Do you ever wish you had MORE? More time? More energy? More love in your life? More meaning?
At times each of us has caught ourselves longing for more. Perhaps we wish we could connect more deeply with our lover. Perhaps we long for greater spiritual fulfillment. Maybe we simply wish we could find time to relax and take better care of ourselves.
Humans (and particularly women) often feel it’s selfish to go after what we want. After all, sharing is one of the first concepts we’re taught in nursery school, right? You need to share your toys, take your turn. If you want more, too bad–you’re only allowed the amount you’re entitled.
Eventually we learn to live with less. We learn it’s not okay to want more. We should be satisfied and grateful for what we have, right? We should learn to make do.
Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s okay to go after what you want. It’s okay to want MORE, to go out there and pursue what you want. It’s okay to be seen, heard, and touched. It’s okay to share your opinion, to demand the respect you yearn for. It’s okay to reach for the love your heart yearns to feel.
In fact, it’s MORE than okay!
When you go on an airplane, what’s the first instruction they tell you? You should put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else with theirs. I love that. It’s such a great metaphor.
Think of our hearts as a sponge. We go around filling up everyone else’s bucket, but we end up wringing out everything inside our own love sponge. We must soak up love, meaning and what we need before we’re able to fill up someone else’s needs.
Giving to everyone else without caring for ourselves leaves us feeling depleted. It leaves us with low energy. Eventually it leads us to feeling resentful and allowing ourselves to fall into perceived victimhood.
The cycle of being a “victim” or a martyr becomes addicting. We seek out opportunities to reinforce these negative beliefs and patterns. When someone falls into the pattern we look back and say, we expected it to happen. It’s just the way it is, or that’s what we deserve. We live in a self-fulfilling prophesy and continue the pattern because it’s what we’ve become accustomed to.
These patterns might be deeply ingrained—so deep we may not even realize we’re falling into them. You see, early on in our familial relationships we are taught to be selfless and to sacrifice. Maybe we were told we’re too emotional, too needy, or too much. Even if your childhood was mostly happy, no one was always seen accurately, in the here and now with positive regard, consistently and unconditionally (a universal yearning).
As we listen to these messages—which most of us receive in our childhood—we start to believe them to be truths. We start to build up limiting beliefs about ourselves. These beliefs hold us back, stop us from going after what we want, and tell us we aren’t capable, strong enough or deserved.
As adults, we may seek out relationships and situations that reinforce and confirm these negative biases and perceptions about ourselves and our abilities. We may repeatedly put ourselves in situations and patterns over and over.
We should be selfless. We should be mothers to all (including our own children) and if we find motherhood difficult, stifling or stressful there must be something wrong or abnormal about us.
Well, it’s time to break out of our victimhood and let go of that brand of stinking thinking!
Nurturing is a feminine quality, but it’s certainly not limited to or required only in females. Many men are highly nurturing and many women may feel they aren’t satisfied in that way. Women aren’t biologically required to automatically be nurturing, selfless caretakers!
As women, it’s okay to want more. It’s okay to yearn for fulfilment, satisfaction, meaning and purpose. It’s okay to yearn to be seen, to be heard, to be loved and cared for. It’s okay to yearn for respect, authority and a greater spiritual and intellectual connection.
As women (and men) it’s okay to go after what you want.
Because so many of us are trained to mute our yearnings and ignore our needs and desires, we may find a hard time even pinpointing what we want, let alone knowing how to go out there and get it.
At the Wright Foundation, we talk about our deepest wants as yearnings. These yearnings are focused in many different areas, but they’re often universally felt. They go deeper than wanting more money, great outfits or a fancy car.
To get our yearnings met, we need to stop being afraid and ask! We need to speak up and request our spouse notices us, compliments us and tells us how much they love us. We need to engage in our meetings at work if we want to be seen and heard. We need to speak up in our social circles and connect with others who are growth-focused and engaging.
Practicing self-care and nourishment is also part of the process. We should value ourselves enough to find ways to care for ourselves through exercise, healthy eating, and practices to reduce stress and provide greater fulfillment (such as yoga and meditation). We need to spend time focusing on our growth and learning. We need time for creative expression. We need to take time to look, feel and project our best.
Living a life of more is possible! To go after what you want, you need to do more than simply hope to achieve your goals. You need to reach out and actively engage in a life of more activity, greater connections and more play! As we have fun, feel connected and start to enjoy ourselves, we break out of the patterns of negativity and stinking thinking. We start feeling energized and eager. We “turn on the lights” and feel more alive.
So, as you seek greater fulfillment, identify what it is your heart is yearning for and then go out there and GET IT. View the world as a great playground for growth, engagement and opportunity. It’s a chance to receive and find more!
For more on how to connect with others, learn and grow in your yearnings, and go after what you want, please visit the Wright Foundation. Join us for an upcoming course or weekend retreat where you will meet new people and work toward a life of greater purpose and fulfillment!
Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach.
She is a co-founder of The Wright Foundation and the Wright Graduate University.
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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.