Ep #4: What Do You Really Want?

When is the last time you checked in with yourself about what you really want? Many women in midlife realize that habits, obligations, and thought patterns have piled up over the years that are no longer the right fit (if they ever were!). This is why so many of us get the urge to leave jobs we no longer like, stop spending time with people who drain us, or shake up our routines in midlife.

But if we want to actually make these changes, we first have to bring awareness to our everyday lives and notice what we’re still doing that we no longer want to do. We have to get clear on what lights us up – what makes us feel passionate and excited – and what makes us feel dragged down and heavy. And I’ve got some tools to help you do this!

In today’s episode, we’re talking about another foundational question in my coaching process: What do you really want? When seeking answers to this question, the goal is to drop the “shoulds” and “oughts” about yourself and get to who you really are and what you truly love to do. To help you figure this out, I’m sharing my Tolerations Checklist – a tool for figuring out what you’re doing every day that lights you up versus what you’re doing out of habit or obligation. Once you’re clear on what you’re tolerating, you’ll be able to clear these things away and make more room for what you want.

To celebrate the launch of the show, I am giving away $100 Amazon gift cards to 5 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts (or iTunes)! Click here to learn how you can enter.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why you need to remove “should” and “ought” from your vocabulary when trying to figure out who you are and what you want.
  • How to bring self-awareness to your everyday life so you can figure out how you like to spend your time and what you’d rather leave in the past.
  • Why it’s not selfish to stop doing things you don’t love doing.
  • What the Tolerations Checklist is and how to use it to get clear on what you want.
  • The importance of bringing passion into all areas of your life.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” And I’m going to modify that Neale Donald Walsch quote to, “Your best life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Welcome to Midlife Woman Redefined, a podcast for women near retirement who are ready to step into a new chapter of freedom, travel, and fulfillment. If you’re ready to focus on figuring out who you are and what you really want, this is the place for you. Here’s your host, master certified life coach, travel addict, and midlife maven, Rene Washington.

Hello, hello, hello, I’m C. Rene Washington and this is episode four of the Midlife Woman Redefined. Now, for the past few episodes, I’ve been walking you through the steps that it takes to get the life you want. And if you’ve been following, you know that my basic framework for that is three questions that you answer; who am I? What do I want?  And how do I get it?

And in episode two, I walked you through the, “Who am I,” because until you know who you truly are, not who you think you should be, not who other people are telling you you should be, you really are not going to connect well to your, “What do I want?” And then in episode three, I took you through the body compass process so that you can start to be more open and aware to your, “Who am I?” from that perspective of what’s lighting you up, what’s dragging you, how to make decisions based on what you truly want.

And so we’re really going to delve into that, “What do I want?” today. So if you did not hear episodes two and three, and even episode one, then you can go back and do that by going to crenecoach.com/2 for episode two, or crenecoach.com/3 for episode three. So you do want to do that. You could go back and do that after you’ve listened to this because it’s going to really help you click into how you flow into this “What do I want? How do I get it?” that it is an intuitive process.

There’s a lot of information coming at us from everywhere, from inside, outside, all the way around and knowing how to walk yourself through those process of connecting to, you know, “Who am I really?”

And I asked you to tell your story, tell yourself your story, write your story down and then try to connect to, who am I without role or title? Drop the lies and that’s when we get into that should, “I should be this, I should be that, I shouldn’t do this, I shouldn’t be that. So, the should and the oughts, you want to drop those. Those are the lies that you’re telling yourself about yourself.

And I gave the example of maybe you’re a mom and you love your children dearly, but that’s not how you want to mainly be identified. That’s okay. or maybe you took piano lessons from childhood all the way into your young adulthood but you actually hate playing the piano, and yet you identify as a piano player. That’s not who you really are.

So we’re doing the work here and over many, many episodes of this podcast, we will continue to revisit this because this can be deep work for you to drill down to dropping the pretense, dropping the façade, dropping the fakery, dropping the lies to get to your, “Who am I?” and owning it. And the body compass, again, is a great and wonderful tale for you to get to your truth of who you are.

And today, in episode four, the next piece of the framework is, now that I know who I am, what do I want? And this is where you get to Sherlock your shit. You know I’m all about letting your shit go, and we’re moving into that process of letting your shit go. And so this is about you paying attention, staying open, staying aware as you move through your day, paying attention to yourself; Sherlocking your shit, as I like to call it.

Instead of just being in automatic, on rote, this is what I’ve got to do so I’m doing it, how is it impacting you? How is it making you feel to get up in the morning, go to that job, or get up in the morning? Maybe you’re not going anywhere. Maybe you’re just staying at home. Maybe you’re turning on the TV. Whatever is going on throughout your day, start paying attention to how it’s resonating with you.

