In this post, I’m sharing with you an exercise I ask my private coaching clients to do that will assist you in learning what you really want and, perhaps, what you don’t want. To realize the most value from this exercise, please set aside time when you won’t be interrupted.
There are four categories in which to identify what you want: professional, physical, relationships and spiritual. (You may want to add additional categories – go for it!) You’ll see the page is divided into two columns. At the top of the left-hand column, write, “What do I want?” At the top of the right column, write, “What’s in the way?” To help you gain self-knowledge, there are several questions that will open your thinking and pathway to a greater understanding of what you want. To make it super easy for you, click here to download the exercise sheet.
Look at both columns and notice the gap between what you want and what’s in the way. Now it’s time for you to once again step into my unconventional coaching style. Rather than ask yourself “What can I do to fix what’s in the way,” ask yourself “How can I use this to get what I want?” Asking different questions reveals new answers.
When Lydia, one of my clients, was working on this exercise, she could not think of any ideas for how she could use what she didn’t want to get what she wanted. To her credit, she stayed with the unknowing and continued to ask herself probing questions. In our coaching session, she ultimately realized she didn’t really want what she thought she wanted. It turns out she was borrowing the wants of a cherished friend and mentor. When Lydia gave herself permission to discover what she really wanted, she could then muster all of her energy in that direction and stop sabotaging her efforts.
As you look at the gaps, I invite you to give yourself permission to:
- Be open to the idea of discovering you want something other than what you’ve written.
- Ask yourself if you’re willing to do whatever it takes to discover your truth.
- Accept that you may have been borrowing the wants of others.
- Sit in the discomfort of not knowing, and believe that your answer will be revealed.
The final post in this series will give you the results you can enjoy from expanding your self-knowledge so you can get what you want in life.