It’s hard enough to know what you want, harder still to ask for it.
The other day I was picking up my chai latte. I’m not a fan of foam, grosses me out which is a residual effect of my pregnancy 17 years ago.
To digress for a sec… I always wanted to have some fun mash up cravings when I was prego, like pickles and peanut butter, but it never happened. What I did have was a couple pretty strong aversions. One of them was foam. I was in NYC at the time and the subway was plastered with Dunkin’ Donut ads with frothy cups of coffee staring me down on ever ride, it was rough. So the foam aversion (and the kid) have hung around long after my pregnancy was over.
Every time I get a cup of joe slathered with foam, I wanna politely ask for it to be removed. But before I do so, I expend 60 sec talking myself into asking for what I want. I make sure it’s worth asking for, which I know it is, instead of just directly asking the barista to scoop it off and be done. It is a simple example, but the exercise plays out in other ways as well.
Many of us get stuck between the knowing what we want and the asking for it. At some point we learn to identify our wants. But often they can sit floating around in our mind and not travel what seems a long distance to our mouth so we can speak them into being.
This can happen with simple things like our coffee order or making an exception on your meal at a restaurant, or more complex and impactful wants like:
What you want or need for your business to grow.
What you want and need from a romantic partner.
Want you want or need to feel safe and secure and able to show up as yourself every day.
Learning to shorten the ride from mind to mouth is key to building a life that fulfills you, sustains you, and brings you joy. Just like anything, comfort comes with practice. Here are a couple tips to get you started noticing your wants and starting to speak them into existence.
NOTICING YOUR WANTS:
Take inventory of your wants. Block out a little time to start writing them down. All of them. Simple things, complex ones, aspirational ones, the things you think are too big or too small to want, all of them! Put them in your journal, on post it notes on your wall, in chalk on the patio, in your notes app. Somewhere you will see them and return to them.
Create a judgment free zone for your wants. Don’t judge your wants or censor them, just get them out of your mind onto something. There is no pressure to do anything, just explore all the things you want. Big things, little things, and everything in between.
Categorize your wants. Give yourself sometime, a week or two, to write them all down, see what comes up after thinking about it for multiple days. Then try to sort them into loose categories like; emotional (how you want to feel), material (tangible things you want to have), career (goals for your work), financial (wants for your financial future), don’t forget the day to day simple wants, like your coffee made the right way.
SPEAKING YOUR WANTS:
Invite a friend into the want inventory. If it is safe and comfortable for you to do so, invite a friend or family member, someone you trust, to do a want inventory of their own along with you.
Share your wants. Start sharing your wants with that person you trust. Talk with each other about what came up when creating your lists. See where your wants align or don’t. Again, no judgement.
Acknowledge how it felt. Then take a second to examine how it felt to speak those wants out loud. Does it feel ridiculous, empowering, scary, exciting, there is no right answer. But what comes up for you? Are the simple wants easy to say out loud, but the emotional wants harder?
Try it out and let me know how it goes! I’ve been doing it myself the past couple weeks 🙂