It's really sad that I have to talk about this core problem I see in women, but if you're a woman, you need to read this because it is a very crucial piece for your happiness in life.
This probably sounds weird that the woman who is all about women’s empowerment is saying there's a problem with women. It's not what you think, and it's not even your fault, (and this happens to a lot of men too) but this is the Dynamic Women Blog, so I'm speaking to you, women.
It’s important to know what you want
There is a problem I see and that I have seen for a long time. I realized this when I started coaching with a coach back in 2010, and this was before I was even a coach. I realized that the core problem in women that's causing them to not be satisfied in life, not be happy, not go after what they want, not to have support from others, and really get to a point in their lives where they feel empty. It's the inability to answer a question. It's a simple question. The question is, “What do you want?” But so often, we cannot answer that question.
I can remember being at an event with a lot of professional women working in corporate, and we were chatting, and I asked them, “What do you want?”
They were like, “Oh, like maybe a vacation.” Some of them actually couldn't even answer. They said, “I don't know, what do you mean by, what do I want?” I said, “In life, what do you want?” Other people say, “For my kids to stay healthy”. I'm like, “No, what do YOU want? What do you want for yourself? What do you want?” They didn't know how to answer that.
I could answer with at least 10 to 20 things. Now, that does not make me better. It just means that I've had this question asked of me many times and I have practiced. Most women don't. Most people don't.
Now, it's not your fault. You see, what's happening is we have not often been asked what we want. Why is that?
Let me go through three ways or reasons why we haven't been asked what we want and why we are not good at this question.
3 reasons why women struggle to answer the question: “What do you want?”
1. Women tend to prioritize others' needs before their own
As women, we tend to be the caregivers and the nurturers. We care about everyone else before ourselves. Let's be real, are you guilty of this? Probably. We make sure everyone else is taken care of, their needs are taken care of, their wants are taken care of, and when everything else is okay, we can take care of ourselves.
Let me share with you a story of something super-duper small. I'm not talking about, “What do you want in your mission and your vision and your world and your legacy?” I'm talking about, “In the day-to-day, what do you want as well?”
There are two pieces to it, the little “a” agenda (we talk about this in coaching) and the big “A” agenda. The little “a” agenda might be you're a busy mom, a busy woman, you're making sure kids are taken care of, the house is taken care of, and dinner is made after work. BUT all you want to do is go take a shower.
I experienced this when my husband came home one day. We say our hellos and such, and then he disappeared. I thought, “Where did he go? That's weird because he doesn't announce where he's going.” Then I hear the shower running and I think, “Wow, must be nice. Must be nice to go take a shower. I've been waiting to take a shower.”
The thing is, that was his need and his want at that exact moment, “I need to take a shower, I want to take a shower,” and so he went and took a shower. I have lots to learn from that.
However, what I was feeling was, “Well, I can't take a shower yet because these things need to be picked up, the kids need to have their dinner, their homework needs to be done, and then I need to message a client back.” All these things needed to happen before I could take care of my needs. I know the question is, “What do you want?” but when we're not even taking care of our basic needs, taking a shower can be a basic need. It comes from that place of nurturing.
Again, not your fault, ladies! You are hardwired to take care of others and that's why we've survived as long as we have, right?
2. There are so many things pulling you, and you don't even have time to sit with it
If you have children or not, that's fine. I'll also give examples for you because you're probably super busy as well.
For Moms, it may be:
For non-moms, (as well as some moms), it's things like:
It just continues on and on and on.
We often get into that place of just scrolling Facebook because we want to disconnect. There are so many things pulling us that we never have time to sit with the question, “What do I want? What do I want for myself? What do I want today? What do I want in three years? What do I want in every single area of my life?”
3. We’re often not asked in the right way
I think the one time we're asked is when we're younger and people say, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Then we're supposed to come up with an answer at that moment. We don't know it, and we don't know how to get there, then we feel lost.
How am I seeing this in my world? Well, I've been coaching for over 12 years now. The way I see it is someone comes to me, and they'll say:
Then I asked them what really seemed to be a simple question: “What do you want?” and they said:
“What do I want?” I'm talking about, “What do I want in all 10 areas?” In general, what do you want for your life, and what do you want in all 10 areas? Then what do you want every single day? It can take time to uncover that.
Wheel of Life
That's when I use the professional coaching tool, the Wheel of Life - mine has 10 areas:
It's not just knowing what you want in your business or what you want in your career, but it's what you want in all of these areas as well. Oftentimes, fun and recreation just get kicked out or forgotten about.
What do you want in these 10 areas? I usually start by using the wheel, and they get clarity on:
Then we paint the picture of “What does it look like at a nine out of ten…?”
In your health:
With your significant other:
With your career or your business:
I understand why this is the core problem. Knowing is half the battle. Now that you know that this is a problem, you can take this information and do something with it.
So what are you going to do? Are you going to sit down with this question of “What do I want?” Are you going to get a session with a coach to help you figure this out? That's what I highly recommend.
If you are thinking, “Wow, I would really love to figure out what I want in all areas. I want to achieve more, be happier, I want a clear path”, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope that in a few years when I create more blog posts, I won’t have to do this topic of “What do I want?” I hope people can easily answer this question and I hope it’s what YOU truly want, at that deeper life satisfaction level, and not what society wants for you.
For example, I hope the answer isn't only materialistic like:
I hope it's things like:
Now, I'm not going to tell you what you want. If you really want the material things, then great, but have it be the stuff at the deepest soul level that you want. Rather than the pressure to keep up with the Joneses. The pressure of “I need to have these things in order to be validated as a person, in order to fit in with my friend group.”
I've cut friend groups out who were too materialistic because I knew that I couldn't be where I needed to be in my life, in my happiness, and in my worthiness. It just wasn't aligned with my values.
Let's not have the question, “What do I want?” be the core problem of women. But rather be the core solution, the core answer to building a foundation, a life that you love and that you get excited to wake up to.
Even when you get asked at a restaurant, and you're looking at the menu, and they ask you, “What do you want?” Let's make more decisive answers rather than looking at someone else and saying, “Well, what are you having?” Because if we start to do that with small decisions, that's when we start to lose confidence, and then won’t be able to make bigger decisions for our own lives.
I’m asking that you take the next few weeks to sit with this question, “Am I really doing what I want?” And outside of your responsibilities, you have obligations, you have other people in your life, you just can't do everything you want. You might say like, “Ah I want to fly to Morocco and leave everything behind.” No, you've got stuff that you value and prioritize, but over the next few weeks come up with some answers.
Every moment you have an opportunity to share what you want, give a clear answer, be decisive when you share it, and confident you can achieve that.
P.S. I want to help you figure out what you want. Let’s start with this FREE booklet, the “3 Simple Steps to Figure Out What You Want”
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