August 25, 2019

Change Without Judgment — Wanting What We Want (Part 3)

[If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2 yet, go back and do it. They’re short, and you’ll be glad you did.]

Most of us are afraid to want what we want. What’s that about?

Maybe we’ve had a history of too many disappointments. Or maybe we’re holding onto some leftover childhood lectures and lessons:  don’t be selfish, who do you think you are, you’re not better than the rest of us, and so on.

If we hold an internal belief that says we can’t really have what we really want, then we aren’t going to have it. We’ll self-sabotage to make sure we don’t. The judgmental bully inside of us wins every time, until we learn to face it down and quit handing over our lunch money.

That’s not easy. It feels like we’re in for it if we do that. Our internal judges are powerful; they invoke strong emotions – fears of punishment for breaking the rules that stop us in our tracks. Really; we’re grown adults, and we feel that way.

How about we don’t? We can start by being aware. If you’ve got that “I can’t have what I want” thing going on inside of you, you might want to take 10 minutes to do a little exercise:  ask yourself if you feel that way, and then write about where that belief came from. It’s good to shed light on our internal ghosts – it makes them disappear.

Psychologists call that internal judgmental voice our Superego. It’s the voice inside (and sometimes outside, too) that tells us to get back in line, quit whining and wait our turn (which never comes). It’s good to quit whining, no doubt, but if we want to make big changes we need to break some rules, step out of line and take our turn instead of waiting for it.

We do that by making ourselves and what we want more important than the tattletale “I’m telling Mom, and you’re going to get it!” voice that says we can’t.

You might try on a new thought instead:  What if what you want is a unique expression of who you are, at your deepest core? What if getting what you want is a realization of your essence as a human being? I know that sounds high-fallutin’, especially if you’re used to being dominated by your Superego, but just give it try.

If nothing else, it’ll make you feel better, and that counts for a lot.

To be continued…

Five years ago, Kevin Rhodes left a successful 20+ years career in private practice to pursue a creative dream. He recently gave himself the title “Change Guru” to describe his work helping individuals and organizations to make transformative changes. He leads lead workshops on that topic for a variety of audiences, including the CBA’s Job Search and Career Transitions Support Group. To learn more, see
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