What you’ll learn in this episode:
Have you ever felt ashamed for wanting more?
Society has been telling us for so long that having that desire in your business and your life is a negative thing, that we should suppress our thoughts about wanting more for ourselves, and that we should just be “grateful” for what we have right now.
I’m here to tell you that they’re wrong.
Today, I’ll be giving you three things that you can implement in your life and your business so that you can give yourself permission to have desires and wants without all the guilt.
Here’s a glance at this episode:
- You don’t have to stop wanting things if they conflict with your values. Be innovative and creative.
- Desires getting out of control is a by-product of suppressing them.
- Without desires and wants, life is just “fine”.
- Your body, heart, and mind know how to get to your desires and dreams. Let them guide you there.
Mentioned in this episode:
Work/Connect with me:
[00:57] Jessica: Well, hello, everyone, and welcome back to the practical mindset podcast. I’m Jess Miller and I’m so happy to have you joining me this week to talk about one of the most interesting topics that I think I’ve discussed on the podcast, and that is the topic of desire and the idea of wanting more.
[01:17] If you are a business owner who is listening to this podcast or, frankly, if you are a human listening to this podcast, you have probably experienced many conflicted feelings about wanting more and having desires. For so long, and so often, we have been conditioned to not want more, to think that wanting more is bad, and that we need to suppress our desire for more, to be happy with what we have, or the status quo to be “grateful” for where we’re at and what exists now, and not want more. There is so much fear and shame, and confusion, around wanting and desiring more that we often think that not wanting more and convincing ourselves that what we have is just “fine” (my least favorite four-letter F word), is actually easier than going into, and embracing, desire and living full-out in the glory of our desire, and wanting more or, heaven forbid, wanting it all – that it is really better or safer, or less dangerous, to not want than to give into the feeling and the power of desiring things. I want to offer that if you’re someone who feels like your ambition is in purgatory and the things have gotten so boring and passionless, it is precisely because you have spent so much time repressing your desire and your feelings of wanting more that you’ve come to this numb place where you’ve “played it safe” to the point that now your safe life is becoming a liability to not only your business but your overall happiness.
[02:55] If you want to create a business that lights you up and makes you want to jump out of bed every day so you can go out into the world and play big, and make an impact on the world and others, you need to cultivate desire and want more. In this episode, we’re going to explore three things as it relates to desire. Number one, we’re going to explore that desire is not dangerous, scandalous, all the things that we think it is, that there’s this negative thing attached to. Two, that desire is the fuel behind your wildly successful business and a life that’s exciting and worth living, in my opinion, and three, that you need to learn how to dance with desire in a way that allows you to leverage it and utilize it to propel you forward into creativity and innovation in the way that dreams and excitement are made of, while not losing your values and sense of being grounded in the process.
[03:553] I want to start off by saying that, societally, desire has been given a bad rap. If you think about desire, especially in the English language, all sorts of images likely come to your mind – scandal and affairs, and greed, and things that are outside of your values and your control. It is associated, often, with danger, and thus we spend a lot of time resisting wanting more and desiring things and telling ourselves that we don’t need it and we don’t deserve it. This habit of telling ourselves that it’s bad is what actually keeps us playing small and, in my opinion, squashes our joy and potential. In the last 18 months, in the height of the pandemic and what we’ve been, collectively, going through, we have had to resist our desire and wanting more than ever. We have been told, quite literally, and sometimes understandably, that it is dangerous to do things like go out and travel, and go after the things that our hearts desired, for the past year and a half. I know, for me, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about wanting to do something and then told myself that I can’t do it. But, of course, this didn’t just start for me now. If I think about it, for me, this idea of not wanting more came up for the first time when I was probably in middle school, maybe a little bit later. I was having a conversation with my dad. I remember it vividly, it was one weekend during the afternoon when we were sitting in what was my childhood home, and we were chatting about the topic of owning escalades. I don’t know why we were talking about this, but somehow, we just started talking about it, and I was talking to him about the idea that I didn’t understand why escalades even existed, that I didn’t understand why “they even let people drive big cars like that”, that we should just get rid of them altogether, that they were gas guzzlers, or they were bad for you. Now, neither of us owned an Escalade, and we’re both environmentally conscious, so I thought my dad was going to say “yeah, that makes no sense. I agree people shouldn’t drive escalades”, and that he would agree with me, and we would move on, and it would just be this thing that we have this mutual feeling about. Instead, he said to me, “actually, I think that if people want escalades, they should instead of figure out how they can have what they want and make it so that it’s fuel efficient and environmentally friendly, instead of not having one at all.” I was stunned. I remember thinking, “Oh, my gosh. Yes. This. This is it.”
