Why Are You Apologizing For Your Desires?

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?

photo credit: eir@si via photopin cc

photo credit: eir@si via photopin cc

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!

Breath Life Into Your Dreams

Last week, I had a coaching call with a very inspiring woman.  She is going through a difficult transition period in her life at the moment, and we focused deeply on how she can reclaim the power she has given away to other people, and begin to reconnect with her true self.  She’s making the conscious choice every day, to reclaim all the parts of herself that she’d almost forgotten about in her role as wife and mother.

This is something so many of us can recognize.  Too often in life, we forget who we really are.  We allow our thoughts to interfere with what we KNOW deep down inside.  We tend to believe our thoughts.  We’ve all had experiences where our thoughts have led us astray, and yet we continue to believe what they tell us.  This is why, when I coach someone, I practice deep coaching, which is dropping down past our thoughts, so the real you has a chance to use her voice.

Child Hood Dreams

The following is a fun practice you can start today, to begin the process of reconnecting with who you truly are.  To do this, you’ll need to revisit your childhood and remember who you were when you were a little girl.  What did you dream of, when you were innocent and full of enthusiasm for the future?  Who did you dream you would be?  When you were a child, you had no limits on what you could become.  Go back to that feeling now.  Did you want to be an adventurer?  An explorer?  A writer? A vet?  Whatever it is, allow yourself to indulge in your childhood dreams.

And now for the fun part.  At least 3 times this week, do something to bring you closer to your childhood dream.  If you wanted to be a writer, write a short story.  If you wanted to be an explorer, take yourself to an interesting place you’ve never visited before, and allow yourself to get lost for a while.  If you dreamed of being an Egyptologist, visit a museum or pick up a few books on Ancient Egypt (or if you’re really feeling adventurous, plan a trip to see the Pyramids).

The clarity that comes from reconnecting to our childhood dreams is astonishing.  This was a time in our lives when we were deeply connected with our true selves and our true desires, until ‘real life’ got in the way.  By revisiting that time and that part of ourselves (who is still with us), it will remind us of who we really are, underneath our other identities of wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, employee, neighbor and any other identity we collect as we go through life.

Have fun planning the three activities you will do this week, and notice the insights you receive, as you grab your fedora and whip and take off on an adventure to find the Lost Ark of the Covenant (or was that just me?) Your seven year old self will be proud!