By: Joanne Shank
Working towards wants and aligning with our True Self is an empowering and inspiring journey.
Yesterday I was working on a webinar I will be offering in the upcoming months, and I was reflecting on the word Want.
I think this word sometimes has negative connotations for women. It's a word that can make us feel uncomfortable.
Maybe we were told that we should strive to have our needs met, and that wants are frivolous luxuries. And yet many times are needs are even set aside as we play out our roles as caregivers and nurturers.
Maybe we were made to feel selfish for having wants. A scarcity versus an abundance mindset also dramatically influences our beliefs around our wants or desires.
Others might have, intentionally or not, encouraged us to focus on their wants and needs at the expense of our own.
We certainly live in a world that gives us a myriad of messages about what we should want.
A certain kind of body.
A certain kind of romance.
A particular type of lifestyle.
And yes, there is some flexibility in all of this. We, as a society, are becoming more and more open to individual differences.
But the influences remain. And if we are not careful and aware of these, we begin to integrate other people's ideas of who we should be or what we should want into our lives. And as we do, we bury a part of ourselves, our True Self.
Identifying our wants, and taking responsibility for them is one of the most empowering things we can do.
I'm reminded of the song by the Rolling Stones:
"No, you can't always get what you want.
You can't always get what you want.
You can't always get what you want.
But if you try, sometimes you find
You get what you need."
Mick Jagger is right; you can't always get what you want.
But I believe that as women, we too often dismiss our wants.
You can't always get what you want, true. But if you don't know what you want and you never try reaching for your dreams and aspirations out of ignorance, well, you'll never get what you want.
You see wants, in my opinion, are the next step on the path to self-realization. We all have needs, and those needs are very similar.
Maslow identified these needs according to three categories. The two most basic needs are physiological and safety needs. These are similar to all of us; they are essential to our physical survival. Not having these needs met puts us at significant risk.
Then we move towards Esteem Needs and Self-actualization. These categories of needs are were are individuality, and True Self reside. If we want to fulfill these two categories of needs, we must, in my opinion, identify our wants.
And how do we do this?
We ask ourselves and reflect on some fundamental questions such as:
Who am I?
Who do I want to be?
What are my core values?
What are my passions?
What legacy do I want to leave?
What meaning do I assign to life?
As you reflect on these questions, your wants should begin to unveil themselves. You will gain clarity on where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. You will start to create a vision for yourself, and from that vision will emerge your deepest desires. Do not be intimidated or overwhelmed by these. Working towards wants and aligning with our True Self is an empowering and inspiring journey.
Our wants, in the end, are where our wildest and most delicious dreams reside. They bring meaning and enthusiasm into our lives as we make a conscious decision to honor them. And when we take the next step and take full responsibility for turning those wants into abundance, magical things begin to happen.
Self-Care Coach, Workshop Facilitator, Speaker
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