[06:45] Here I was, thinking that we shouldn’t have what we wanted and that we shouldn’t even want it and, instead, the answer was to actually keep wanting it and figure out how to create and innovate to get what you want without compromising your values or your desires – That you could actually have both. I believe we often fear that if we go too far into desire that we will lose our values or become out-of-control – that it will become the things we hear about in the headlines on the news about scandals and greed, and this idea that we were hijacked by desire that overcame us and was out of our control. I actually think that their reason we see people out of control when it comes to desire is not because we go too far into it. I think the out-of-control part is the byproduct of suppressing and constricting desire, and not from having too much of it.
[07:46] Imagine, for a second, if you let yourself – if you had the audacity to believe and to dream about having anything you desired, and imagine, if you did that, it held your values close and let your brain just go for it. How does that feel? It’s a little scary and unsettling, isn’t it? It’s like our brain, it doesn’t know how to do that. It’s forgotten what it’s like to have permission to want more, to desire things, to dream, but behind all the fear of being out of control, is all the fuel and wisdom to actually make it happen in the way you want it to, by you, and for you, and not as something outside of you and outside of your control. When you actually let yourself go into desiring things, and you do it for long enough, you actually shift into another state of being, which is the state of imagination and creativity, and it’s from a that place that you actually start to come up with the ways to make that desire a reality and, dare I say, it actually feels kind of awesome, right?
[09:01] I have done this exercise with clients in various ways – ideal days, visioning exercise, etc, and you can literally watch their whole body, their affect, all of it, change before your eyes. It’s so fascinating. Did that happen for you as you went through this exercise? Did you feel something sort of open up?
[09:25] This brings me to point number 2, and that’s that all of the freedom and excitement, and momentum, that comes from desiring something is the stuff that dreams are made of. It’s the stuff that pushes us forward into possibility. It’s the thing that gets us out of our chair and into action. It’s likely the reason you started a business in the first place, and, without it, life is just “fine” and vanilla, and, frankly, passionless, because, without desire, we have no incentive to do anything differently or to grow into something bigger and better. What is a world or a life without anything different? It’s stagnant and it’s not that much fun at all.
[10:13] I want to share with you that, recently, this came up for me. I’ve shared before, on the podcast, that I have a dream of going to Italy with my family for a summer, or a longer period of time. I don’t know exactly when, and I really have no idea how we would make it happen specifically, but I knew that I wanted it to happen sometime in the relatively short future. When I first started thinking about it, it seemed like a crazy pipe dream. My brain did exactly what we were saying before – it was kind of like, “what are you talking about?” It felt really odd, but it was swirling around inside of my head, and then Covid hit and, even though I had been thinking about it, especially in the beginning of the pandemic, with everything going on, I started to tell myself to forget it and to stop thinking about it. But it kept coming up, and whenever I thought about it and started dreaming about it, it would be like I would feel that energy and excitement coming up, but then I would tell myself, “It’s not going to happen” and to forget it, and I cycled through this so many times. It was not just Italy. I would see it when I wanted to go out to dinner or to see my family or do numerous other things during the pandemic. This “I can’t do it and I shouldn’t want it” or “it’s easier to not think about it or want it” would be bleeding into every part of my life, my business, my personal life, everything, until, one day, I decided I’m just going to give myself permission to want this and to play with this idea. I’m just going to let myself want to go. I’m going to let myself have this excitement and energy, and I’m going to just go with it – not that I was necessarily going to do anything about it; I was just going to let myself desire it, to want it more, and, from there, so much opened up for me. Not only do I now feel closer to realizing my dream of going to Italy than ever before, even though, I want to add, we are not traveling right now, I am not going anyplace, but I, now, have my kids taking conversational Italian and I have found out more about how to travel in some of the most incredible, personalized, bespoke ways – talk about dreaming – that I could have ever imagined. My capacity for wanting the trip and making it happen even more amazing than ever, has increased, exponentially. So much of this has also spilled over into my business, about how I think about my different offers, the possibilities for me, the possibilities for my clients, my ability to help them dream, see bigger, want more.
