Are You Taking the Easy Option Rather Than Asking for What You Really Want?
Doing X to Get Y…
Clients often say to me when they’re talking about what they’re doing, or what they’re planning to do,
If I do X then it will get me closer to Y.
They usually have a justification—the path is easier, faster, the 'X' thing is closer at hand, and 'Y' appears further away or harder to achieve (at least in their thinking).
But justification is made-up.
We create a story and then we look for evidence to make it true. Who are we (they) to know what is really ahead? We might think from where we sit right now, that it's a better strategy. That doesn't mean it is easier or faster or more likely to show results.
And not just clients; we all do this from time to time in our lives.
My youngest son is applying for university right now and was choosing between two closely related courses at one of his favourite universities. One had a lower entrance requirement than the other and it didn't look as if there was that much difference in the courses.
So he asked the obvious question,
Mum, should I apply for X because I'm more likely to get in?
My advice was the same for him as it would be for a client,
Why would you do that? Decide which course you prefer and put all your resources behind going for it. Otherwise it's a distraction and there's no guarantee either way.
He didn't feel he had enough information to make a choice, so we went on an Open Day and it became immediately obvious that one course was much better suited to him than the other (of course, the one with the higher entrance requirements!).
My advice remained the same: go for what you want and cut out any dilly-dallying in the middle. What's come back to him is more than he thought possible: not only has he been offered a place with the exact same 'lower' entrance requirements as the course that was supposedly easier to access, but he's been offered a complete by-pass of any entrance requirements if he selects this university as his first choice.
He's a bright young man and he had a good application but there are many, many teenagers with better grades than him; yet for some reason he was given one of the 'free' passes on entrance requirements.
Luck of the Draw?
Of course, you might say, oh well that's the luck of the draw, and yes, that might be true. He could have been asked for the higher entrance requirements, or he could have got the by-pass for the other course, had he applied for it.
Results are never guaranteed.
AND, I think it's precisely because results are never guaranteed that we should go for what we want rather than waste time doing things out of convenience.
There's something about fit and commitment that comes across in the words we write and the actions we take when we come from the place of what is 100% true for us. We subconsciously know when someone is speaking the truth, and it can be very convincing.
And, at the same time, knowing that we will be fine whatever the outcome is what gives us the freedom to make the bold ask. In my son's case, he will be fine whichever university he ends up going to, and whatever he ends up doing.
The Direct Route
Are there places where you're not asking for what you want? Or places where you feel so attached to the outcome that you feel as if your well-being will be affected if you don't get it?
The more you can let go of those, the more pure freedom you will experience in life.
Try it and see…