What Do You Want?
By Karen Carnahan & Marsia Gunter
Do you find yourself constantly pre-occupied with avoiding disaster? Many of us define our direction in our life by avoiding what we don’t want. “I don’t want to be in the same place this time next year.” “I don’t want my sales and earnings to drop.” “I don’t want to have a boring job where I’m not engaged.”
What if we told you that talking about what you don’t want doesn’t get you any closer to the future that you want?
Why Talking About What You Don’t Want Makes it Worse
We’ve noticed in our line of work that people who talk about what they don’t want tend to talk about it a lot. It’s a tremendous amount of energy to constantly vocalize the things that you are trying to avoid. Unfortunately, this does three things— very effectively.
- It puts you in constant state of worry.
- It makes you visualize the exact things you’re trying to avoid, constantly.
- It rehearses and prepares your mind for failure.
Unfortunately, visualizing the outcome you don’t want will only make it more likely to happen. You’ve practiced the dreaded outcome in your head, over and over again. Talking about what you don’t want is literally rehearsing how you can fail.
Talk About What You Want
What is it that you want? Well, if you’re not sure, sometimes a great place to start is to start with what you’re familiar with—what you don’t want. Start there, and state the opposite.
For example, what you don’t want: “I don’t want our business to be broke.”
The opposite would be, “I want to bring in more money for our company.”
In this simple example, something amazing happens. In the old way, avoiding what you don’t want, all you can think about is the horrible outcome. The new way, talking about what you do want, creates questions that can get you to where you need to go.
What you think and what you say out loud creates your future.
Questions Create Pathways to Get There
“I want our business to make more money.” How would you make more money? “We need more customers.” How can you find a way to bring in more customers?
By announcing what you do want and asking yourself followup questions, now you can start planning actions and actively participating in the future you desire.
You can always redirect yourself. By talking out loud, you can redirect your intention from where you are to where you want to be. Keep talking about the things that you want, and practicing the actions to support them. The future of what you want is present through the action you take today.
Are you interested in getting more clear about what you want for yourself, your company or your organization? Explore the future you want to create through ongoing coaching to develop business growth strategies, professional leadership development and business ownership, and transitioning your business for the next generation. We believe in the future you envision, and stand with you to help achieve it.