome
You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode number 381.
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Hello, my beautiful friends. I have an important topic for you today. And this is one that I need you to pay attention to, I need you to hear me out on. I think it’s one of the most important things that we can all know.
And it’s something that I see in so many of my students and so many of my clients as a space of denial. And it’s basically knowing what you want. And this is very different than knowing what you think you can have. And this is very different than not having, or having.
A lot of times, what we want is what we have. And a lot of times, what we want is not what we have. And we spend a lot of time lying to ourselves and justifying our lives that are creations of things that we don’t want.
So, I want to start with talking about the idea of wanting and desire. And it’s really important that we differentiate between false desires and false wants and immediate fixes and genuine wants that come from a deep part and a consistent part of our psyche, our soul, our heart.
I have seen so many people hide their truest desires from themselves. I’ve heard them say to me, “Well I don’t know what I want.” And then, when I ask them, “But if you did know,” or if I ask them, “Well, tell me what you really want,” I just rephrase the question, their wants come pouring out of them.
Another way that I do this with them sometimes, I say, “In a perfect world, if you could have whatever you want,” as if that isn’t always an option, “If you could have whatever you wanted in the world, what would you want?” Now, to me, that’s the same question is, “What do you want?” It’s ultimately, your truest desire will match with what’s possible in your life.
I think that a lot of times we’re like, “Well, I want to be a basketball player and I’m not tall enough,” or that sort of thing. That isn’t a genuine want. When you go to those genuine wants within you, the correlate with what’s possible for you.
So, I want you all to think about this question for a minute. In a perfect world, what do you really want? What do you really want? If you remove the doubt, if you remove the confusion, if you remove the question of possibility and you just answer, what do you really want? And you allow the answer to bubble up, you allow the courage, you have the courage to let the answer come to you, what comes up?
Allow yourself to be surprised. Allow yourself to be delighted. Sometimes, when I do this work with people, they giggle about it. They’re like, “Well, I mean, in a perfect world this is what I want…” And they tell me the most amazing, beautiful, awesome things.
And so, if you haven’t done this exercise with yourself, one of the important things to do as you are asking this question to yourself is to let yourself know that no matter what answer comes up, you don’t have to act on it. You get to still decide. You have complete power in your life. And you don’t have to let the knowing of what you truly want hurt.
And I think that’s the most important piece because if you have a belief system that you can’t have what you want, knowing what you want can end up hurting you. Because you create a story around deprivation and not being able to have what it is you genuinely want.
I believe our desires are the map to our destiny. I believe our true desires, what we truly want, are our calling. It’s what’s calling us forward. And it’s important to understand why we want what we want, to make sure it’s not a false desire, to make sure it’s not just something for a dopamine hit, not something to prove our own worthiness.
But from a place of true worthiness, what do you want? From a place of abundance, what do you want? Is it everything that you already have? When you look at your life, would you rechoose everything? Or is there something different that you want? And do you have the courage to allow yourself to see it and to know you don’t have to act on it, but just the knowing will change your life?
I want to offer that knowing what you want is scary. It’s scary to bring the truth of what you genuinely want into the forefront of your mind and your life. Because most of us, what we want is beyond what we currently have in some ways.
We want more. We want bigger. We want different. I believe there’s something inside of us, that nudge, that urge from the universe to push us forward, to evolve, to create. I believe in satisfaction. I believe in appreciating what we have. I believe in celebrating our accomplishments. But I also believe that the nudge, as long as we’re alive, will always be there.
And I’ve watched so many people put that nudge away, “This is good enough. This will work. I’ll compromise. I’ll people please. I’ll caretake. This will be fine.” Instead of, “No, what do I really want? What is my dream? What do I want in a mate? What is the perfect relationship? What do I want in a job? What do I want in a business? What do I want in a friend? What do I want in myself? What do I want in my house?”
All of your wants are super important. And if we can’t want without want without doubt and denial and restriction. We don’t ever get to the place where we’re afraid of what we want.
Yes, I’m encouraging you to get to a place where what you want brings up a little bit of fear, brings up a little bit of excited fear, like, “Oh my goodness, this could actually happen. I could actually create this.” And it kind of scares the heck out of me. And I want it.