Document how you feel about certain situations. Document how you feel about certain people. Document how you are feeling about the experiences of your day. So if you are still going to a job, are you dragging yourself there?  When you get there, does the work itself light you up or are you having to force yourself to stay focused, to pay attention? Are you making yourself stay engaged? Do you like the people that you work with? Do you like the location of your job?

Because as you start paying attention to this and documenting it, you will start to see a pattern. You’ll be gathering information about yourself. And so it’s very important that if you truly want to get to the life that you want to be living – because I’m assuming that you’re listening to this podcast because there’s some change that you want to make in your life – then you have to start getting self-aware.

Self-awareness, focusing on yourself, paying attention to yourself, again, this is not selfishness. This is about learning to become self-full; full of what truly engages you, what truly lights you up because that’s when you expand your bandwidth of giving. That’s when you expand your bandwidth of contribution. Because it takes a lot of energy to do things that you don’t want to do.

I remember coaching a woman. Actually, this was part of a group workshop that I did. And I took them through this exercise. I asked them to write down all of the things that you have to do over the coming week. Just make a list of all the things that you have to do over the coming week.

And then I had them say out loud, I have to go do this, I have to get my hair done, I have to take my child to soccer practice, whatever it was, I have to volunteer for this group, whatever was on their list. And then I had them go back through that same list and I had them keep the same things on the list, but change it to, “I choose to do.”

I choose to take my grandchild to soccer practice. I choose to go volunteer at the community center. I choose to go to this job, whatever it was, because there’s a difference between I have to and I choose to that you should feel in your gut.

Are you doing things that you are choosing to do, or things that you feel obligated to do? And yes, there are some things that we will do out of obligation, but even the obligation should be a choice based on what we want, not out of misplaced guilt, not out of, “Well I’ve been doing it for so long, who else will they get to do it?”

No, let that shit go. Let somebody else be blessed with that opportunity. This is the assessing process. This is the separating out process. You’re separating out your shoulds and your oughts. You know, I referenced the book for you, the Crossroads of Should and Must. And you’re separating out your shoulds and your oughts from, “This is what I must do.” Because this is what lights me up. This is what I feel passionate about.

Now, let me pause here for a moment to talk a little bit about passion, because some of you may feel like, “Well, passion is for some people but not for me.” I was one of those women who thought that. And let me say that I actually never really thought that deeply about it. It wasn’t something that I was really experiencing in my life and I thought my life was pretty good.

And I didn’t realize what I was missing until I actually experienced passion. And that came in the form of a relationship; a relationship with a man. But I’m not even only talking about that kind of passion because when I clicked into that, “Oh wow, this is what passion feels like,” then I realized how that extrapolates to all areas of your life.

And so once you get that feeling of passion, you want to feel it not just in some romantic relationship, but in just your way of living, that the energy you’re expending on a day to day basis is going toward things, people, that you feel deeply about.

And again, no you’re not in a state of passion 24/7. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying that I believe in the 80/20 rule and I modify a bit. 80% of the time, I should be living the way I want to live, doing the things that I want to do. Then 20% of the time, that’s when things come in that maybe I don’t necessarily get all excited about, but I am glad to do them for a specific reason.

So, if you have never felt passionate about anything in a good way – and even being angry about something is a way to know that yes, you can experience passion, because there are some things that we need to be angry about, especially right about now. I won’t go off on that tangent, but the world is a little cray-cray right now. But I’m talking about this passion for living the life you want to be living.

Last week, I drove to another city with a good friend to meet another good friend because the three of us are going to create this digital product together. We are so hyped about that. I came back and then I did a TV appearance on a local show to promote this podcast; so hyped about that. Freaked out, and also hyped about it.

And I’m sharing that with you to say that my days now are filled with things that I am truly lit up to do; recording this podcast, doing this podcast. I am so in love with my life. Hanging out with my husband, riding around town, taking a short road trip, whatever it is, I love the things that are going on in my life. And all of these things are not easy.

Some of you out there may connect to this. I hate learning curves.  I hate learning curves, so creating this podcast is a learning curve for me, a very enjoyable one, but I’m new.  I don’t mind admitting that. I’m new to this. So it’s fun, but there’s a learning curve.

I had to record episode three, I know, at least 15 times. So I’m in a learning curve. But it’s fun. This is not dragging me. I’m excited to do this. I’m excited about the possibilities that are happening in my life. And so this is how you connect to your, “What do I want?” because what happens is, so often, we can look out and see somebody doing something and we think, “Oh, well I need to do that. I want that position. I want that job. I want that promotion. I want that house. I want that car because that’s going to make me happy.”

Maybe it will or it won’t. But what probably is happening is that you’re connecting to the emotion that you see the person experiencing that has whatever that thing is. So, if you see somebody all excited about their new BMW and you’re like, “Oh gosh, I wish I could get a BMW, that would make me happy,” Maybe, maybe not.

