We’ve been raised to believe that it’s wrong to have big dreams. We balk at the idea of being upfront about our desires and judge ourselves as greedy for wanting abundance. As women, we’re often trained to meet other people’s needs, while ignoring our own. And we do it, without ever questioning why it has to be this way.
One of my clients is a top executive at one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world. During our first coaching call, she told me that she has a big dream of having all the money she’ll ever need, while having plenty of free time to spend with the child she’s planning to adopt. We explored her dream behind her dream, to discover why she wanted this wealth. What would it enable her to do, that she can’t do now? Who’s life would change, as a result of her producing this income?
After several minutes, we found out that her dream is to use the money to build schools for the education of girls in Kenya and Ethiopia, places she’s been to several times, and adores. She wants to see women and girls be empowered in ways that benefit them and their whole communities. This is the legacy she wants to leave behind in the world, after she’s gone.
While talking about this incredible goal, her whole tone lit up. Her voice was vibrant and excited and I could feel her passion and authenticity in my own body while listening to her. However, when she returned to the subject of having the wealth and time to achieve this, her whole tone became apologetic. She had the very common belief that it’s somehow selfish and unrealistic to want to have great wealth and free time, despite it’s purpose. We quickly turned that belief on it’s head when she opened up to the possibility that it was more than fine for her to want this. Why wouldn’t she? It makes perfect sense to want to have financial freedom and plenty of time to spend with the people and projects you love. It’s the other way around – working endless hours for little pay that makes no sense.
Be bold about your desires. Stop judging yourself for wanting what you want. It’s perfectly ok. You can do far more good in the world with wealth, than you can when you’re struggling to pay the bills. You find it easier to be more open-hearted and generous when you’re not stressing about how to feed your children. Wealth for wealth’s sake is not in itself a worthy goal, but that’s why people very rarely want this. What we want is the life and goals that having wealth will enable us to achieve. It’s like wanting to get from Edinburgh to London, and apologizing for wanting a car to make the journey easier, when you’ve been brought up to believe you should walk.
Start paying attention to the times you judge yourself and catch it as quickly as you can. Then turn it around. Remember the goal behind the goal, and remind yourself how worthy and noble your desires are. You would not be reading this website, if you were not a conscious woman who wants to live out her life’s purpose and make a difference in the world. So stop treating yourself like you’re someone you’re not!