If you know that your wants and your desires will bring up fear – fear of failure, fear of not having it, fear of having it, fear of what people will think when you do have it, fear of what you may have to change in order to have it, I want to encourage you to have that dance with yourself, to spend that private time telling yourself the truth about what it is you want, and why.
So, the first part of this is really just self-awareness. And that’s one of the skills that throughout this podcast, throughout Self-Coaching Scholars, in certification, that I want to teach all of you to be focused on the skill of self-awareness, understanding what you are feeling. Understanding what you are thinking. Understanding who you are, what you’re capable of, how you interact with the world and what it means.
And so, a huge part of self-awareness is asking yourself the question, “What do you really want?” In a perfect world, if you could have whatever you wanted, what do you really want?
And then breathe into that answer. Live into that question, “What I really want, when I go beyond the surface, when I go beyond the expectations, when I go beyond the social constructs, what I really want is this…”
Now, don’t be vague here. Don’t say, “What I really want is peace,” or, “What I really want is love,” or, “What I really want is a handsome man.” What you want to do is be very specific on, what is the quality? What is the energy? And what does it look like in the world specifically? How would you know if you had it? What exactly would it be?
I did this with a coach recently on some things that I want in my life. What exactly does it look like when it shows up? How will you know? And as you become more self-aware of your wants, you start to know yourself on a deeper level. And you see your relationship with your own desire.
And most of us, our relationship with what we want brings up so much fear and doubt. So, we don’t want to deny ourselves that self-awareness because we’re afraid of negative emotion. We want to encourage it to come up. And that is the first component of this.
And the second component of it is truth; telling yourself the absolute truth about what you want. “The truth is, I don’t want to be married. The truth is, I don’t want to get pregnant and have children. The truth is I don’t want to be in this job. The truth is, I don’t want to help this charity.”
You want to tell yourself the truth about what you want even if you don’t like the truth about yourself, even if you wished the truth were something different. There’s a difference between wanting to want something and actually wanting something.
So, remember, you can tell yourself the truth. You don’t have to act on it. But you want to tell yourself the truth when you say, “I don’t want this,” or, “I want this but I’m not going to act on it.” That is the truth. And owning that truth and knowing that you have the agency to decide whether you’re going to go after it or not is you. That’s very different than lying to yourself and telling yourself you don’t want something that you want. That will show up in urges and buffering in other areas.
So, the first step is you really take that energy to get the self-awareness to understand and hear your own voice about your true wants and your true desires. The second thing is you tell yourself the truth, the honest-to-God truth about it knowing that you don’t have to act on it, but that you can feel the crystal ring of the truth inside the vibration of your body when you tell it to yourself.
The third thing you’re going to do is you’re going to let the fear come up. Knowing what you want is scary; I think on purpose. It’s like this is your mission, should you choose to accept it. This is your want, should you choose to go after it. This is your desire, the map to your destiny. Are you courageous enough to consider it? Have you heard yourself tell yourself the truth?
And when that fear comes up, I actually want you to expand it. I want you to breathe into it, to allow it, to have it fill up the entire room. Because when you avoid the fear that’s associated with your desire, you start to deny your own desires. You start to deny what you really want. And that will show up in urges in your life.
What is the truth of what you want? And let it be scary. That’s you as a human being approaching the world from a brain that is programmed for survival. Your brain is not programmed for desire. Your brain is programmed for survival. You have to overcome your primitive brain to evolve into the state of being a current modern-day human. Let your want hurt a little bit. Let it be fearful. Let it scare you a little bit.
And once you’ve done the self-awareness and you’ve told yourself the truth and you feel that fear, the next step is to make a choice. You will make a conscious choice in your life whether you will pursue the want, delay the want, or deny the want.
And from that place of choice, from that decision, you will be powered by it. You will release power into your life by making a decision. Even if you make a decision not to pursue the want, even if you make the decision to let the fear overcome you and not pursue the want, and as a conscious choice, “I’m too afraid to go do that. I’m too afraid to leave my marriage. I’m too afraid to get married. I’m too afraid to have children. I’m too afraid to start my business. I’m too afraid to write the book. I’m too afraid to go on the golf course and learn how to play golf. Even though I really want to, I’m afraid…”
Make the statement. Tell yourself the truth. Make the decision. And in that decision, your power will be released. And it doesn’t mean that’s the decision forever.