What you’re probably connecting to is that this person got something they wanted and they’re excited about it and you want to feel that kind of excitement about something in your life. So it’s really the excitement that you’re attracted to, not necessarily the car, not necessarily the position.

I would see this all the time when I was a HR manager in corporate. People would come to me and tell me, “I want a promotion. I want to get into management.”  And I would say, “Why?” “Well, because I deserve it.  I’ve paid my dues.”  That’s not why you get into management.

Management is about managing people and that is work. And if you don’t love it, you do not need to be doing it. And I would see so many people in management that hated it. They hated management because they hated managing people. But they wanted the acknowledgment that I’ve been working hard at this company, I’ve been a good individual contributor and I deserve a promotion and thee promotion that’s available is becoming a manager.

This is not how you make good decisions for your, “What I want.” You make good decisions for your, “What I want,” by going in, not out, going in and paying attention to what you’re connected to. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, there’s something there for you to explore.

And I’ve got you on this because I’ve got a great tool that’s going to help you get a good jumpstart on Sherlocking your shit. It’s going to help you clear out what you don’t want and that’s going to open up space for you to notice and attract what you do want.

It’s called a toleration checklist. And a toleration is something that you put up with that you don’t actually like or want. Side note, I just told you that a toleration is something that you put up with that you don’t actually like or want. And this is why I hate the word toleration in connection to ending racism or all the isms.

I find that so offensive as a black woman that I should be tolerated. Don’t tolerate me. You not all in with me, bye, see you, okay. Are we clear? But back to the work.

So your assignment, if you should choose to accept it, is to get a notebook or you can use the worksheet that you can find in the show notes or at crenecoach.com/4, that’s where you’ll find the tolerations checklist. And it’s broken down into categories to help you start zapping what you’re tolerating in your life, so that you can start clearing out crap and opening up space for what you do want.

So, some of the things on the list, self-talk, how do you talk to yourself? A lot of us have a negative tape, a negative loop running through our heads at all times. How are you taking care of yourself? Are you getting the rest that you need? Are you moving your body in the way that you need? These are all tolerations.

From other people, is there a friend that is snarky, who’s always throwing shade your way and you put up with it? That’s a toleration. Is there a conversation that you need to have with somebody that you haven’t had? That’s a toleration. Or from your job, the environment that you work in, the people you work with, the culture of the company, the person you work directly for, all of these can be tolerations that you have not been addressing.

I’m working with a group of women and I asked them to tell me something that they had committed to, thought was a good thing and now they know it no longer is. They’ve changed their mind about it, but they haven’t done anything about it.

This is also a toleration, that thing about we committed to it, we signed up for it so we have to stick with it. No, let that shit go. If it’s no longer serving you, let it go. So start working through your tolerations. You can start out slow, zap one toleration a week. Once you get the hang of it, you will not be able to un-see tolerations, I promise you.

And if you’re committed to this, if you stick to this because this is a commitment that is in your service, that is in your interest, then you will see a difference in your life. You’ll be surprised at how much lighter and freer you feel when you’re not talking to Jane or Joelle or whatever her name is anymore because you didn’t realize what a weight that was to be in a relationship with her. You let that snark go.

I’m telling you, this stuff works. So getting to who you really are gets you to what you really want. These are the foundation episodes that I’m taking you through, that you can always refer back to when you feel yourself getting off track or if you need a refresher, you can come back to these episodes because this is how you create the life you want.

For me, what do I want? I want to wake up every morning and decide that I get to do whatever I choose to do. That’s freedom for me. That is my guiding light, what keeps me free. And I may change. Today it may be this, tomorrow it may be that. I own the prerogative to change my mind and to walk in flow, in freedom, and flexibility. And that’s what I want for you.

So, this is how you get to what you want. And if this episode has provided you with any piece of light in your life, then please, take a few minutes to rate and write a short review about the Midlife Woman Redefined podcast because, as I’ve been telling you, this is what helps the show get discovered and allows me to continue showing up, helping you and many more women.

So, to rate and review, iPhone users go to the Apple Podcast app. And if you’re an Android phone user, you’ll go to your iTunes app on your desktop computer. Remember, if this is confusing to you, you don’t know how to do it, never done it before, it’s okay. I know that there’s somebody around you who does know how to do it. Enlist their help. It’s really important that you do this.

And don’t forget to subscribe. Hit that subscribe button so that you never miss an episode. And don’t forget that I’m providing a little inventive for you to help me kick off this podcast, and I’m giving away five $100 Amazon giftcards.

So rate and review to get in the drawing, and to get the directions for rating, reviewing, and entering the drawing, go to crenecoach.com/podcastlaunch, that’s the way you do it. The link is provided in the show notes.

Remember, we are here to live our best lives. And living well is the only option.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Midlife Woman Redefined. If you’re ready to learn more and reclaim your time, head over to crenecoach.com.

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