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How do you get clear on what you really want? Slow down.

Published on Jun 7, 2022

Woman walking along the beach taking time to slow down and get clear on what she really wants.

You know what I’ve been thinking lately? – That I’d like to be a snail sometimes.

I wouldn’t want to carry a big house around, but I would like to be slow as a snail from time to time.

When I trained as a psychotherapist, a teacher once compared me to a horse; I was the one in the race who always started before all the other ones. Being fast is very familiar to me; I always walked fast, talked fast, wanted to see results fast.

But things have changed since then.

Have you ever thought about an animal you would like to be?

When we were on holiday in Fuerteventura a few weeks ago, I convinced my family that we should go out for Paella on a Sunday afternoon, just like the Spanish families do.

Outside our hotel there was a wide beach with hard sand that you could easily walk on. I was moving my legs in that direction when my husband pointed in another direction and said, “let’s take this way, it’s faster.”

A few years back it would have stayed as a thought, and I would have swallowed the possible confrontation and the inner battle of expressing my own needs.

“Yes sure, let’s do that”, “I’m fine”, “Yes, it sounds like a good idea”… but what I actually wanted to say is:

“I don’t want to do that”,” I’m not fine”, “I prefer to…”

Does this sound familiar to you?

When we don’t get what we want we end up blaming our partners, friends, or managers for not giving us what we need.

It seems to me that many of us are out of sync with our own needs.

“How can I know what my needs are?” a few clients have asked me.

And of course, it’s not a simple question with a simple answer. Many of us grew up learning that our needs are not important, and we have buried them deep down in our consciousness. Usually we have already resigned before we even try to express them:

“I won’t get what I need anyway”, you might think to yourself and quickly adjust to the situation. You say “yes” even if you mean “no”. You say “no” even if you mean “yes”.

Easier right? No confrontation or risk of not being liked.

The problem starts when we see confrontation as “bad”, we’re not seeing the value in confronting another person.

When we confront someone with our needs, we’re letting someone see us. We get in contact with the other person, instead of just being in a diffuse harmony bubble of fake happiness.

The other person sees our needs and has the chance to help us fulfil them.

But how can we express our needs if we don’t know what they are??

The first step is to SLOW DOWN. We can’t know what we want if we’re constantly busy.

I don’t want to take a short cut.

I don’t want to take the faster way.

I don’t want

I don’t want

want

want to be a snail sometimes.

Take it slow.

Walk on the beautiful beach instead of on the busy road.

When I take it slow, not rushing around like a headless chicken, and stop trying “to get there faster”, I start to feel my feelings. I hear my heart whispering my needs.

Watching the ocean, breathing in the fresh air, and listening to the strength of the waves coming into the shore is something that makes me feel alive.

“I don’t want to take the faster way, I want to walk along the beach,” I answered my husband.

Yes, it took longer. And we found a place on the way where my daughter started collecting snails.

Saying YES to myself and my needs has been a practice for many years. It didn’t come easy to me, I needed to relearn it. Get back in touch with the child in me who clearly knew what I needed.

It all changed when I stopped listening to the part of me who had learned what the world wanted me to say.

I still forget sometimes, and then I blame and criticise (yes I’m not perfect!).

Behind every criticism there is a wish.

Realising this was a huge game changer for me. When I started to say what I wanted instead of what the other person does wrong, my relationships changed tremendously.

I believe when we start talking about “what is” (I am hoping you can cook today because I don’t feel well) instead of “what is not” (you never support me when I’m feeling weak), we will get much more of what we need.

My biggest role model is my daughter.

The other day I was getting ready to drive her to school. I was stressed, and rushing around our apartment when she sat down on the back of the sofa and looked up and said: “Mama, I need a hug.”

As a reminder you can put a Post-it note on your computer:

Say what you want, don’t say what the other person does wrong!

“When we can name it, we can change it”, Gabby Bernstein says. Starting to name my emotions is something that has helped me understand what my needs are.

If you wish to get more in touch with your needs to feel more confident, I have created something really valuable for you: The one-month tracking journal TIME TO THRIVE.

If you are looking for increased energy, peace and clarity, this journal will support you to be kinder to yourself and create room for the things that really matter.

You’ll be amazed by how this simple life coaching tool transforms your daily life! And I’m giving it away for free!

Get the journal here.

Love,

 

 

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Hello, I’m Katarina Stoltz, a life coach and psychotherapist helping international professionals prioritise their well-being so they can achieve fulfillment without burning out.

Welcome to the 'Time To Thrive' blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to prevent burnout, expand your self awareness and start living your vision.

I don’t offer ‘quick fix’ solutions, but my tips are straightforward and easy to follow. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for some thought-provoking articles and honest life stories.

I’m happy you’re here!

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