I’m not a great believer in ‘you can do anything you put your mind to’ as a way of getting what you want in life. That heavily overused phrase doesn’t take account of human psychology and motivation. It makes it sound like all you need to do is sit down and think really hard about what you want and it will just happen.
The reality for most of us is that we are blocked by all kinds of emotional baggage, whether that’s a bad experience at work or with a client, lack of confidence, family or relationship issues or simply being scared.
The only reason we don’t have what we want in life is the reasons we create why we can’t have them. ~Tony Robbins
But to a certain extent, knowing what you’d love to be or do and being committed to making it happen is a good thing. If anyone has asked you want you really want, I’ll bet you’ve found that difficult to articulate succinctly. For example, you might say, ‘I want to be wealthy enough not to worry about money’. There are all sorts of ways that you could make that happen, some of which you’ll love and others which won’t be in line with your values at all!
1. Be ultra focussed on your goals
Think of this as a series of steps on a ladder. So, if you really do want to be wealthy for whatever reason, then break this big hairy goal up into manageable chunks. Each time you meet one of those specific objectives, you also get a chance to pause and revaluate your end goal. A set of specific goals is much easier to achieve than a vague end goal like becoming wealthy. Each time you take a step up the ladder, you get a little closer to meeting your goal, but you have a better chance of staying motivated.
You might find that half way there, you find yourself thinking that the goal you had in mind isn’t actually what you want. And that’s fine. The point about taking small steps is that you gain experience and learn as you go. Making time for reflection is critical and you need to allow yourself plenty of time to think about your motivations and what feels right for you, rather than trying to meet the goals of other people.
2. Erm…ask for it
One phrase that I do agree with is ‘ask and you’ll receive’. You can’t expect others to read your mind, so why not be clear about your motivations and just ask. Back to the wealth thing. If you want to earn more, or try for a promotion – what’s the worst that can happen if you ask? Even being turned down opens up another road of possibilities.
3. Ask for it again
I know. You summed up all your confidence to ask for something you really want and you got turned down. Well, keep asking. Persistence does pay off. Think of all those stories of entrepreneurs who get turned down for funding time and time again only to go on to be super rich and famous. Try a new approach. It could simply be a matter of ‘how’ you asked, and if you try asking a different way or offering something in return, it might just work.
4. Make it so they can’t say no
This comes down to confidence, but it will come with practice. Make yourself irreplaceable. This is especially true for freelancers and independents everywhere, where the lifeblood of our business is encouraging clients to come back. Deliver the goods, be an expert in your field with a great reputation, and it will make the conversation much easier. People will trust you and are more likely to give you want you want.
5. Be prepared when you get what you want
Remember, that getting what you really want is not always going to be the end of it. You may find that it’s not everything it’s cracked up to be.
But be gracious and thankful for any help or confidence others have had in you and make sure that you repay the compliment.
6. How will you know if you’ve got what you want?
My best advice is to start by tuning into how you feel when you think about yourself having met that goal of yours. Is it a warm and fuzzy feeling, or do you feel a little disconnected from it. And if you are a visual type, then think about it in terms of how you see yourself. If you are struggling to see a picture that makes you smile with delight then ask yourself if it is really what you want.
Deborah Henry-Pollard, one of our favourite coaches here at KindredHQ and someone who helps creative people find their vision, did this wonderful talk ‘A vision and why you need one’ which will leave you full of practical ideas and inspiration.