Allow me to preface this post by saying this: You get to want what you want without apology.
I think this is so important to say because many women struggle with asking for, and getting, what they want and allowing that to be OK.
Now, the best way to get what you want from life is first, of course, to know what you want. If you don't know exactly what you want to achieve, you will not reach your full potential.
But, it goes much deeper than that.
You must also elevate your self-image to the point that you believe that you are worthy of what you want, and you must also know that you can have what you want.
One of the most significant differences between women who achieve their goals, and those who are dissatisfied in life, is the degree to which they believe it is possible.
I talk a lot in the School of Self-Image about acting from your future self. When we act as if, we begin to manifest what we want and need in our lives. You must act as if you are a woman who already has what she wants. I understand that this may feel counterintuitive, but here it is: to become her, you must be her.
Knowing What You Want
If you haven't taken the time to really understand and identify what would truly make you happy, you won't be able to ask for it from those around you, from yourself, or the Universe.
In addition to that, you may not even be able to recognize that you've got what you want once it shows up in your life.
One of the very first things we do in the School of Self-Image is set an extraordinary goal. It can feel scary or even confusing (what is the biggest, most audacious thing I want??), but we walk through that and help you get clear about exactly what it is that you want – even if, right now, it feels like you're a million miles away from it.
Journal, meditate, go within, and whatever you do, don't allow questioning the "how" of it to get in your way. That's not your job at this juncture.
Just get clear on what you want, no matter how extraordinary or immense it seems to you today.
Achieving Your Dreams by Setting Extraordinary Goals
Since you can have whatever you want, aim for the furthest galaxy where the Planet Of Dreams lives.
Many people will discourage you from aiming too high, encouraging you to reach for "reasonable" or "realistic" goals. Often this is out of well-intentioned love and care, maybe because they are afraid you'll get hurt or be disappointed.
I would encourage you not to give those well-meaning people any space in your head. Instead, challenge yourself to set some outrageous, audacious, extraordinary goals.
Acting From Your Future
The first step to getting what you want is to have the courage to get rid of what you don't. -Zig Zigler
Often, to get what you want, you have to break up with the most familiar parts of yourself. You have to let go of old, limiting beliefs that tell you that you can't, you don't deserve, or it's impossible.
When we are committed to a self-image that tells us we can't (for whatever reason) have what we want, that's precisely what will happen. It will be impossible to create what we want because we simply cannot create beyond our self-image.
Also, as Zig says, we've got to let go of those things that are not serving us or things, people, places, and situations that are not what we want.
Sometimes we are so afraid of letting go that our arms are too full to catch possibilities.
Maybe it's something as mundane as that old faithful car that's finally paid off. And, sometimes, it's something as big as a relationship or a job.
To make room for the new and wonderful, we must let go of the old and ineffectual.
Asking for What You Want
Sometimes what we want is something from another person. When you know what that is, you can communicate that to those around you.
If you feel frustrated, resentful, or deprived of what you want from others, take a moment to step back and ask yourself: Have I asked them?
If you haven't verbalized your requests, you need to stop whining and complaining and accept responsibility for that lack that you perceive.
Because I didn't know how or was afraid to ask for what I wanted, there was once a time when I wouldn't.
I'd hint around, skirting the actual request by saying things like, "we should" or "wouldn't it be nice if "or "this (fill in the blank) really needs to be taken care of."
Then, I'd be left feeling resentful that it never happened and end up either doing it myself or doing without.
When I learned how to ask for what I wanted and needed, I learned how to say things like:
- I would like it if we could ...
- It would make me happy if you would…
- This (fill in the blank) needs to be taken care of - would you be willing to do it?
- Will you, please ...
- I need …
- Can I have ...
No one can be expected to read your mind. We don't all "speak the same language" when it comes to expressing our needs and desires. With indirect communication, you only ever get frustration, misunderstanding, and (usually) resentment.
You have to put it out there and, most of the time, it's as simple as saying, "can I have this?"
Celebrating the "NOs"
Pia Melody says something like, "Ask for what you want, notice what you get, and celebrate the NOs."
I think this is excellent advice.
Sometimes we ask others for what we want, and their answer is "no." By having the boundary skills to say "no" to something they cannot do or give, they are doing both you and themselves a solid.
By celebrating their "no," you get the opportunity to grow by figuring it out on your own or finding an alternative solution.
You also get to grow by respecting and accepting someone else's boundaries and, perhaps, learning yourself by example, the art of saying no.
Sometimes it's the Universe that says no. While that can feel painful, there is typically a silver lining or soul gift that comes with it. The challenge is in whether or not you can see it and accept it.
When the Universe says no to our desires, we get to look for the opportunities (or blessings) that come with that opposition.
As someone once said (and I love this), "Failure is inevitable - what matters is how you use it."
Likewise, disappointment, pain, and loss are inevitable. What defines you and your life is your attitude.
Keep Dreaming; It's Normal – Even Necessary – to Want More
When you achieve one dream, dream another. Getting what you want is only a problem if you have nowhere to go next. Dreaming is a lifetime occupation. -Rudy Ruettiger
Once you get what you want – and you will if it will serve you well – you'll want something new. That's OK and as it should be.
Part of what makes us human is the need to seek. So keep pursuing your dreams, keep creating new ones, and never, ever stop asking for – and getting – what you want.
The Self-Image Manifesto
You’re Invited To Live An Extraordinary Life!
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