How to Figure Out What You Want In Life – and Actually Get It
Want to live the life of your dreams? Start by answering a simple question. But be honest, ok? And I mean really honest. Like really, I-don’t-even-say-this-to-my-closest-friend honest.
What do you really want? What does your heart long for? What do you desire deep, deep, deep, down in your soul?
Now, imagine you had all of it. The job that makes you excited to leave bed every morning. The doting, supportive partner. The money and freedom to travel the world.
Then what else would you want?
Imagine you got all of that, too. The regular meditation practice you’ve been trying to nail for years. The close friends that puts Girls to shame.
What else would you want?
Keep going. Move past all the doubt and judgement that’s coming up – we’ll get there later. Just write down EVERYTHING your soul desires.
Now, take a deep breath. Return to the present. What did it feel like to really dive into your desires?
For most of us, it’s an uncomfortable exercise. I saw this discomfort first-hand in one of my past clients, Michelle. She really wanted to get married…but, at the same time, she was also terrified…of wanting to get married.
The Obstacles Keeping You From Embracing Your True Desires
Why? Well, there are many reasons that embracing our true desires can be scary as hell:
1. We’re uber obsessed with not needing anyone or anything. (Thanks hyper-independent culture. Not.)
For instance, we’re taught “I don’t need a man to be happy!” As a result, Michelle felt like wanting to get married made her look weak and unfeminist…and it made her feel ashamed of this desire in the first place.
2. We feel impious for wanting anything but the essentials.
After all, pretty much every religion has some teaching that echoes the Buddhist sentiment, “Attachment leads to suffering.”
Does this sound familiar? “I really want a job that lets me enjoy my work…but so many people can’t even make enough money to pay their rent! I should just be grateful for what I have and not try to find a better fit.”
3. Thinking about what we really want can make us sad if it’s far away from what we currently have (which is the truth for so many people).
What kind of people want to make themselves feel sad? Um…not me.
4. Thinking about what we really want brings up negative beliefs about ourselves and the world…
…like “Why am I not good enough to get that promotion or find a man as good as Sarah’s?” or “The world is just soooo unfair!”
In Michelle’s case, she worried that if she did work hard to find a husband and failed, it’d mean she wasn’t worthy of love. And then what would she do?
5. Thinking about what we really want reminds us of all the work we’ll have to do to get there, and that feels overwhelming.
Or, it makes us realize everything we could lose by chasing that desire.
Michelle wanted to get married. But her boyfriend of one-year? Not so much. So if Michelle pushed him to commit, maybe she’d lose her relationship altogether!
6. For women, being “driven” is often looked on negatively as a masculine, aggressive trait.
And sometimes it’s less scary to give up on your dreams than to deal with people thinking of you as one of “those women.”
Considering These Obstacles In Your Own Life…
Any of these scenarios hitting a little too close to home? For one, some or all of these reasons, at some point, you, like Michelle, decided to stop thinking about your desires.
To settle for what feels easy. Doable. Manageable. Comfortable. (Some of the most depressing adjectives in the dictionary).
To distract yourself from your true dreams with midnight takeout and mindless Internet scrolling and weekend getaways that make you happy for ten minutes or so…
…but always leave you feeling unfulfilled. Frustrated. Depressed. Exhausted. Confused.
Newsflash: You Deserve To Live Intentionally and Get What You Want In Life
It’s time to reignite your fire.
You deserve a sense of purpose. You deserve to dream. You also deserve DESIRE.
Imagine what our world might be like if Einstein or Martin Luther King or, heck, your girl Oprah didn’t dream or desire. If they settled for what the average person thought was good or acceptable? What amazing things would be lost…to them and to the world?
Your heart already carries the vision of the fulfilling, creative, love-filled life you truly desire. You must let this longing be your fuel.
But there’s a certain way to embrace your desires so that they continue to bring you energy, not deplete you.
Because let’s be real. If you want something bad enough…if you believe you’re worthy of it. And if you focus on working with the universe to co-create it every single day…then you will make progress in that direction.
But it may not come in the way that you want.
Or when you want.
Or how you want.
It may look different than you imagined it.
And the road toward that goal may be filled with questions, challenges, and obstacles.
So it’s a vulnerable, scary process to go after what you want.
And yet, the alternative is letting go of your dreams. Staying small. Regretting not making more of your precious life. Which, in my opinion, is MUCH more terrifying.
