Coaching · Goal Setting

What do you want?

What do you want? This is the foundational question from which the coaching process is launched. It looks beguilingly simple at face value. Well, DUH. I want a new job. I want to lose weight. I want to be happy. I want, I want…

You wanted this stuff last year. And the year – or twenty years- before. Look, I’m saying this with great compassion and gentleness. If you really wanted it, why have you not gotten it?

You’re stuck. Maybe you haven’t planned. Maybe a circumstance knocked you upside the head and distracted you. I could go on and on just drawing from my own experiences and excuses but I don’t think that would be helpful.

The “What do you want” question needs to be evaluated on a deeper level. Deeper level isn’t something most folks are familiar with. We are trained from a very early age to just not go there. We live in a knee jerk, dualistic, I-want-it-now mentality. This does not make for a contented life. If we’re unhappy we first look at circumstances and blame them.

The tail/tale chasing cycle continues.

For me, years of chronic pain forced me to dig deeper. For others it might be a sudden crisis – a death, a job loss, a betrayal. These wake-up moments can bring crystal clarity. Some will still ignore the call.

Maybe you don’t want a new job – you really want someone to appreciate your efforts. The urge to have your own business has a motive of needing more flexibility. The weight loss is driven by deep seated shame where emotional healing needs to take place.

One thing that truly amazes me about the coaching process and this question is how more often than not, things are not as they appear.

“What do I want?” is a question that needs time and bravery to evaluate. Getting clear on this is the first step to finding the joy and contentment you’re seeking.


5 thoughts on “What do you want?

  1. Theresa, this is so wonderfully insightful and articulate. You are truly in your element here. For me, in addition to much tragedy and struggle, I’ve bumped into lots of walls that have helped me realize what I don’t want. Now that may be considered foolish, a sign of avoidance and, in some cases, a mark of bravery. But I’d say that throwing open the closet where our skeletons reside and shining the light on them is where real bravery comes in. I’m getting there. Happy New Year to you and Jay!

  2. Such wisdom, Theresa! Some people think they want to lose weight, but they really want to enjoy food. Others want to get out of debt, but what they really want is to buy shiny new things or take advantage of a sale. It comes down to “What do you want the most?”

    It’s helpful to clarify what you want, so you don’t get sidetracked by things that you want only in the short term. That helps people to forego the Starbucks so they will have another $5.00 to get out of debt with. It’s a matter of stopping to think, and then making a well considered decision.

    Knowing what you don’t want is immensely helpful, also. It keeps you from making bad decisions while you are figuring out what you do want. I think it comes down to making decisions ahead of time – with a spouse, parent, trusted advisor, so that you have clarity. Sadly, most people never do that.

  3. Thanks, Jas! You are too kind. As I have gotten a glimpse of your’s and Sheila’s journey I’m struck with your resiliency. And yes, the bravery. I don’t understand why some seem to have so much adversity thrown their way but I do know that if we allow it, it adds to our depth and ability to love and live whole heartedly. This is the path you have chosen, my friend.

    Susan, I always love hearing your well-thought comments. You always add something. And yes the “What do you want THE MOST?” is critical. We live in an immediate society. We get annoyed if a page takes 2 seconds to load. Much less take the time to really consider our lives. I like the quote, “God comes disguised as your life,” (Paula D’Arcy?) but we miss it because we’re busying impatiently waiting for that $5 Starbucks. Hugs to you!

    Happy New Year to you both and your lovely spouses. 🙂

  4. Thank you very much, T. That wasn’t always the goal, but there was a tipping point when I chose to use it to become better versus let it embitter me. It certainly gives one a sense of purpose and power that I didn’t think was possible before. 🙂

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