But I do want to encourage you that when you follow your true desire, when you make decisions to follow your true desires, to go after them, you will fail. That’s why it’s so scary. You will be challenged.
This is like the podcast we did last week. You will be set up to fall on your face and not accomplish that desire in the beginning. And do you have the courage to continue to make the choice because your desire matters to you?
And the fifth piece here is, are you willing to change? To honor your desire? Are you willing to fight through the fear to get to the place of that desire? And what determines that is your belief in your own want.
Do you believe that your want is possible? Do you believe that your desire matters? Do you allow yourself to consider that you can have exactly what you want in this lifetime? That you can enjoy everything?
You don’t have to make compromises. You don’t have to make sacrifices in what you truly desire. You can pursue your desires in an evolution of yourself to create a better life.
And what that may mean in terms of choice and change is that you disappoint other people. It may mean that you change your mind about something. It may mean that you become a different version of yourself that other people aren’t supporting or aren’t liking.
That’s where the courage comes in to honor your desire, to honor your want, to tell yourself the truth about it, to become self-aware enough to even know it. What are you afraid to know because it’s so scary? What is a want that you don’t even acknowledge because it makes you so afraid you tuck it away?
You don’t answer the question what you want until I say, “In a perfect world,” and then you acknowledge that what you’re dying for, what you’re thirsting for, what you’re hungry for is not the food, is not the alcohol, is not the Netflix, but this deeper desire that’s always been there that you’ve never acknowledged because you’re afraid.
But what if you knew you were supposed to be afraid when you acknowledged your wants and your desires? What if you knew that that was part of the process, part of the program? I watch too many people give up on their desires because they’re so hard to accomplish, or other people get upset about them.
What are you willing to do to honor your own desire? How much fear are you willing to battle and go through? And why does it matter?
So, for me, my personal wants and my personal desires sounded extraordinary in my brain when I first mentioned them to myself. I had a lot of doubt, a lot of negative reasons why they wouldn’t happen.
But once I knew them, I couldn’t un-know them. I’ve always wanted to… This is my secret desire… In a perfect world, I would… If nobody cared what I did, I would…
Once that is in your awareness and you tell yourself the truth and you honor the fear that comes along with it then you can make the choice to change.
And I’m going to offer that when you take action on a true desire, you’re living the purpose of your life. If you’re a person who is trying to find purpose, you’re trying to find your magical, important purpose in your life and you’re not taking action on your true desires, you are always going to be left sad and denied and most likely buffering your pain.
The shift is from the pain of deceit, the pain of denial, the pain of giving up on your desire to the fear of actually pursuing the life of your dreams.
I genuinely want every single person, every single student that has ever studied with me to understand what it’s like to accomplish, to achieve, to pursue a true desire.
It doesn’t make you more valuable. It doesn’t make you more worthy. It doesn’t even make you happier. It just makes you feel clicked into your purpose, to your life, to why you are here.
You’re not here to be safe. You’re no longer here to just survive. You’re not here to make the people around you pleased with you. You’re not around here to impress anybody else. You’re here to honor that deep reckoning, that deep nudging within you that asks you to be more, that asks you to step forward, that asks you to have the self-awareness, the courage to embrace the fear, to make the choice, to actually be willing to change, so the next time we see you, that want will be accomplished and you’ll be onto the next one.
If you’re willing to become aware of your wants and to live your life in accordance to them in truth, you will always be growing. You will always be changing. You will always be getting better at accomplishing your true desires.
I wish this for each and every one of you. I have accomplished so many of my desires. So many of my true, extraordinary wants, I’ve created for myself. And I have so many more to go, so many things that I don’t quite yet believe I can have that bring up fear in me. That’s why I feel alive. That’s why I’m constantly growing. That’s why my awareness brings me purpose in my life.
I follow the direction of my heart and my soul in the deepest part of my mind that has the consciousness to understand, “Yes, this, this is what I want, this is why I want it. And now, I’m going to make the choice to change to go after it. No matter what anybody thinks about me, no matter whether I succeed or fail, and no matter if I’m afraid. In fact, especially if I’m afraid.”
Ask yourself, in a perfect world, what would you want? What do you deeply want? Tell yourself the truth. And maybe, just maybe start taking some action towards it. Have a beautiful week, everyone. Talk to you soon.
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