So chase our dreams, we must.
But here’s the catch.
You must pursue your desires from a place of love. Not a place of fear.
Here’s the difference.
Why to Pursue Goals From a Place of Love, Not Fear
When you’re going after a goal from a place of fear, you hold on too tightly. You get desperate about it. You feel like you neeeeeed it. You tie your self-worth to your ability to get it. Naturally, then, you are in CONTRACTION. Fists curled, body tight, screaming at the heavens.
Now, imagine how it feels to go after your dreams from a place of love. When you are in EXPANSION.
When you’re coming from love, you know deep down that achieving your dreams is going to make you more fulfilled, more energized, more passionate about life. And that this will positively impact your family, your friends, and your colleagues. As a result, it’s clear, without a doubt, that you deserve to have those dreams met. (Even with all your imperfections).
You’re excited to take actions every day that align with your goals, but they don’t feel like work and they don’t overwhelm you. That’s because these actions align with what’s naturally flowing through you.
You know from deep down that every experience, good or bad, is still a step in the right direction. You either make progress, or you learn something important.
And most importantly, you know that you are wonderful whether or not you ever achieve exactly what you have in mind.
When you come from love, you stop chasing, and you open to receiving. You’re in flow.
So, before you dive deep into your desires,
Move them from fear to love.
From your root chakra to your heart chakra.
From desperately needing to willingly deserving.
How to Chase Your Desires From a Place of Love and Embrace Intentional Living
- Know that you are good enough and worthy of love right now. Even without having “achieved” your goal. Make a list of all the beauty you’ve given to the world. All the smiles you’ve brought to others faces. All the difficulties you’ve had to overcome. See yourself through the eyes of a warm grandmother (real or fictional) who sees all your faults and flaws and don’t love you any less because of them. And know that you are good enough and worthy of love just for being you. Period.
- And then from that place of self-worth, clearly visualize all the additional love that will come into the world when you realize your dreams. What positive effects will it have you on? On people you love? On your community? On the world?
When you approach your goals from this mindset, you realize that when you go after your dreams, you’re going from love…to even more love. Not from lack to love. You already have everything you need inside…and you’re ready for so much more.
What Chasing Goals in a Loving Mindset Looks Like
What does this mindset look like in action? Here’s one example: You admit that your present job isn’t a perfect fit, and you boldly taking steps toward a more soul-aligned career. However, you still have gratitude for your current work, and you keep doing your best and respecting your colleagues as you make the transition.
Or, if you’re in a similar situation to Michelle, stop thinking about yourself in the dichotomy of not-married versus married. Once Michelle started reflecting on what fears were complicating her desire to get married, she realized that wanting to get married did NOT make her a “bad” feminist. In fact, having a strong, supportive relationship while also maintaining a rich social life and career actually made her stronger, more powerful and proof that women can have it all.
Michelle also realized that she shouldn’t try to “hide” her desire to get married. By saying that she wanted to put a ring on it and making moves in that direction, Michelle showed love for herself and her dreams. She also showed love for her boyfriend by giving him the informed choice to move forward with her or to leave. Ultimately, Michelle could be OK with either outcome because she knew that, for both people to be truly happy, they both needed to be happy with the direction the relationship was going.
Where to Start On Your Intentional Living Journey…
See what happens when you drop all of the judgement, and all the driveness – and instead focus on love? You open up into expansion. Creation. Abundance. And your dreams naturally unfold.
You can’t get the life you want, though, without knowing what you want in the first place.
And figuring out what you want in life can be hard. Confusing. Exhausting, even. Especially if you’ve been suppressing your dreams for a while.
So if you’re reading this post and thinking, “Oh God. I can barely figure out what I want to eat for dinner every night!”, I got you, love! Check out my FREE Future Self Meditation for a guided meditation that will help you gain clarity about what you truly desire for your life. Learn more here!
Then, decide that you love yourself enough to go after it.
The Bottom Line of Identifying and Chasing Your True Desires
Are you willing to be honest enough with yourself about what you really want in life? Are you brave enough to silence the inner critics, ignore the outer critics, and really go for it? And you committed to loving yourself – enough to do the work it takes the make those dreams a reality?
In the comments below, tell me about one true desire that you’re a little scared of, but going to pursue anyway!