I was visiting with a good friend of mine the other day who expressed her sadness and frustration at feeling stuck and underwhelmed with her life as of late.
After we’d talked a bit I asked her, What do you really want?
Emotion quickly rose to the surface. Tears flooded her eyes. And a quiet, I have no idea escaped her lips. I’m too overloaded to even consider what it is I want.
My heart broke for her.
Because deep in her heart, she knows there’s more to life than what she’s living. She just has no idea how to figure out what that more is for her.
She’s too busy charging through her days – keeping up with her family – and all the commitments that come along with working, being a wife, and being a mom of 2 young girls. Too busy trying to focus on work she doesn’t really care about anymore, but that helps pay the bills. And, in the those rare and fleeting quiet moments, she’s trying – in fits and starts – to give herself a glimpse of how life used to be when she embraced her creativity freely and openly – before all the ought-tos of life squeezed it out.
Thinking about what she wants seems an impossibility at this point. It’s just too big.
What do I want? It’s a big question. An important question. And, it can also be a paralyzing question to an already overloaded nervous system.
So, I encouraged my friend to think smaller. The idea of thinking years (even months) into the future was too much for her to handle at the moment, so there was very little chance she’d make any progress or have any powerful insights. But thinking about what she wanted short term – on a daily (sometimes, hourly), or even weekly basis was more doable. So, she committed to start reconnecting with herself in baby steps, asking herself what she wants every day – and then taking a tiny action toward it. And as her capacity expands, she’ll begin asking herself, what do I want this week?
Maybe you can relate. Maybe you know there’s more to life than what you’re currently living, but you’re just not sure what it is. And, the idea of figuring it out is paralyzing.
What do I want today? Maybe it’s a quiet lunch with your spouse or partner, an hour of quiet and solitude to focus on something important, a walk out in nature, or maybe what you really want is a nap.
Or, if you have the capacity, you can ask…
What do I want this week? Maybe it’s finishing a languishing project, or setting aside some time for important and much needed planning. Or maybe you want to complete the final edits of your manuscript or declutter and organize your office.
Once you’ve determined what it is you want right now, schedule in some time (yes, go to the calendar!) to give it to yourself.
As you increase your capacity to think and dream about what you really want in small doses, you can begin to increase it to what do I want this month, this quarter, or in the next 6 months? But, for the near future at least, keep it small.
And, keep in touch. I’d love to hear from you about what you’re wanting, the tiny steps you’re taking, and the changes you’re seeing. So, drop me a line by replying to this email.
Enjoy your discoveries!
P.S. Know deep down in your bones that there’s more to the life your living, you’re just not sure what that more is? Hop on over to Getting an Edge and join the wait list for the next program that’s starting in October. GAE offers strategies, accountability, community, personal support and resources galore to help you not just determine your more, but live it! https://www.encompass-coaching.com/getting-an-edge-program/