Always want what you can't have? Follow these 3 Steps:


I got inspired by a college friend's Facebook post this week: "Why do we always want the things we can't have?" I thought about it, and reminded myself that I always used to feel this way... I wanted a Bottega bag, a stronger connection with my partner, straight A's, a promotion, luxurious tropical vacations, etc... it felt like these things were so far out of my reach and I had accepted that they would never happen. 

But the truth is, I don't feel that way anymore. Sure, I have wants and dreams for myself (and one day I will buy myself that Bottega bag because they are just so damn beautiful)! But I don't think about it as "wanting what I can't have;" instead, the dialog in my mind has changed to:

What I truly want to accomplish in this life will happen. Maybe not immediately, or all at once, but it will happen if I’m focused on it and align my life with those goals.”

I won't lie; this is not one of those lousy affirmations I repeated everyday for 3 years and I finally started believing it. So how does it work?

The key to shifting the mindset is getting clear on what you actually want, while recognizing what you are truly grateful for today.

I know, it's not so simple to define your deepest desires, priorities and values, but in order to feel a sense of satisfaction and meaning in your life, you gotta put in the work. And it may be a different type of work than you're used to doing. I promise though, it gets easier with practice and what's pretty cool is that gratitude will be a side effect of the work. 

It took me years of trial and error to figure out what I wanted... but, it didn't have to be that way. I wasn't open to being vulnerable - I didn't like to admit when I didn't know something, especially when it came to my own identity. As a result, I didn't have the right type of support or a process to follow in order to make it easier and faster.

That's one of the main reasons I'm now a career and lifestyle coach... I want you to feel supported through this process and for it to be easier for you. I've summarized my experience into 3 steps that will get you clarity on what you truly want in your life:

  1. Go out and do something new
    • Do something outside your comfort zone. As little or as big as it may seem. The purpose of doing this is to a) drive trust in yourself, that you can do anything you put your mind to and b) gain awareness that fear is just a feeling. It exists to protect you from real danger (i.e. lions and tigers and bears, oh my!), but in the modern world, where we thankfully aren't frequently (if at all) in actual life threatening situations, fear becomes an emotion applied to situations that FEEL scary relative to your life experiences thus far. Once you do it, it's no longer nearly as scary.
  2. Go have some fun!
    • Remember as kids how we'd play? We'd run around and explore the outdoors, we'd day dream, and just be silly. Who made the rule that adults can't have that kind of fun? No one. Go do something silly. Trampoline jumping? Play rope with your dog. Post funny faces on Instagram. Maybe take a yoga class and set your intention to "have fun falling out of your balancing poses without judgement." The purpose of this fun is a) to remind ourselves what silly, authentic, non-substance-induced fun feels like (I know, it sounds sad, but it's true that we're deprived of it) and b) once we're reminded how great it feels, we are inclined to want more of it (i.e. we start to notice what to add to our lives and what to crowd out)
  3. Build self-awareness through reflective journaling
    • Having fun and stepping outside your comfort zones are both fab, but without reflecting on your experiences and the emotions you felt, it will be more difficult to uncover what you truly want. Journaling is a form of focus and accountability that allows you to view your life through a new lens; try it as a 10-15 mins daily practice for 3-weeks  before you go to work in the morning, after you exercise or before you go to sleep (ideally moments where you feel relaxed):
      • What did it feel like to have fun w/o alcohol? What came up for you when you stepped outside your comfort zone? What feelings or emotions did you have that felt SO great? What could you do without? Did you enjoy the people you were with? Etc...
      • What are your likes/dislikes on a daily basis? How much of your life is being run by someone else's expectation of you vs. what you truly want? What was something you enjoyed today? What do you strongly dislike doing that is part of your day? Can you reframe your mindset about it? OR do you need to make a change?

Hope this is helpful. If you're overwhelmed figuring out all of this on your own, apply for my 1-day Chicago women's retreatwhere we'll work together to get you the answers you want!

Liz Traines2 Comments