“Do you really want to eat that burger?” asked my gym buddy with a disappointing look on her face. To which I mumbled in response, “No, I don’t. I’ll stick to the salad.” And, just like that, down the drain went my appetite and mood for the rest of the day.
The truth is that, yes, I did really want that burger. I wanted it so bad that not having it spoiled my whole day. My immediate reaction to my friend’s judgmental question was to give a pleasing answer, one that is approved and cherished. I wanted to be accepted and admired. I knew exactly what it was that I wanted, but I wasn’t true to myself.
I spent the rest of the day feeling resentful towards myself and my friend, and I am positive most of you have experienced a similar situation. Now that I know better, I act differently; now that I have a better relationship with myself, I also have a better relationship with others. Indeed, no relationship is more important than the one you have with yourself, and knowing what it is that you want is key.
In the best of cases, what we want is crystal clear to us. In this case, all we have to do is find the right words to express that the way we want to. It’s simple and straightforward.
But what happens when we don’t know what we want? Or when we think we want something, but are not entirely sure about it? Or when we just can’t say out loud what it is that we want? What we want is more often a mix of feelings and emotions that exist in our head but are not processed or expressed, so we end up being frustrated and feeling stuck. With today’s overwhelmingly busy schedules and fast pace of life, this is now all too common and, until we finally manage to put in words what we truly desire, we won’t feel better or relieved. That, however, is easier said than done.
Our thoughts, ideas, and feelings are part of our private internal world; it’s our safe haven, our comfort zone with a firewall that no one can trespass. But what happens when we decide to share this internal world with others? What happens when we feel the need to express our feelings, thoughts, and ideas and share them with the outside world?
What you want is not what society expects from you. What you want is personal and subjective. What you want lies within you. It exists in your subconscious mind.
For some of us, verbalizing what we want may result in hesitance, confusion, and mumbling. We’re worried about what others may say or think of us, concerned about the reaction we’re going to get, and terrified of rejection.
Self-love and self-acceptance are major factors in the practice of figuring out what we want and putting it in words. It’s very important to auto-approve your ideas and your thoughts; what you want is not what your friend or spouse or partner wants, and what you want is not what society expects from you. What you want is personal and subjective. What you want lies within you. It exists in your subconscious mind.
Follow these three steps to get closer to speaking your own truth.
Figure It Out
The first step is to actually figure out what you want. More often than not, we don’t even know what we want. Ideas pertaining to that are dispersed and scattered, playing in the back of our minds like a record. Other thoughts and ideas are repressed and hidden away, and this causes an inner conflict and discomfort that makes us incapable of expressing what we really want.
You need to get clarity. Sit with yourself in a quiet place for ten minutes every day – even if that means you need to lock yourself in the toilet, just do it. Meditate and relax. Practice what I like to call “the scientific prayer”, which allows you to get in touch with your subconscious mind to get clarity, as most of the time our ideas and desires are not in focal awareness. The best times to get in touch with your subconscious mind and look for answers are first thing in the morning when you’re not fully awake yet or at night when you are totally relaxed and ready to fall asleep.
Hypnosis is also a great exercise to get clarity and determine what you want. The more hypnosis you practice, the deeper into a trance you get. This state relaxes and distracts your conscious mind, thereby giving the subconscious mind the chance to express itself.
Write It Down
Put your thoughts together and write them down. Documenting our thoughts gives them life and makes them real. When writing your thoughts, you have time to think, focus, pause, erase, and correct. Seeing your thoughts and ideas written down in front of you allows you to enhance the use of your senses; you’re not only feeling your ideas or reciting them in your head, but you are also visualizing them. Now, what you want exists on a piece of paper you can go back to, refer to, and follow up on.
Say It Loud
Now that you are aware of what you want, you can achieve harmony between mind, body, and soul. You speak your truth. You are confident. Your words are loud and clear. They are yours and they reflect who you are and what you want. Now, whether others accept them or approve of them, it is none of your concern.
If you are a parent, it’s important to start this work early on with children to get them to a place of understanding who they are and what they want, as well as to get them used to verbalizing what it is they want. To do that, you need to encourage children to speak their minds without fear, and you’ll need to control your reactions towards what they say, then discuss it maturely with them.
Joyce Youhanna D’Ubaldo is a certified life coach living in Dubai. Contact her, here.