[13:02] So, my question to all of you is where are you holding yourself back from desiring things, from wanting more? Where are things feeling just fine? Or where are you telling yourself you can’t do things, or do what you want, or you can’t want more, and how does that manifest out in your life and in your business? What’s the feeling that you have when you do that? Part of exploring this is being able to see how it’s showing up for you, specifically. For every person it’s a little different, but, often, it feels heavy and exhausting, and passionless. For me, it shows up as a feeling of being burnt out and irritable, and bored. What is it for you? The key is learning how to dance with this desire, it’s learning what it feels like, it’s learning what it’s like, it’s learning how it’s showing up, it’s learning to not be afraid of it. How do you dial it up and down, and embrace it, and let it move us in a way that feels amazing and not scandalous and scary, and dangerous, like we often think it is? If we cultivate this desire and wanting more in our lives and in our businesses, we start to build the muscle of learning or creating the very things we need to make it happen, and that’s where the growth and the transformation is. That is where all the good stuff is.
[14:33] So, today, I want you to go out and practice letting yourself want things. I want to be clear: you don’t have to act on any of it. This is not an exercise about going out and needing to do more. This is about letting yourself feel the desire and feel the wanting. In some cases, you will spring into action and actually go out and “do the thing that you’re desiring”. In other instances, the action that comes from the feelings of desire might be researching or dreaming and scheming more. I use this term “dreaming and scheming” all the time. I love it. It’s that action of going into that wanting and letting your brain just go with it. Other times, it’s just a sense of being energized and alive. It’s like that sense of opening up and expanding, like I talked about earlier. Whatever it is for you, I want you to feel it, I want you to embrace it, and I want you to learn what it feels like for you, in your body, when it happens.
[15:38] Now, I do not want you to skip over this part. We’re all about practicality on this podcast, and I know this may sound a little woo to some of you but stick with me here. This is not fluff. This is practical stuff. You have a body, and it has feelings, and humans are motivated by emotions and feelings. Welcome to the experience of being human. Now, it’s time to tune into that body so it can guide you. This is the good stuff. Your body will not lie to you or lead you astray. It’s a very accurate and sensitive compass, and when you are on the trail of something you desire or want that pops into your mind, your body will be attuned to it, and once you orient yourself to that feeling, you can feel your way toward the things that light you up, and your passions, by tuning in. Side note: your mind is a powerful instrument but make no mistake that your heart and your body will always know the way. We have all been there where we have tapped into that desire or wanting more. It sometimes feels like it makes you want to jump out of your seat. You can literally feel it in your body, and you can feel that expansion, and you can feel that opening up. That is what you want to be looking for and, as I said, it might feel foreign and it might feel weird at first, but just go with it, embrace it, dance with it, let it fill you, and see what comes next.
[17:12] So, to recap – desire is not the dangerous, scandalous thing that we think it is. It’s actually the fuel behind your wildly successful business and a life that’s exciting and worth living, and by learning how to dance with this desire in a way that allows you to leverage it and utilizing it to propel you forward into creativity and innovation, you can create success in your business beyond your wildest dreams, while not losing your values and your sense of being grounded in the process, but, instead, waking up every day in awe of how you get to be so lucky to live a life full of passion, purpose, and desire, to have more anytime you deserve it, and help others create and desire more, too.
[18:01] If you enjoyed this episode and want to dial up your impact and success in your business in a practical way, and are needing help on converting interested clients to paying customers, please go check out the Consults That Convert workbook at my website, jessicamillercoaching.com. You can just put in your information and download it right away, and take making consults, that we sometimes have a lot of resistance around, and we think we have to get people to do something or buy something, to something that you actually look forward to and, dare I say, is actually fun.
So, until next week. See you all then.